WE ASKED IN OUR MARCH EDITIONS ABOUT MEMORIES AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF JOURNEYS TO AND FROM RYE, HASTINGS AND HYTHE – EITHER BY TRAIN OR BUS.
Roland Jempson from Bristol sent us this account which included these fine pictures
THESE ARE MY MEMORIES of RIDING FROM HASTINGS TO RYE ON BOTH MAIDSTONE & DISTRICT AND EAST KENT BUSES IN THE 1950’s. I also enclose photocopies of photographs from my collection including M & D Open Top Leyland Titan ISO 229 at Wellington Square waiting to depart to Rye on SERVICE 30 via Westfield Brede and Udimore.
The photograph of FKO 229 was taken on July 5 1953 when it was l4 years old, it was one of 6 that operated in the Hastings area, often on the 30 route. They were new in 1939 and were only operated in the summer season. During the War they were stored, although some were transferred to other garages to cover shortages through war damage After Gillingham Garage was bombed.
They were all withdrawn in 1964/65, after 25/26 years service, some had even been used to operate trolleybus replacement services. I remember riding on them to Rye on the 30 to see my sister Joan Martin, who lived in Military Road then, sometimes returning to Hastings on an East Kent 113. There was an arrangement then between M&D and East Kent that you could return on either Companies buses with a special return ticket
East Kent operated Dennis Lancets or EEC Reliances. My father had two cousins who worked for East Kent, they were Leonard Skinner and Stanley Jempson they were drivers and conductors, we used to see them sometimes on the bus.
At that time East Kent used only single decker vehicles on the 113 route via Winchelsea as they had to go under the Strand Gate at the top of the hill into the town. They needed some skill to do that with a loaded bus on a wet and windy day.
Maidstone & District’s 30 route (via Udimore and Brede) took 1 hour and ran every half hour in the summer and every hour during the winter months.
The 113 took a quicker route so took less time. They had a “Layover time” in Falaise Road Hastings HASTINGS of 20 minutes. Falaise Road is adjacent to White Rock Gardens.
In the 1950’s. East Kent also ran the 2 Route to Canterbury from Hastings via Rye and Ashford.
They also had the 62 service to Margate under their flag. This route ran between Hastings and Margate via Winchelsea, Rye, Lydd, New Romney, Dymchurch, Hythe, Folkestone, Dover, Deal and Sandwich.
Article appeared in “Rye’s Own” April 2013