Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
David Hance and his Bedford lorry. Photo Colin Foy

David Hance and his Bedford lorry. Photo Colin Foy

Heritage in Hastings

A piece of classic heritage will meet another one at Alexandra Park, Hastings, when a classic Bedford lorry built in 1934 arrives on Sunday, 10 Sept 10, to promote the park’s historic greenhouse, also constructed in the 1930s. Linda Foy writes.

The lorry will be outside the entrance to the greenhouse in St Helens Road and touring neighbouring roads to promote the greenhouse’s Heritage Open Day and its restoration by the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group (APGG).

The venue will be open from 11am to 4pm that day for visitors to buy plants, see the restoration work being undertaken at the greenhouse and admire the lorry, which will be used to publicise the project, turning the cast iron and teak structure into an educational and horticultural facility.

Alexandra Park Greenhouse

Alexandra Park Greenhouse

Lorry lovingly restored

A dream came true for businessman, David Hance, when he bought a classic lorry that he had admired as a child. The 72-year-old, now retired, acquired the 1934 dark green Bedford WS truck 43 years ago, which he has painstakingly restored over a period of three years.

Mr Hance, who lived in Ivyhouse Lane, Hastings, as a boy, said: “I first saw this lorry when I was eight years old. It was being used on a farm in Ivyhouse Lane. I have fond memories of it, but when I bought it 43 years ago, it was a total wreck.”

He learnt to repair the vehicle himself and, since then, has made the London to Brighton Historic Commercial Vehicle Run three times and has attended numerous rallies with the lorry. He also used the vehicle to transport his daughter, Belinda, to her wedding day at Sedlescombe 21 years ago.

Mr David Hance Photo Colin Foy

Mr David Hance Photo Colin Foy

Mr Hance, who now lives at Guestling Green where he formerly ran the Hearth and Home fireplace and stove suppliers, said: “I don’t belong to a club; I just enjoy running the lorry. Bedford’s were so popular and there’s a lot of interest in them, so I can get a lot of parts for it. I located a new engine for it about 10 years ago; it had never been used and it has not done more than 1,000 miles now.”

Barnaby, Mr Hance’s son, who runs Lovage, the vintage furniture and gift shop on Queens Road, took the lorry to a vintage boot fair on Hastings Pier. Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group chairman, Linda Pearson noticed the vehicle there and arranged for it to be brought to the Heritage Open Day.

For more details about the Heritage Open Day and activities at the greenhouse, go to or follow the group’s work on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. APGG can also be contacted at or phone 07852 487383.

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Posted 10:56 Monday, Aug 21, 2017 In: Home Ground

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