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Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group update 2011

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Update 2011
Our 19th annual show was held on the Oval as usual. - click here for map

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10th December 2011 - Happy Harold's Last outing of the year
Hastings Trolleybus in Town Centre
Happy Harold on Hastings Stade

10th December saw Happy Harold’s last outing of the year at the Family Fun Day at Eat@the Stade where he even doubled up as Santa’s Grotto for a while. After a few trips to the town centre and Queens Road it was off to Courthouse Street where he met up with Deeday White and his wife Bev. A quick tour of the town centre to admire the Christmas lights and back to the depot for a well-earned rest.


Deeday White and Happy Harold
Happy harold on the Stade
26th November Battle, where a nearly a thousand years ago unhappy Harold met his untimely end - this time it was under much happier circumstances - assisting Santa with switching on the Christmas lights after processing to the Abbey with Santa, his elves and snowmen and giving rides up and down Battle High Street all afternoon.
Happy Harold in Battle Happy Harold in Battle

6th November - East Sussex Federation of Small Businesses had their AGM at The Manor Barn, Bexhill Old Town and rounded it off with a trip round Bexhill and Cooden

Federation of Small Businesses AGM

Happy Harold, Hastings’ own trolleybus has been out and about again - this time in aid of the business community. On Sunday 6th November, the East Sussex Federation of Small Businesses had their AGM at The Manor Barn, Bexhill Old Town and their day was rounded off with a tour of Bexhill on the old trolleybus route to Cooden Beach. Nigel Evans MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons was the Guest-of-Honour and Matthew Lock, vice Chairman of East Sussex County Council and leader of the opposition on Hastings Borough Council was also there. The trip was suggested by East Sussex Regional Chairman Lord Brett Maclean. It was a good opportunity to pose with the Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock erected in 1887 and mourn the fact that the ancient Bell Hotel “The Bell” was yet another pub that had failed to ride out the recession. St Peter’s Church, just round the corner was there before the conquest and may have been visited by the original Harold who held the manor of Crowhurst at that time. Happy Harold in Bexhill Old Town
Hastings Week 2011, 7th - 16th October 2011
Hastings Week

Happy Harold at Ore
8th October. Left: from the left, Hastings' mayor Cllr Kim Forward, Miss Hastings April Grant, Court Chaperone Jacqueline Clover, Carnival Princess Nicole pavitt and hastings' MP Amber Rudd pose with Happy Harold before the official opening ceremony.
Above: Happy Harold waits at the old layover point for trolleybus services 6 and 11 at the Ore Terminus whilst the crew vist the Hobbies & Crafts Fayre at the Ore Community Centre, just visible on the right.

9th October Day 2 of the Classic Car Show on the Stade, Happy Harold was there on Day 1 as well
Hastinsg Classic Car Show Hastings Classic Car Show
12th October. Happy Harold ran 'Mystery Tours' round Hastings from a terminus outside Hastings Town Hall, short working on routes he would have first operated eighty three years previously. Miss Hastings, who is also our Hastings Old Town Carnival Queen joined in and was collected and returned by 'bus to Hastings College where she works. She's seeen here posing with Happy Harold outside the college and in the cab. Hastings Week with Happy Harold - HAstings College & Miss Hastings
Hastings Week with Happy Harold Miss Hastings in the Cab of Happy Harold
Hastings Week & Happy Harold
Hastings Week & Happy Harold
15th October a busy day for Happy Harold, above: Mayors from Hastings' Twin Towns pose with the leader of hastings Council, Jeremy Birch and Hastings' Mayor and deputy above right: we took visiting town criers for a quick tour before the 59th annual Town Criers competition. right: we stopped to visit our pals building the Hastings Bonfire in readiness for tonight's Hasting Bonfire Celebrations, then below: on to the Old Town to take Admiral Lord Boyce, the Lord Warden of the Cinque ports and the Cinque Ports Mayors on a trip along the seafront and finally, below right webmaster and Trolleybus Driver Ion Castro gets to pose with the Lord Warden and Hastings' Mayor, Cllr Kim Forward and Deputy Mayor Alan Roberts. Hastings Week & Happy Harold at Hastings Bonfire
Happy Harold and Cinque Ports Mayors Happy Harold and Lord Boyce
October 16th Sprat & Winkle Run, starting in Sevenoaks at 7.30 in the morning classic commercial vehicles were arriving in Hastings from mid-morning onwards. below left Miss Hastings gave the event her seal of approval. Below right, The Stade, a former lorry park seen from the top deck of Happy Harold with the Blood volunteers i the foreground. Bottom left Colin Rowland (Rambler Coaches) immaculate 1935 Bedford. Bottom right, Happy Harold's last appearance of the week at the closing ceremony outside the Town Hall on Sunday afternoon.
Hastings Week & Happy Harold Hastings Week & Happy Harold
Hastings Week & Happy Harold Hastings Week & Happy Harold
more pictures from Hastings Week avaialable here
3rd September 2011 - Happy Harold at Day@The Park
Happy Harold at Day@The Park Happy Harold at Day@The Park
Happy Harold and Crew run a shuttle service from Hastings Town Centre to Alexandra Park
Hastings Old Town Carnival Week 30th July - 7th August 2011
Happy Harold was there for some of the events
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
7th August. getting ready for the 'Trolleybus Pull' in aid of Prostate cancer
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
Driver's eye view of the 'pullers'
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
The winning team from the 'FILO'
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
6th August.Carnival Day - we didn't put Harold in the Carnival procession, he waited with the emergency services for company
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
5th August was 'Pirate Day' and Harold became a 'Pirate Bus' - seen here waiting in Hastings town centre
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
Unusual view from the Fire Brigade's turntable ladder while the pirates assembled on the beach
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
These pirates are the Folkestone Carnival Court
Happy Harold & Hastings Old Town Carnival Week
July 30th, Happy Harold transports VIP's to the opening ceremony
Hastings Trolleybus 'Happy Harold' 29th July 2011 - Happy Harold returns from an evening run after a fish and chip supper for members and their guests and waits outside the Bull Inn at the western end of St.Leonards. Once a terminus for short working on trolleybus service 8 the turning circle is still there on the opposite side of the road. The original tram route on the Hastings Tramways system ran on reserved track behind the pub to avoid the gradient

