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St Leonards Parade & Pier

St Leonards Parade & Pier
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St Leonards Parade & Pier

St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. Photo from the Geoff Wolfe collection. Copyright 1066online.

  • CLIFF MEWETT on 28 Aug 2018 CLIFF MEWETT said

    When trams were introduced in Hastings overhead wires were not allowed along the Hastings & St Leonards Seafront as far west as the Bo-Peep Hotel, where they were connected to the overhead wires and journeyed to Cooden Beach via Bexhill town centre.

    Power along the seafront was taken from 'Dolter Studs' sunk between the tracks. These were raised by magnetism as the trams glided over them and delivered an electric charge which propelled the tram to the next one and so on. A metal brush hanging down from the rear of the tram would push the stud back in place. If one stayed up then the tram would stop whilst the conductor got out and banged the offending stud in place. if that didn't to the trick a leather cap was placed over it to stop any horses etc being electrified and the studs replaced.

    By 1911 this system was totally useless and still not letting over head wires on the front, the trams for that route were fitted with engines which were under powered, smelly and unreliable. In 1921 despite further objections from seafront residents the over head wires were at last introduced.

    To the seafront residents surprise (!) they did not blot out the sun as they had always feared.
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