Sidney Little (1885-1961)
Known as 'The Concrete King', Sidney Little, the Borough engineer almost single-handedly changed the shape of Hastings' seafront. Born in Carlisle and following a role as Borough Engineer in Ipswich, he came to Hastings at the age of 41 in 1926 to commence a role as the Borough & Water Engineer. This role later included that of the Borough Planning Officer.
1946 Film of proposed town centre
The vehicles were moved by means of magnets underneath the model. Sidney Little is seen in a brief closeup, together with the Chief Town Planning Assistant (Mr. Greengrass) and the constructor of the model - Mr. Adnam.
Among his many works, perhaps the best-known ones are the Carlisle Parade Underground Car Park (1931), Marine Parade Boating Lake (1933), Bottle Alley (1934), the Bathing Pool (1933), and many of the bus-shelters on the sea front in varied designs, some of which conceal a utilitarian process of providing ventilation to underground car parks, as well as providing shelter from the elements. Less well known but perhaps his most important works were the construction of tunnelled aquaducts of concrete, some up to 200M below the surface, to bring water to the town from Darwell, Powdermill and other reservoirs outside of the Borough.
His expertise in utilising concrete was also called on during WW2 when he advised the Admiralty on the construction of the Mulberry Harbours. Receiving the Freedom of the Borough in 1960, he passed away a year later.