Supplied by Peter Ellingworth
Peter Ellingworth… Going back some years, I saw a large print of the t-bus photo taken 1950-56 by the late well known transport photographer Cyril Carter, in the window of a second-hand book shop in George Street. Curious, and also bit of a bookworm, upon further enquiries inside it turned out the owner was one of the then two young men seen in the photo, having just alighted from the t-bus for a visit to the White Rock Baths. I’m not sure if the shop is still there – if I remember correctly, it was on the seafront side about a third of the way along, almost opposite the lift going in from the town centre end – or even if the owner is still with us. Can anybody enlighten me ? On my next sojourn to Hastings, I will take a walk along George St. and have a look. Cyril Carter was one of the few train and bus photographers of the period who took colour photos of the highest quality and definition, when just about everybody else did so in black and white, such was the price of colour film at the time. Many thanks for an excellent coffee meet Alan, look forward to the next one. I paid a visit to the John Logie-Baird afterwards, and having foolishly left a pair of reading glasses behind rang them on Saturday/Sunday to find they had been handed in – and the manager telling me they were in the process of a deep clean after being flooded out like quite a lot of properties in the locality. The Hastings Tramways book by David Padgham is also an excellent publication. I bought it for my Mother’s birthday when she was in a nursing home. I remember David telling me he rescued a lot of the old original Hastings Tramways and Maidstone & District documentation shortly before a lot of it was to be destroyed, and I believe it is now safely in the care of Hastings Museum. I rang David shortly after his book was published to congratulate him, sadly he had passed on before I had the chance on one of my visits to take up his invite of visiting him again.
Ralph Town… Got em!
Peter Ellingworth… Can I add : Lyndon Rowe, whose name appears on the Hastings Trolleybus book, was Hastings born and bred, his folks resided on The Ridge near Grange Road, but he lived most of his adult life in S.E. London I believe, working for London Transport. He passed on a few years ago. Robert J. Harley, the series editor, wrote the outstanding “Trams and Trolleybuses in Hastings, St. Leonards and Bexhill 1905 -1959” 198 page book recently published. (ISBN 978-1-910654-14-9). This is a very well researched and presented work, and finally solved my wondering why the Hastings system had, with the exception of a short quarter -mile section added just after WW 2 from the Vic pub in Battle Road to the turning circle where the ‘Observer’ offices now are , overhead wiring spacing between the positive and negative running wires of eighteen inches instead of the normal twenty four ( a distinction it shared only in the UK with the Rotherham undertaking).
“The Hastings Tramways Company 1899-1959 – an illustrated social history” (ISBN 0-9534778-1-9) by Hastonian Cliff Mewett is also an excellent and well researched read.