Famous Hastings – John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird Plaque 1924

Bexhill might be ‘The Home of British Motor Racing’ but you couldn’t watch much motor racing without Hastings, what with it being the ‘Birthplace of Television’. You might have seen the signs under the mosaics on the way into Hastings by road.

John Logie Baird – Pioneer of Television – came to Hastings in 1922 to recover from ill health with the help of our delightful sea air. His lodgings were at 21 Linton Crescent, just up from the college and the railway station. He built the first working television from items including a hat box, a pair of scissors, bicycle lights and sealing wax and transmitted the first moving image in 1924 , from his laboratory over a shop (currently a butcher’s shop) in Queens Arcade.

Unfortunately, his landlord, Mr Tree, asked him to quit his workshop (oh Mr Tree, why?!) and he moved to rooms in Soho, London, where he developed his invention. He eventually returned to the area to live out his last years in Bexhill.

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery on Bohemia Road has a great permanent exhibition about the history and development of television, and once you are well educated on the subject you can pop down to the John Logie Baird (Wetherspoons) in town and impress all your friends with your knowledge.