Supplied by Ted Cogger
Ted Cogger… At the end of Robertson Street out side white rock baths Hastings
Martin Richter… all the way to Cooden!
Peter Houghton… Thank you for sharing this!
Allan Mitchell… Awesome Picture.
Anne Murray… What year was this?
Alan Esdaile… Not sure Anne, could be early sixties? Anyone know.
Paul Sleet… Strange isn’t it, that we had electric buses all those years ago, and we changed to diesel. Now we are going backwards.
Tim Harris… Points to those who know the song where the lyrics come from Their Mums and Dads smoke Capstan non filters Wallpaper lives cause they all die of cancer.
Pauline Sims… Great picture
David Wilkinson… Original Omnibus Company model 40102
David Wilkinson… There’s a Hastings trolley bus preserved at East Anglia Transport Museum in Lowestoft.
Carol Acott… Waited there for a bus a few times back in the day
Clare Bennett… I saw plenty of those in Hastings
Peter Ellingworth… Before October 1957, as that’s when the Maidstone & District logo on the lower side panels replaced the Hastings Tramways one. I think it is between 1950 and 1956 – if I remember correctly, the guy on the left of the two having just alighted from the bus and obviously off to the old White Rock swimming baths, ran a second hand book shop in the Old Town’s George St. – I remember seeing this picture enlarged displayed in the shop window, and talking to him about it some years ago. As an ex-Hastings resident, I would recommend a visit to the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Coville, Lowestoft, where they have superbly restored Hastings TB BDY 809 to full working order. To ride around on this after so many years felt surreal – I thought I had entered the gates of heaven – and this was the TB that was the last to run when the local ‘Great and Good’ were given a run round after lunch in Bexhill, the day after public services ceased at just after 11pm on Sunday 31st.May 1959.
It was one of five or so sold to Maidstone Corporation and continued to run on their system until that closed in 1967. Incidentally, the Hastings system was unique except for either Rotherham or Huddersfield I think in having 18″ instead the normal 24″ spacing between the positive and negative electric overhead running wires, apart from a short extension added in 1947 from The Vic pub at the top end of Battle Road to facilitate a turning circle ( where the ‘Observer’ office now is). Had Hastings Corporation exercised their right to purchase the system in 1955, I believe Hastings Tramways had plans to wire up the then new estate developments ( Bromsgrove, Hollington, and off Rye Road) and the old 76 circular route. Given that the last trolleybus system in the uk closed in 1972 ( Bradford, who also purchased some redundant Hastings TB’s), it would be interesting to consider how long the Hastings system would have lasted from its relatively early demise had the system been purchased.
Peter Ellingworth… Rambling on….. An excellent read on the Hastings trolleybuses is ‘Trams and Trolleybuses in Hastings, St. Leonards -on-Sea and Bexhill ‘ 1905-1959 by Robert J. Harley, and published by Adam Gordon (ISBN 978-1-910654-14-9) which has a wealth of detail and photos. Obtainable through the usual channels ( e-bay etc.), possibly Hastings Library has a copy. It sorted out why I had always wondered as mentioned above Hastings was pretty well unique in the narrower spacing between the positive and negative overhead electric running wires – simply because at its inception in 1928 from tramway conversion it was one of the, if not the, biggest UK systems at the time and utilised a lot of the former tramway equipment, this gauge being standard norm at the time. To convert over while the kit still was within its working life simply would not have made economic sense.
I remember Derek Waters, former depot manager at Silverhill, and the late David Padgam ex M&D employee and the go-to local transport guru, telling me that Hastings was also pretty unique in that they also made a lot of the overhead fittings in house. It was a much liked and efficient system. By the way, those of you who remember the myriad of poles that carried the overhead wiring from tramway days, latterly used for lamp posts, had in true Victorian -Edwardian style a finial on the top of the posts- most were still in place until a few years ago- in fact I believe one still stands at the top if the High Street, will check out next time I’m down- well, being that sad, I have one of the finials in my conservatory which I bought for a quid scrap value from the Corporation yard when they had a blitz on removing them all some years ago, because of I believe a then EU ruling that all lamp posts had to be able to be collision impact absorbent which the old poles were not.