Morris dancers’ free-ride on West Hill railway

Morris dancers and spectators will get an early morning lift next Tuesday as Hastings Borough Council will be opening the town’s West Hill funicular railway at 4.45am for the ‘dancing at dawn’ event.


Morris Dancers will get a free ride on the West Hill Lift next Tuesday morning.

Kevin Boorman, the council’s marketing manager, explained: “Morris dancers have ‘danced at dawn’ on  Ladies Parlour on the West Hill on May 1 for many years.

“To show our support for the event, which starts around 5am, our West Hill lift will open at 4.45am, allowing Morris dancers to have an easier journey up the hill!

“Morris dancers in Morris kit will travel free, spectators pay the usual fare, there’s no early morning premium!

The West Hill Lift.

“Our West Hill lift is 127 years old, and is one of the oldest railways in the world still using its original carriages. Dancing at dawn as the sun rises on May 1 is an old tradition too, and we’re pleased to be able to open the lift early to allow Morris dancers to get to Ladies Parlour rather than climb the steps to the top of the hill!

“The West Hill Lift has recently been closed for emergency engineering work, and I am delighted that it will be completed by this weekend, allowing us to reopen in time for May Day, and the Jack in the Green celebrations the following weekend.”

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