Can't entirely agree with that.
The old town may be a little cliquey, among the close-knit group of traders but elsewhere people are much more cosmopolitan and do their own thing, enjoying a holiday or engaging in various activities. Perhaps because there is a mosaic of different people all over Hastings and the south east in general there is no shared background experience or a readily identifiable mentality.
Whereas in the north west of the country people have much more in common and are so typically, very friendly, cheerful and full-on chatty at the drop of a hat, often making the first move if they see you are a stranger and asking if you are alright.
It is true that the locals hereabouts are not always inclined to make the first move but if you approach them with a friendly remark or two they will soon warm to you and open up.
Wherever you are you just have to keep an open mind and ignore the odd ones who may have problems of their own.