supplied by Ted Cogger
Allan Mitchell… Great pictures!!
Monica Bane… Just love these wonderful photos!
Peter Ellingworth… The top photo would have been taken before Sept-Oct 1957, as this is when the Maidstone & District logo (lower photo) replaced the Hastings Tramways one. Both trolleybuses are from the 1940 AEC batch, the lower photo taken, if I’m correct from previous research, during the final few days of operation last week in May 1959. The 1940 ‘ batch of trolleybuses were scrapped when the system closed, the newer 1947 ‘Sunbeam’ batch sold off for further use to Maidstone Corporation, Bradford, Walsall and Wolverhampton, being in use until almost 1970. Had the replacement Atlantean diesel buses not run into development and production issues, the original intention was to replace the Hastings trolleybuses in Dec ’58-Jan ’59, so thankfully they had a six month stay of execution. When M&D finally took complete control of the Hastings system in Oct 1957, Hastings Corporation having not exercised their option in 1955 of every ten years purchasing the undertaking, the writing was on the wall straight away as M&D made no secret in spite of much local opposition, that to them it was an operating anomaly in their bigger scheme of things, and had to go. As some others and myself have said on the SMART music section, the East Anglia Transport Museum at Lowestoft have superbly restored in full working order Bdy 809 to early ’50’s condition, and run it regulary on their circuit. This vehicle went straight from finish at Hastings to Maidstone Corporation where it ran until their system finished in 1967.
Terry Corder… If I remember correctly, the number 11 ran from the town centre to Clive Vale and probably a lot further but that’s where I got off. I remember a ticket cost 2d.
Stuart Moir… Most uncomfortable buses I rode as a kid
Peter Ellingworth… In their day compared to the motor buses the Hastings trolleybuses were smooth, quiet and clean- and comfortable. Very popular with the locals and visitors alike. They didn’t however, along with most buses of the time have closing rear doors, or if I’m right heating- but remember that in those days even the inside of house windows froze up…and with the privitations of WW2 not long before, unlike today, most folk thought of this as just a minor inconvenience…… Regarding the routes : at its completion from tramway conversion in 1928-9 Hastings had the longest system in the world. Originally there were twelve route nos, 1-12 inclusive, whittled down over the years and rationalised to four : nos. 2. 6, 8 and 11. Frequencies varied from every six minutes (6 &11) to twenty – fourty minutes ( routes 2, 8). Route 2 was a circular, Memorial-Memorial via Fismarket, Old London Rd., Ore, The Ridge, Sedlescombe Rd, Silverhill, & Bohemia Rd. : Route 6 Hollington Battle Rd. to Ore via Bohemia Rd, Memorial, Queens Rd.,The Langham, Mount Pleasant Rd , Priory Rd., & Old London Rd. Route 8: Park Cross Roads, Queens Rd., Memorial, Sea Front, Bathing Pool/West Marina, Bexhill Rd., De Larr Rd.( Bexhill) to the Metropole, with some journeys on to Cooden Beach. Route 11: Hollington -Ore as the no. 6 until London Rd., Sea Front, Memorial, High St. ( Old Town), Harold Rd./Clive Vale, then again as the 6 to Ore. Some journeys on both routes were extended to St Helens (Cemetery). If you lived as we did off Battle Rd, where the 6 & 11 shared the same route, it can be seen even on Sundays the headway was every few minutes.