West Hill Lift Hastings, East Sussex
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RocketRon47
N 50° 51.433 E 000° 35.201
31U E 330149 N 5636722
Quick Description: West Hill Lift Hastings, East Sussex
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 12:21:26 PM
Waymark Code: WM4YXZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cldisme
Views: 23

Long Description:
Hastings West Hill Lift

The West Hill Lift takes visitors from George Street, now a pedestrianised area on the verge of the Old Town, to the West Hill close to the Castle and The Caves, a labyrinth of tunnels and caves which are connected to smuggling and are open to visitors.

Work started on a lift, or more correctly a funicular railway, in January 1889. The intention was to open in the August of that year. However, objections to the plans caused a major re-design and expensive delays. As a consequence the Hastings Lift Company had to increase their budget from £10000 to £16000.

Work eventually commenced and a 363 feet brick lined tunnel was driven through a natural cave at an inclination of 1 in 3.

A 40hp Crossley gas engine working through gearing to steel ropes attached to the cars supplied the original motive power. The engine had to be concealed from the public gaze in an underground engine room at the top of the hill. The gearing drove in both directions to ensure the cars were under full control at all times in either direction and could be stopped as required by the attendants. They stopped automatically at the top and bottom stations. Other safety features included an automatic governor to stop the lift in the speed increased and automatic braking if a band broke.

The Crossley engine was used until 1924 and was then replaced by a Tangye diesel engine which was itself replaced in 1971 by an electric motor. This is still in use today.

The lift was completed nearly 20 months late on March 25th 1891. Wilson Noble, the MP for Hastings, opened it. The inaugural trip took dignitaries on the 500 feet journey in 11/2 minutes.

In 1894 the Hastings Lift Company went into liquidation as the lift was not a financial success because of the heavy debt burden and the assets were auctioned off. The newly formed Hastings Passenger Lift Company operated the lift until 1947 when Hastings Borough Council bought the lift lock, stock and barrel for £4500.

The bottom station is a narrow building with some decoration along the top of the front wall but the top station is very unimpressive being behind a plain double door sandwiched between the West Hill Café and the public toilets.

The co-ordinates for the top station are;
N50 51.433 E00 35.201

The lift is open in the winter, which is October to March, from 11:00 to 16:00 and in summer, April to September, from 10:00 to 17:30.

the fare is a return only fare and at the time of writing, October 2008, is £1:80 Adult and £1:10 Child or Senior Citizen.
Seasonal?: Open All Year

Length of Track: 500 feet

Angle of Incline: 1 in 3

Elevation: 54 metres approx

Funicular's Official Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Master Mariner visited West Hill Lift Hastings, East Sussex 12/2/2019 Master Mariner visited it
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