Trolleybus show draws visitors in their thousands

Oliver Russell with trolleybus conductor Derek Masters
Oliver Russell with trolleybus conductor Derek Masters
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THOUSANDS of vintage car lovers descended on The Oval on Sunday to view the wide range of vehicles and trolleybuses on show.

More than 100 classic cars, some from the 1920s and 1930s, featured at the event hosted by Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group.

The town’s mayor Councillor Kim Forward opened the event.

Happy Harold, the town’s very own trolleybus, dating from 1928, also made an appearance and offered free rides around The Oval.

Ion Castro, the group’s chairman, said: “The show was brilliant. There is no other way to describe it. It was at least as busy as last year and some of the old buses on show offered rides around the town.

“We had people come from all over the south east and beyond.

“This was our 19th annual event and this year we celebrated the centenary of Maidstone and District, whose buses used to run in Hastings.

“The grand finale was a line-up of all of the vehicles in date order.”

Other vehicles on display were a selection of vintage London buses such as the Routemasters.

Visitors also had the chance to view the wide variety of stalls selling photographs and models of vintage cars, as well as other memorabilia.

Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group, run by a band of volunteers, holds the event each year to raise funds towards restoring and preserving the town’s trolleybuses.

These were trackless trams, namely electric vehicles, which ferried people along the roads on pneumatic tyres and drawing their current from twin wires suspended above the vehicles.

The trolleybus system in Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill came after trams were withdrawn in 1928.

The vehicles were themselves withdrawn in 1959.

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Pictures by: Tony Coombes Photography