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Ghosts of Hastings Tramways

Ghosts of Hastings TramwaysA little over 100 years ago the Hastings Tramways Company was formed. Between 1904 and 1907 nearly 20 miles of tram tracks were laid. The routes covered Ore, Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill and Cooden and can be viewed by clicking on this link. The Dolter Stud System was used to power the trams. This system worked through the use of electric cables that ran between the tracks, buried below the ground. Every nine foot there was a metal stud that protruded about an inch from the ground that passed power to a tram trundling over it. The metal stud was only meant to connect to the power supply when the tram passed over it, however it wasn’t always effective. In Torquay, where the same system was being used, a horse was electrocuted when it trod on one. This safety concern led to Hastings Tramways switching to petrol powered trams in 1914, and then overhead power lines in 1921.

The original photo was taken in Queens Road, by the junction with South Terrace. I think it is a great photo. Theres something about the composition and the stances of the men that give it real character.

The tram system came to a demise in 1927, when a switch was made to trolley buses. They used the system of overhead power lines, but didn’t require a track. Now defunct, Sidney Little used the tracks to strengthen the concrete work of the marine parade extension.

There is still interest in the Hastings Tramways Company. This website aims to keep the memory alive, and also try to bring the trams back. Their site contains many more interesting photos of the trams and trolley buses.

The two photos I used for the composite image are below. The original photo I used was found it on the West Marina to Hastings Pier Facebook page.

Hastings Tramways

Queens Road, Hastings


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