The Hastings Tramways Company was founded in early 1904, and construction
of the Hastings tramways soon began, included the building
of the main Silverhill depot. The first tramcars arrived
in July 1905 and the Official Tram Trial Trip ran on 15th July from Silverhill to the Memorial in the town centre. Public service then began, running the
original circular route.
further line from Ore to the Market Ccross in the Old town
was opened in August of the same year. The extension from Silverhill to the Seafront via London Road
was opened in July 1906.
second tram depot was built at Bulverhythe and services
started between St Leonards and Bexhill in April 1906. This
line finally reached the isolated outpost of Cooden
(then called Kewhurst) in July 1906. The Bexhill section included a length of private tramroad accross Pebsham Marsh from Egerton Park to Cooden Beach.
1907 saw the two systems joined, connecting along the seafront.
It was a double track opearated using the Dolter stud contact
system which was known to sometimes electrocute horses.
1913 the Dolter system was considered dangerous and all seafront-running
cars were fitted with a petrol engine attached to a dynamo
which fed the existing controllers with electric. The first
petrol car ran in 1914 but the petrol experiment didn't
last long and the council allowed over-head wires
along the seafront in 1921.
total length of the Hastings Tramway system reached just short of 20 miles and by September 1926 service numbers were introduced for the following routes:
1. Silverhill - St Leonards - Ore
2. Ore - High Street (Market Cross)
3. Bexhill - Ore
4. Hollington - Bohemia Road - Memorial
5. Ore - Bexhill
6. Cooden - St Helens (Cemetery)
7. St Helens - Cooden
8. Circular via Bohemia Road
Circular via St Helens
Services 3, 5, 6 and 7 were run in both directions.
1927 saw the replacement of the trams with trolleybuses. Many of the old tram lines were used to strengthen the concrete blocks used in the sea defences when the parade extension was built by Sidney Little in the 1930’s.
Tramway Power Station
Power for the Hastings trams was generated by six
engines totalling 3150hp. These were housed in the main
power station which was built on a dirt track in Ore Valley,
now named Parker Road. The power station had a distinctive 175ft steel plate chimney and was serviced by a railway siding from SECR. Substations were situated at both Bulverhythe