13th July 2011 - Happy Harold joins in with the Albany Taxi Charity Fund
Happy Harold Joined in with the 20th annual Albany Taxi Fund Run when over 90 'Black Cabs' brought disabled children from Hackney for a day at the seaside.

Albany Taxi Charity
Albany Taxi Charity

3rd July 2011 - Happy Harold fundraises for Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust
As part of the America Ground Independence day celebrations Happy Harold was giving trips along Hastings Seafront

Hastings Trolleybus & Hastings Pier
Happy Harold's Conductor, Derek Masters, poses with Hastings' Mayor, Cllr Kim Forward whilst waiting for passengers

Hastings Trolleybus & Hastings Pier
Full of young people, ready for a run along Hastings Seafront. All donations collected were given to the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust
2nd July 2011 - Happy Harold goes fundraising at Sandown School
Happy harold at Sandown School Happy Harold was at Sandown School on THe Ridge in Hastings where Trolleybus Group chairman Ion Castro is a school governor. The event was the Summer Fayre and the PTA were fundraising for the school swimming pool. Trips were organised along The Ridge - a route that Happy Harold would have first operated over eighty years ago.
26th June 2011 - Happy Harold goes to Hastings' Armed Forces day
Hastings Armed Forces Day

The Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association organised the event in Hastings' beautiful Alexandra Park, Pictured left is Hastings' Mayor, Cllr Kim Forward with Deputy Mayor Cllr Alan Roberts (left) and Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL of the Royal Engineers. at the memorial service, led by the association's chaplain Rev Robert Featherstone,
Other military personnel were Lt Simon Williamson RN Regional Recruitment Officer), Lt Hugh Harris RN (Commanding Officer HMS Ranger & Crew attached to the RN Unit at Sussex University), Major Mike Watts and his men from 4 Medical Regiment Roya Army Medical Corps and of course a detachment from 47 Regiment Royal Artillery. The band was the Glenduart Pipes & Drums from Tonbridge, Kent.
More about the Hastings Vererans here (external site)

Hastings Armed Forces Day
Hastings Armed Forces Day
23rd June 2011 Bexhill High School Graduation Prom 2011
The transport of choice was Happy Harold from Bexhill Station to Powdermills Hotel in Battle, more pictures here
Bexhill High School Prom
Bexhill High school Prom
18th June - Official opening of the new Stade Open Space (formerly the Coach park)
Happy Harold transported Hastings' mayor, Cllr Kim Forward and members of the Council from the Town Hall to the new Open Space and was therefore the first vehicle to officially use the space
Hastings Trolleybus at hastings Town Hall
Waiting outside Hastings Town Hall for the Civic party
Hastings Trolleybus at hastings
Civic Party waves to the photographer
Hastings Trolleybus at hastings - Section 5 Drummers
Section 5 Drummers
Hastings Trolleybus at hastings - cutting the Ribbon
Hastings' Mayor, Cllr Kim Forward cuts the ribbon to open Eat@The Stade
11th June 2011 Brede and Rye
Happy Harold at Brede Village Fete

(Left) First call of the day was to the Brede Village Fete at Broad Oak. Happy Harold posed with the Sambalanca Drummers. We'd forgotten just how steep Brede Hill is and apologise to the huge queue of traffic that built up behind us as we crawled up that hill in second gear with the Commer TS3 screaming. The return to Hastings was no less spectacular as we climbed Winchesea Hill in a similar fashion.


