Launch Event for Open Studios Weekend

Hadleigh Old Fire Station, 6th October, 2011

An evening reception and private viewing of art work made a very enjoyable opening to ACAVA’s Open Studios event.  Duncan Smith, Artistic Director of ACAVA (The organisation that runs Hadleigh Old Fire Station for community artists), bid us all welcome.  Several speeches were made by Local Councillors and Castle Point MP, Rebecca Harris, was also present.

As the artists and invited guests to the Open Studios launch toured the art work on display in the Appliance Bay, I asked them, on behalf of Hadleigh & Thundersley Community Archive, how they felt about Hadleigh Castle. Everyone I spoke to seemed passionate about the castle. Here are their thoughts:

“Best thing in Hadleigh. In Southend you go and see the pier, in Hadleigh you visit the castle. it is unique” – Joe Lang, artist, Hadleigh

“Iconic leftover from our past, and the source of much pleasure for us and Hadleigh families. I’m not sure many people would visit the site without the castle. Long may it survive the landslips!” – Graham Godfrey, photographer, Hadleigh

“I adore it. One of my favourite places. It’s association with Constable is invaluable” – Mat Do, HOFS artist

“Hadleigh Castle is an area I constantly visited with my three sons, picnicking in the summer. The boys enjoyed climbing the ramparts” – Pam Challis, Leader of Castle Point Borough Council

“The castle is iconic and particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset” – Caroline Brown, curate at St James-the-Less

“I see the castle first thing in the morning when making the coffee – I love it. I also see the Point so it reminds me of my mission in life” – Rebecca Harris, Castle Point MP

“A great place to visit, spectacular scenery and a beautiful local asset” – Sue Willis, HOFS artist

“When I was young, many years ago, I used to climb to the top. It is a good place to visit and picnic” – Stan Edwards, HOFS artist

“I felt when I stood among the foundation stones I was transported back into history as a Lady of the Manor” – Donna Jeffrey, HOFS artist

“I find it historical and thought-provoking for young people. It’s a place where history is alive” – Lorna Stennett, HOFS artist

“We came to Hadleigh Castle to share the eclipse when I was pregnant. It was lovely, the light changed and all went quiet then a big shout and cheer!” – Jane Woollatt, HOFS artist

“Hadleigh Castle – a constant in a fast-changing world. Let’s hope it remains, reminding us of our heritage” – Chris Ruston, HOFS artist

Click on the gallery images to enlarge them.

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