Stunning picture of 127 year old wheel being lifted from West Hill Lift at Hastings

Hastings Council marketing and Major Projects chief Kevin Boorman captured this amazing shot of the West Hill lift’s ‘winding wheel’ being removed on Monday.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 9:08 am
West Hill Lift Wheel SUS-190925-074550001
West Hill Lift Wheel SUS-190925-074550001

The wheel, which is crucial to the operating of the 127 year old funicular railway, is on its way to a specialist foundry Sheffield to be repaired after engineers identified a problem with it during the summer.

It resulted in the lift being closed during the busy summer months.

It is the first time that such a major repair has had to be done since the lift opened in 1892.

The council is aiming to have the lift operating again by the end of the year.

The West Hill lift follows a 33 percent gradient from George Street, in the Old Town, to the West Hill Cafe on the green.

Construction of the line was started in 1889 by a private operator, the Hastings Lift Company. The line met with local opposition, which meant that work took longer to complete than originally envisaged, and construction costs were over 50% higher than envisaged.

The first operator went bankrupt in 1894, probably as a result of the construction delays and cost overrun. The Hastings Passenger Lift Company took over and operated the line until 1947, when Hastings Borough Council bought the line. It was converted from gas to electric operation in 1971.