Oval vehicle show is one of best yet

Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group celebrated Hastings’ own trolleybus Happy Harold’s 90th birthday when they held their 26th annual show on the Oval on Sunday May 20.

The show always takes place on the Oval on the third Sunday in May each year (next year it will be Sunday May 19) Happy Harold took pride of place, newly returned from a trip to Ostend in Belgium where he had been promoting Hastings.

Bus rally on The Oval, Hastings. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-180521-080715001

Bus rally on The Oval, Hastings. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-180521-080715001

Some visitors to the show were lucky enough to be treated to a free tour of the local area on the trolleybus.

The show was opened with the arrival of Hastings’ Mayor, Cllr Nigel Sinden accompanied by Hastings Old Town Carnival’s Sea Court of Sea Queen, Monica Bane, Sea King Dominic Cockerton and Sea Court Attendant, Sophia Evans.

On display were more than 25 buses from all over the South East and nearly 100 classic and interesting cars, many of them extremely rare and unusual.

The show included a display of the amazing sporty three-wheeler Bond Bugs from the Bond Bug Club for the hundreds of visitors to enjoy.

During the show former Bexhill Mayor and Sussex Day champion Cllr Paul Lendon, ceremonially presented the chair of the Trolleybus Group, Ion Castro, with a Sussex Flag to adorn Happy Harold to celebrate Sussex Day on June 16.

Sussex Day commemorates the rich heritage and culture of Sussex once a year.

The event takes place on St Richard’s Day, the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, Sussex’s patron saint.

The date marks the anniversary of the translation of St Richard’s body from its original burial place in the nave of Chichester Cathedral to an elaborate shrine at the Cathedral on 16 June 1276.

Happy Harold was still wearing Union Jack bunting and flags with which he had been festooned to celebrate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the previous day.

Chairman of Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group, Ion Castro, said: “It was one of our most successful shows and I would like to thank the hardworking members of the trolleybus team and other volunteers who contributed so much to the event and made it so enjoyable for us all.”

Happy Harold, was registered, on March 28 1928, with local registration DY4965 and went into service on April 1st 1928.

After years of service Hastings Borough Council acquired the vehicle in 1980 for £1,000 to ensure its survival and it appeared at rallies promoting Hastings Tourism.

The Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group was formed and they, with specialist help from the Borough Council’s direct labour departments spent 1,600 hours working on the vehicle leading up to its re-launch in 1989.

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer series titles by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)