We had more than just football at the Pilot Field in Hastings. Do you remember the Searchlight Tattoos?

From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

Monday, 19th November 2018, 6:31 am
Updated Monday, 19th November 2018, 7:31 am

The story about a new football stadium for Hastings United reminded me of what used to take place at the Pilot Field many, many years ago.

I wonder how many local people remember the days when we had Searchlight Tattoos there every year?

Those of us who were kids at the time found them very exciting, especially near the end when the searchlights pointed up into the sky, followed by anti-aircraft guns being towed onto the pitch and firing away at a bomber plane that flew over the Pilot Field. Wow!

We also used to go there to watch the harness racing, which was a form of horse racing in which the horses raced at a specific gait or trot, pulling a two-wheeled cart called a sulky.

And, of course, there was the motorcycle speedway, or just speedway for short, which involved a number of riders, usually four from what I remember, hurtling around the cinder track that surrounded the pitch at speeds which seemed to us to be impossibly fast, especially as they didn’t have any brakes!

Athletic meetings were also held there, but they were nothing like as exciting as the guns banging away, the trotting horses and carts, and the smell and the noise of the motorbikes as they shot around the course.

Hastonians, you don’t know what you are missing – or rather missed!