J. Hollingsworth Limited was founded in 1908. in Hollington, St Leonards. As a skilled vehicle body-builder and coach painter, the company prospered and, by 1914, had a contract with Ford Motor Company. In 1921 new showrooms were opened, in Havelock Road, Hastings with workshop sites in Braybrooke Road and Earl Street, Hastings. After the Second World War a paint shop was formed in Waterworks Road.

The Company became a well-established business with a good reputation with other traders, suppliers, banks and other employers. All members of staff were made to feel part of the ‘family’, with an interest in its future as well as social activities that included its own sports clubs. Employees often started their working life as apprentices with the Company and became skilled but remained there for the rest of their working lives. The well-known engineering skills of these employees meant that they were called upon throughout the area with such tings as helping to maintain the RNLI lifeboat and the Gas Works machinery, amongst many other installations and engines.

The company also contributed to the annual summer carnival. Many local traders purchased delivery vehicles of all sizes from Hollingsworth’s, each meticulously sign-written and included Companies from Bexhill and the rural area. Hollingsworth’s were also suppliers of Fordson tractors and agricultural equipment with its own dedicated workshops. For the British Gypsum mine at Mountfield, near Battle, Hollingsworth’s designed and built a special range of tractors suitable for use underground in confined spaces.

In 1973, Hollingsworth’s purchased the West Station Garage in Bexhill including its showrooms, workshops and forecourt but, in 1999, the site was sold to Birchwood Ford of Eastbourne.

Click on any image to enlarge.


The above all show the front of the Hastings premises in Havelock Road – two from the 1950s and two from the 1970s.

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