In 1952 the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS) was formed to encourage the preservation of a number of endangered historic buildings, including the 1746 stable block situated at 1a High Street, which Hastings Council proposed to demolish.
With the backing of the Georgian Society this building was listed as one of historic and architectural value. As a result, the OHPS began looking for ways it could be used, and also for a means of securing funds for its restoration.
In March 1955 Dick Perkins, a leading member of the Hastings and District Theatre Guild, became aware of the Society’s efforts and saw the potential for the building to be converted into a theatre.
The Stables Trust Limited was founded to preserve the fabric of the building and convert it, with the support of the Hastings and District Theatre Guild, into a fully functioning theatre.
After many years and monumental efforts by all involved, the grand opening, by Sir Ralph Richardson, took place on Tuesday 16th June 1959.
Over the decades that followed, the Stables has added hugely to its footprint, gallery space and facilities. In 1978 we built the new bar, Gwen Watford and art galleries; in 2001 we built extensive additional backstage areas; and in 2014 we completely rebuilt the box office area and installed the best available auditorium seating. The Trust now owns, outright, the freehold of the theatre.
You can find out more about our history on our Archive Group page.
The Stables today
We mount ten of our own productions each year as well as opening our doors to shows from other theatre groups, and we offer an extensive programme of professional shows.
We also arrange ad hoc exchange programmes with other theatres, most notably the Drama Group of Chicago Heights, USA and our Art Gallery is open throughout the year.
The Stables Trust Ltd is a company limited by guarantee.
Registered charity number 211361.