Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft Expansion Plan Signed Off
The Joint Working Group established by the Society's Committee and the Museum's Board of Directors have now signed off a strategic plan that meets the specific needs of the Society and the Museum and will eventually result in a much improved visitor experience. This will include a spacious Exhibition Hall where visitors will be able to view selected trolleybuses and an exhibition telling the story of the trolleybus in the UK. A planning application is being prepared and work which does not require planning permission will commence soon.
Reading 113 Restored: The Society's most recently completed restoration
The Society's "flagship" trolleybus, the 1938 AEC 661T/Park Royal which was the first trolleybus to be privately preserved in the UK, returned to the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft on Friday 24 May 2019 after receiving a full repaint and now looks magnificent. Following research by Dave Hall, the Society's Archivist and Librarian, the adverts have been signwritten to an give authentic appearance. The work was largely funded by a legacy from Colin Enticknap, who was a Society member for around 50 years. We were delighted that Colin's niece, Valerie Hayllor, accepted an invitation to perform the launch ceremony.
What We are Doing in 2021 and 2022
BTS Weekend at Sandtoft
The BTS (originally formed as the Reading Transport Society in 1961) celebrated its 60th anniversary at the Trolleybus Museum At Sandtoft over the August Bank Holiday. It was a huge success, with high visitor numbers every day. We ran four members of the BTS fleet of trolleybuses (Reading 113, Huddersfield 631, Manchester 1344 and South Shields 204, plus privately-owned Nottingham 506). There were presentations in the Regal Cinema looking at the history of the BTS and our fleet of historic vehicles. Keith Burbidge brought his mini Bournemouth trolleybus and bus and we were visited by preserved Hull bus 337, a 1953 AEC Regent lll. Thank you to everyone who attended for making it such a memorable weekend.
60th Anniversary Events in Reading
There were more events planned for the following weekend after the August bank holiday in Reading to mark the occasion, but these have had to be postponed until 2022 due to Government Covid restrictions and the reluctance of hotels to take bookings for large numbers at the time of trying to make the arrangements. We plan to mark the occasion in Reading as follows:
Friday 1 April 2022
The BTS Reading meeting on Friday 1 April 2022 will be devoted to looking back at our 60 years' existence and a lot of fun is guaranteed as we present digital photo shows and cine fim featuring many members as youngsters!
Saturday 2 April 2022
On Saturday 2 April 2022 there will be a tour of the former trolleybus routes in Reading in a preserved motorbus followed by an Anniversary dinner at a local hotel. More details will appear later this year once details are finalised.
London Transport 1812 Our London Q1 trolleybus was built in 1948, operated in Spain from 1961 until 1974, and was brought back to the UK by the BTS in 1977 for restoration to London condition and operation at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft. It was on loan to the London Bus Museum from 2015 until October 2020 and the Society is now raising £20,000 to fund a substantial mechanical overhaul, in particular to rectify steering and suspension problems that have been experienced.
It is an exciting prospect that 1812 will return to service at Sandtoft in time for the 60th anniversary of the closure of the London trolleybus system in 2022, once again providing “Queen of the Road” riding quality.
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Bournemouth 301 The Society's Bournemouth MF2B, which was the last new trolleybus to enter service in the UK, received a full repaint and some work on its electrics while at Keighley Bus Museum. It has now left Keighley and is having its window rubbers replaced before returning to the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft later this year.
BTS Calendar 2022. This year we are featuring trolleybus tours in British cities and around the world. AVAILABLE TO ORDER HERE
A London Trolleybus Reborn. The latest Trolleybooks title relates the full story of the Society's London Q1 trolleybus, 1812, from construction in 1948 and service in London, sale for further service in Santander - Astillero, then return to the UK by the British Trolleybus Society and restored for service at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft. The vehicle's life story is set in the context of the history of public transport operation in south-west London, the history of trolleybus operation in Spain, and 1812's place as one of the few surviving London trolleybuses.
All profits are being devoted to the fund 1812's mechanical overhaul. AVAILABLE TO ORDER HERE