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Hastings Steals The Show Again In Ostend !

Hastings again took centre stage at a huge maritime show in Ostend over the long weekend 29th May to 1st June 2009.
The Belgian port's 'Oostende voor Anker' exhibition attracted an estimated 330 000 visitors, and the show featured a stand staffed by members of Hastings Borough Council's marketing department, John 'Tush' Hamilton and his wife Pat serving their now-famous Fishermen's rolls, and, for the first time, 'Happy Harold,' Hastings' own trolleybus.
Tush and Pat were as busy as ever, serving over 1600 portions of local fish during the exhibition, actually selling out.
The 81 year old trolleybus was making its first ever overseas visit, and was taken to Belgium by Ion Castro and Tom Bewick. Although originally planned to be a static exhibit, Ion and Tom delighted visitors to the show by making regular trips around the town.
Tush said afterwards :- "We always like coming to Ostend , and it was great to see people queuing for our fishermen's rolls. And, for once, I didn't mind playing second fiddle to Happy Harold, it was really good to see the trolleybus there, and to literally serve in his shadow."
Kevin Boorman, Head of Marketing for the Council, added :- "This really was a fantastic show for us, with massive interest in our stand, Tush and Pat, and, of course, 'Happy Harold.' I loved watching the trolleybus, covered with adverts for Hastings , wending its way around Ostend.
"But as well as being great fun, it was also vital for our town's visitor economy. Belgium is our most important market, and it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to talk to so many prospective visitors.
"Because we are an attraction in our own right, the show's organisers give us our space free, so this really is a very cost-effective way of promoting Hastings . I'm particularly grateful to my colleagues from the marketing team here, Tush and Pat, and Ion and Tom, for really putting Hastings on the map again in Belgium."

Tush and Pat providing Tush's now-famous fishermen's rolls.

Happy Harold leaves England for the first time in 81 years, Norfolk line from Dover

... and arrives in Dunkerque

Hastings Borough Council's Stall

Happy Harold takes a breather on the quayside

Brief wait outside Ostend's Casino

These ladies were on holiday from Hastings!

A random shot of the crowd

"European Miss" contestants also in Ostend include Hastings' Carnival princesses from 2008, Kiera Donnelly (3rd from right) and Cassie Abbot (right)

Happy Harold joined in the parade behind the Belgian Navy. Trolleybus Driver's-eye view.

On the way home, a tram on Ostend seafront

Happy Harold poses with a tram at Middelkirkke

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 copyright (c) Ion Castro 2009