Sunday, June 13, 2010

Streetcar Sunday - Hastings, U.K.

Hastings is located on the coast of East Sussex in England. Historically, the town has been an important fishing port and a tourist destination.

Hastings had tram service between 1905 and 1928. Initially, most of the system operated with overhead wires, except for some areas right along the waterfront, such as this one. They were operated on what was called a Dolter stud contact system, which was later determined to be too dangerous, because it occasionally electrocuted horses. So, in 1914 these were replaced with petrol electric trams. However, in 1921 this section was converted again and operated on overhead wires along with the rest of the system. In 1928 the entire system was converted to trolley buses, but there has been recent discussion in Hastings about re-introducing trams.  For more detailed history of the Hastings trams, check out this website. If you are interested in the future of trams in Hastings, you may want to check out the Hastings Tramway Club.

Hastings has another claim to fame: Fred Judge, photographer and postcard publisher. This postcard could well have been printed by Judge, especially as his shop is in the center of the photo! Here's an enlargement so you can see it clearly. Fred and his brother started producing postcards in 1903.

If it is a Judges card, the number in the stamp box would help to determine an approximate (O.K., very approximate) date. The earliest numbered series in 1906 started out at 50. This one is numbered 4719. I would guess that the card is from about 1910, whether or not it was printed by Judges. By the way, Judges is still printing postcards.

Oh, and here's what the same corner looks like today:

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  1. I wish I could visit the postcard shop.

  2. Love the then-and-now comparisons! Fascinating to see how many old buildings survive.
    The various hem-lengths on skirts is interesting. A reminder that fashion is never a sudden clean break.
    How these old postcards make me want to jump right into the scene and stroll around, before climbing aboard the streetcar, of course. And thanks for the info on Judges, will keep that in mind when browsing postcards (as I do with Detroit Pub. Co.).

  3. Ah, lovely to see the promenade replaced by multiple lanes of traffic, it makes it so much easier to enjoy the sea views and fresh air!

  4. Oh wow wow wow, I almost screamed to see this photo. My father came from England, born near Windsor, it may not be near here? but I bet the clothes were similar. With sadness I know very little about his past. He migrated here to Australia at 21 yrs of age about 1924. Then lost touch with his family. They are a complete mystery to me.
    And hey, accept for the clothing, street cars and tracks the buildings look even better than in the old picture. Thank you for this.

  5. Ich bin for 3 Jahren in Hastings gewesen.
    Wenn ich mir ide alten Postkarten anschaue, möchte ich weinen.
    Wie schön ist es dort gewesen, wie wundervoll war die Strandpromenade und heute, bauen sie eine Sraße ans Meer.
    Hastings ist heute nichts besonderes mehr.
    Schön, das du diese alte Karte ausgegraben hast.
    Liebe Grüße

  6. Hastings also has historical significance as it was the site of the famous battle between Harold Godwinson, the newly crowned king of England (anglo saxon) and Duke William of Normandy who had been promised the crown by his cousin Edward the confessor, king of England who died Jan 1066. William won the history changing battle near Hastings on Oct. 16th (Harold was killed in the battle), ending the anglo saxon reign with William becoming the first Norman king as William the 1st. Harold's army had been weakened having to defeat another pretender to the crown, Harald Hadringa of Norway near York just prior to the Norman invasion.

  7. Postcardy, can you imagine all of those beautiful mint cards we could buy for a penny or two if the shop were just available to us? Sigh

    Ja, du hast recht. Es ist Schade dass Alles jetzt fuer Autos gebaut wird.

    And finally, thanks Anonymous (Dad?) for the historical information.

  8. I, too,love the then and now comparison. Hastings is also where the British detective series 'Foyle's War' is filmed and set. Although it's a bit after your postcard, perhaps a future episode will revolve around a clue found at Judges.

  9. I have recently bought two pencil sketches that look remarkably like postcard scenes. They are of coastal scenes of the north Wales town of Aberdaron. The artist has signed his name JUDGES'.
    I wonder if it's Fred? The people in the scenes are minute, yet they all appear to be wearing hats.

  10. Adysaxman,
    I would bet that they are. You're certainly not the first person to be curious about Judges sketches. Check out this link here (and scroll down to the bottom):



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