Category:Hastings & District bus 3 "Happy Harold" (DY 4965)

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English: Hastings & District bus no. 3 "Happy Harold" (reg. DY 4965) is a motor bus created by retro-fitting a diesel engine to the original chassis and body of an electric trolleybus which originally ran using power collected from overhead wires. Built in 1928 it was one of 8 double-decker trolley buses delivered (along with 50 single-deckers) new to Hastings Tramways as part of the Hastings tram replacement programme (the company kept the name Hastings Tramways name into the Hastings trolleybus era). The 8 double-deckers were unique in being the only purpose built open top double-deck trolleybuses in the country, featuring a Guy BTX6 tri-axle chassis with a body by Dodson. It had 30 seats upstairs, 27 down, and an open rear staircase. It passed into the ownership of Maidstone & District Motor Services when they purchased Hastings Tramways in 1935. DY 4965 was the only one of the fleet of 8 not to be scrapped during a fleet upgrade in 1939, instead being converted to an engineer's car with the seating removed and batteries placed on the lower deck and the top deck being fitted with steps to enable overhead line repairs. In 1953 it was refurbished back to passenger carrying condition in order to be used in the nightime parade of lit up trolleybuses celebrating the Coronation of Elizabeth II (2 June 1953). It was turned out in the maroon livery of Hastings Tramways but now with 'Hastings & District' fleetnames. Proving to be a popular attraction it remained in service, having gained the name 'Happy Harold' due to a placard placed above the driver's cab depicting William the Conqueror. It remained in service until the withdrawal of trolleybuses, heading the closure procession held in mid 1959. In order to extend its service life, it was converted to a motor bus with the addition of a new Commer TS3 diesel engine and gearbox. Re-entering service as a motor bus in 1960, it was operated up and down the seafront. In 1968 it was withdrawn after a small fire in the lower deck, but by 1975 it had been restored and re-entered service. In 1980 it was bought by Hastings Borough Council, who used it as a promotional vehicle for the town. In the Great Storm of 1987 the upper deck was destroyed after the roof of its storage shed was blown in. This led to the formation of the Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group who worked with the council to restore it, with the bus being relaunched in 1989. The HTRG now maintain and operate the bus on behalf of the council.