It turned into one of my best ever 'away days'!
London 1348, is one of two London trolleybuses in the collection, survivors of a total of 1891 vehicles that were used in the city between 1931 to 1962. This K2, with Leyland body and chassis, was new to the fleet in 1939, and was withdrawn from service in 1961. It has six wheels, ie, three axles.
I was really pleased to see a Glasgow vehicle, in the colours I remember so well from my younger days. TB78 dates from 1958, and is a British United Traction 9613T vehicle with Crossley bodywork. The last day of trolleybus operation in Glasgow was May 27, 1967, and went largely ignored, in contrast to the day in September 1962 when some quarter of a million people turned out to see the end of the trams! Trolleybuses never captured the affection of the Glasgow public, as much as the trams had done. But, looking back, they kindle many good memories for me.
It's my platform, but 'Welcome Aboard'!
My day ticket to the museum allowed multiple rides, and it was great fun taking advantage of this. This time I'm on the upper deck, this happily in 2016 smoke free, compared with back in the 1960s.
Glasgow's coat of arms on the bus side.
ERL Fitzpayne was general manager from 1943 until 1969. He's mentioned in this article as 'a man of vision and radical ideas, not all of which were acceptable to his political masters'. The article has lots of fascinating information about Glasgow's buses and trolleybuses.
The museum has more than 50 trolleybuses in its collection, in a variety of states of preservation. It was great to be able to explore the storage sheds and find examples from all round the country! Peaking out is Bradford 746.
Three deep in places!
There is a cinema too, and I spent an hour, or more, watching footage of trolleybuses being driven around various cities.
The collection contains trolleybus examples from further afield. This is Aachen 22, from Germany. It was built in 1956. It has a Henschel 562E chassis, a Ludewig body and Siemens electrical equipment (as I learned!)
Also on the site is this wonderful post-war prefab. In my early teens I had a friend who stayed in a prefab in Fleurs Avenue in Glasgow. Back then I was completely naive about the deficiences of these buildings, I was just impressed he lived in a detached house!
Later in the day, when it was quieter, they insisted I sit in the cab of Glasgow TB78. Made my day! No, I wasn't driving it, except in my mind's eye. But what a great experience. Full marks, Sandtoft!
Photos © Skip Cottage