The Four Courts are the four tower blocks on Stonehouse Drive. Construction of both them and the road was started in December 1942 and the first block completed Churchill Court was officially opened on the 8th of November 1965 by the Hon. Mrs Christopher Soames MBE JP who served in Hastings during WW2 with the ATS (Mrs Soames' maiden name was Churchill at the time of the war). It was intended that the flats would provide residences for the large number of civil servants who were coming into the town to work at Ashdown House, Heron House and Gundolphus House.
Design and Construction
The buildings were each 17 storeys high and contained 98 flats laid out as four two bedroom flats per floor and two single bedroom flats around a central lift shaft. The buildings were designed by George Wimpey & Co Ltd and based upon what was known as the 'Wimpey no fines Industrialised building system', all flats featuring underfloor heating with a chute for rubbish disposal, Rediffusion television points and an entryphone. Construction costs were just short of £1.5 million.
There is an urban legend that during construction some of the machinery utilised in the construction of the towers was left in-situ. This is most likely false - it is possible, however, that smaller items such as buckets/chains/broken tools may have been left under the foundations.
In June of 2010, a £10 million refurbishment programme commenced. The refurbishment included cladding of the buildings in multi-coloured panels as follows; Kennedy Court (yellow), Roosevelt Court (blue), Churchill Court (green) and Bevin Court (orange). The start of the works was celebrated by means of a street party attended by the then Mayor, Kim Forward. The housing association and owner of the flats, Amicus Horizon released a balloon for every one of the 441 residents who live in the blocks with a prize attached for the balloon that travelled furthest of a voucher worth £100 to the lucky resident. The refurbishment took two years to complete, finishing in 2012.
Current Day (2020)
The flats are now predominantly a mix of sheltered housing and warden assisted retirement homes with a community centre and the local offices of the housing association.
- Hastings & St Leonards Observer 30 Oct 1965
- Commemorative Booklet of Opening Ceremony Historical Hastings Facebook
- Hastings and St. Leonards Observer: Residents Celebrate Start of £10million facelift, accessdate: 9 January 2020 Link is now dead
- Hollington Tower Blocks, Hastings (C) David Anstiss :: Geograph Britain and Ireland: Hollington Tower Blocks, Hastings (C) David Anstiss :: Geograph Britain and Ireland, accessdate: 9 January 2020
'Tales from Around the Wishing Tree' edited by Eileen Parish 1995 ESCC Library