Battle of Hastings 1066 – The Truth?

The history books have it all wrong and it is only fitting that through our Hastings magazine Vital Spark (magazine of the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club) we should put the matter right.

When William Duke of Normandy came to this country, nothing was further from his mind than getting mixed up with a bunch of homicidal maniacs up the A21 (road). In fact, he didn’t intend coming to England at all. He was with his army on their annual works outing. They were cruising along the Channel, having a fine old time, when suddenly a fog came down. They peered through the gloom and mistook the architectural magnificence of the Pevensey Bay railway station for the Notre Dame. As a matter of fact William didn’t realise he was abroad until he discovered that the chocolate machine on number two platform wouldn’t take French money.

He left the lads to finish the last of the cucumber sandwiches while he went to get his bearings. He stumbled upon an old shack where an elderly Saxon was engaged in some sort of primitive craft. “Hey you, with the lattice-work socks” he shouted What are you making?” “Trug basket” replied the local. Whereupon William, who disliked bad language at the best of times, gave the Saxon’s ear a quick massage with one of those spiked balls on a chain which some of the nastier Normans used to carry about with them. Unfortunately for William, just at that moment, King Harold was passing by on the other side of the hedge picking a few goosegogs and he couldn’t help but notice this dastardly assault on one of his subjects.

“What do you think you are doing my good man?” He said in his poshest voice. “Don’t you “My good man” me” said William. “I would have you know that I am William the ruler of all Normandy” “Is that so?” replied Harold “Well allow me to tell you that I am Harold Godwinson The ruler of that piece of land you are standing on at this moment, so I would suggest that you push off before I pull it from under you” “It may interest you to learn” said William, “That down on the beach, just out of sight, I have an army of fearless French warriors.” “That doesn’t surprise me ” said Harold “The fumes from the garlic are beginning to tarnish my breast-plate, but I also have a large army just up the road, and as soon as they have finished queuing at the chip shop they will be down here like a ton of bricks.” This news seemed to make William a little more reasonable. “‘I’ll tell you what” he said, “It would be a shame to interrupt your lads in the middle of their tea. Let’s arrange a little “do” at daybreak tomorrow, just outside the Home and Colonial in the High Street.” “Done” said Harold, and the two men parted until the morrow.

Picture the scene the next day. There were horsemen, pikemen, archers, knights, swordsmen, and standard-bearers, all intermingled with the early morning shoppers. Harold won the toss and chose the end with the steep hill. From this vantage point they were able to pelt the Normans with old swedes and various items of produce which had passed the sell-by date. All the Normans could do in return was to shoot arrows up the hill, but none of these were getting past the Saxon’s shields. Understandably this peeved William somewhat so, brushing a handful of Brussels sprouts from his visor, he convened a meeting of his think-tank. One of these bright lads had the solution. “It’s like this Guv, if we fire our ‘arrers into the air, the English will all look up and shout “Cor! Look at all them lovely ‘arrers” and we will then dash up the hill and sort zem out” “You shove that in the old suggestion box Gaston” said William “I think you may have a winner there”

For a while the plan looked like succeeding but suddenly there was tragedy. The carpet of arrows was descending and most of the Saxons were shouting “Cor! look at all them lovely ‘arrers” but Harold was shouting “Cor! look at all the lovely omygawd aaargh!” and there he was flat on his back with his fetlocks pointing skywards in what the Americans would describe as a situation of negative immortality. William sprinted up the hill full of apologies “What a terrible thing – wouldn’t have had that happen for the world – my goodness, is that the time? – must get back to the beach – boats all parked on double yellow lines”

The Saxons however, were not having any of this. They had arrived here with a King and now owing to this Norman’s sheer carelessness they hadn’t got one. None of them wanted the job. They didn’t want to spend the rest of their lives opening sales of work at the vicarage. They explained to William that, like it or not, he was short-listed for the vacancy. As he didn’t care very much for the way they were flashing their battle-axes, he decided he would accept their kind offer, and pausing only to erect a rough sand-stone abbey, (at the nearby town of Battle) he set out for London.

From a series of articles by the late Stan Simpson G4ITM.

Return to the index of Vital Spark articles.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

Why not join one of the largest and most established Radio clubs in the South East of England? Very low joining cost, and free for a year to new licencees.

Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
the UK Amateur Radio repeaters list.

Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa

Categories