The Salts have long been utilised for sporting events, perhaps an early usage was that of a horse-racing track. Cousins mentions the first 'Annual Hastings Races' taking place on the 3rd of October 1823.. Certainly horse-racing and other sporting fixtures were carried out on the marsh-plains for almost all the 19th and into the 20th/21st century.
An aerodrome was one of the proposed usages of the land in the 1920s and during WW2 an American Liberator 'Unstable Mabel' crash-landed in the area, having run out of fuel after carrying out a long-range bombing raid on a Luftwaffe airport at Saint-Jean d’Angély-Fontenet, then taking in a target of opportunity - the submarine pens at La Rochelle on the way back. Post-war, there were plans submitted in 1954 for a motor-racing circuit to incorporate what was described as a 'hover plane' landing pad - presumably a helicopter landing site, but these were rejected due to concerns about traffic congestion on the Bexhill Road.
References & Notes
- Hastings of Bygone days and the Present (Henry Cousins - 1911) pg.90 ISBN: 9789332862449 ESCC Library Google Books " Amazon
- AMERICAN BOMBER CRASH – WORLD WAR II HEROES | David Dennis Images, accessdate: 26 March 2020