Happy Harold at Rye

Happy Harold at Rye

It was then on to Rye to take part in the Rye Chamber of Commerce promotion of Rye Town, we joined up with the vintage military vehicles and the day ended with Aerobatics from a Spitfire and a spectacular air display from the Red Arrows.
Spitfire ar Rye
Red Arrows at Rye

30th May 2011 - Battle Medieval Fayre
Happy Harold at Battle Abbey
Happy Harold got to the battle Medieval Fair before the crowds and posed in front of the iconic main gates of the Abbey where his namesake fell nearly a thousand years ago. Passengers are aleady on board! The event was organised by Battle Chamber of Commerce.
Battle Medieval Fayre

View from the top - Section 5 Drummers enter the arena.
Happy Harold at Battle
Happy Harold forms a backdrop (and viewing platform) for the entertainment - the orange blob in the centre of the picture is flame that the fire eater has just spat out.
Battle Medieval Fayre Happy Harold at battle Medieval Fayre

9th April 2011
Maidstone & District Centenary - M&D 100
“Celebrating 100 years of Maidstone and District"

Many of us will remember when Hastings’ buses were a nice shade of dark green and cream and carried the Maidstone & District logo, the bus company whose roots go back to March 1911 when it was formed out of the Maidstone, Chatham, Gravesend & District Motor Omnibus Service. and eventually expanded throughout Kent and extended into East Sussex. The centenary show was held at the Kent County Showground at Detling to celebrate the event and Happy Harold was invited because he was originally operated by Hastings Tramways company which was taken over by M&D as (Maidstone and District was popularly known.) in 1935.

Detling may be only 38 miles away but at an average top speed of 18mph with a following wind we allowed 3 hours to get there, leaving at 7 in the morning and all went well until the final crawl up Detling Hill when overheating caused a bottom hose to blow, converting the cab to a sauna by filling it with steam. Fortunately we carry lots of spare water and were able to continue the last couple of miles to the showground where it was discovered that old age had caused one of the borttom hoses and its jubilee clip to fail. New hoses (actually vintage Ford Cortina ones) cut to size and clips, sourced from stalls at the show, were pressed into service and sorted out the problem.  As the result of a no-right-turn outside the showground our return journey involved an extra ten mile round trip to get back to where we started from – we had to head north to go south! and this addes at least an extra forty minutes running time – that’s got to be good for our carbon footprint. Apart from the detour our return was uneventful, Chairman's son Tim’s re-hosing worked perfectly and we arrived home with no water loss.

Happy Harold at the M&D 100
It was good to be re-united with HKL 819, the 1946 AEC Regal Beadle Open-top single deck AEC Regal, one of the three round-the-town-tour buses that operated in Hastings for decades, and are all in preservation. It was even better to see another of the trio, HKL 836, even if it is now in ‘London Bus Company’ livery. Perhaps one day they will appear with HKL 826 to complete the set!

Roy Wells, formerly of Postley Works where Happy Harold was converted from electric to diesel. Roy is seen here with Happy Harold and helped to remove the electric motor back in 1959 and replace it with the Commer TS3 Diesel.

M&D 100
This is the lineup of LKT 991, a 1950 Bristol L6A ECW Single-deck bus showing destination “Fairlight Glen” on route 134.  Next is DKT 16, a 1937 Leyland Tiger TS7 with bodywork rebuilt by Harrington in 1950 on express service E4 to Bexhill. This has a strong Hastings connection, its special roofrack was designed for carrying band instruments and was later adapted to carry the boats for Hastings Rowing Club. On its left is the third oldest exhibit, also from 1928, KO 7311 carrying the destination ‘Hastings Station’, - a Tilling Stevens B9A with bodywork by local Maidstone builder Short (who later built aircraft, particularly the Short Sunderland Flying Boat. In the forground is M&D’s famous blue “Knightrider” 16-seater limousine, NKN 650 based on a 1951 Commer Avenger Harrington which I believe has a Commer TS3 engine similar to Happy Harold’s.

M&D 100

Happy Harold, registered 1st April 1928 was the second oldest vehicle at the show - the oldest being this 1912 Hallford.

23rd March 2011    
Happy Harold passes his MOT

Happy Harold passes his class 5 MOT at Rossetts of Eastbourne. Once again we have nothing but praise for this firm, they fitted us in at a time to suit us and were very thorough in their examination.

With the bus are some of the crew, from the left, Steve Peak, Derek Masters, Bob Hart and Tim Castro. Ion Castro drove the bus to its MOT and took the picture.



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