Book your place
About this eventWe are delighted to offer a return visit to Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum to photograph their wonderful collection of historic vehicles. For this event, we have asked for use of vehicles representing the fleets of Reading and Huddersfield (separately, of course), and will be an afternoon and evening event running from approximately 16.00 until 21.30 hours.
Sandtoft is a small venue with a fantastic collection of vehicles. Some 59 trolleybuses and fourteen motor buses are based on site, along with a number of other vintage exhibits. The crews were superbly helpful on our previous visits and we have again asked that they wear their uniforms to appear in the cameos. We also hope to include re-enactors in some of our scenes to bring the shots to life.
The history of Reading trolleybuses is intrinsically linked with that of the Museum at Sandtoft. A small group of enthusiasts banded together in 1961 as the Reading Transport Society to preserve one of the AEC vehicles that were scheduled for withdrawal in that year. They were successful in purchasing No.113 which became the first preserved trolleybus in Britain. As more vehicles were purchased, the group started searching for a base to keep and run their buses, and a site at the former airfield at Sandtoft was acquired in 1969. Reading 193 was the first vehicle on the new site and is one of six former Reading fleet members to have been preserved. Reading Transport Society became the British Trolleybus Society in 1971 to reflect its wider remit beyond the preservation of vehicles solely from the Reading system, and they were joined by several other societies with many more vehicles being added to the collection.
Reading Corporation controlled the electrified transport system in the town. Initially, this was a tramway which started in 1901 and by the mid-1930s this was in need of major refurbishment. Instead of reinvesting in the tramway, the Corporation decided to replace the trams with trolleybuses with the first converted route opening in July 1936. By 1939, most of the system was operated by trolley buses with the last tram running on 20th May 1939. A major growth in Reading’s population during the years of the Second World War ensured the system was heavily used but by the 1960s things were beginning to change. The real death knell for the trolleybuses came in 1965 when the leading manufacturer of overhead wiring, British Insulated Calendar’s Cables, announced it was to cease production of this equipment by the close of that year due to uneconomic manufacturing costs. The Corporation took the decision to abandon what remained a profitable system, with the first route closing in July 1965 and the final route closing on 3rd November 1968.
In common with Reading, the Huddersfield trolley bus system was also introduced to replace the existing tramway network. From 1933 until the final tram route closed in 1940, trolleybuses gradually replaced the town’s tramways. They had a distinctive bright red and cream livery making them extremely photogenic. The system continued to operate into the 1960s, though gradually routes were closed in favour of motor buses with the final trolleybus services running on 13th July 1968.
Sandtoft is located between Doncaster and Scunthorpe, just a few miles from Junction Two of the M180. There is plenty of free parking available on site and buffet catering is included in the cost of the event. The event will run from approximately 15.00 hours until 21.30 hours, though there will be breaks during the event when we are moving vehicles and changing scenes. Our two previous visits produced some memorable images and we hope you will wish to join us for our Reading and Huddersfield transport themed event.
Currently all of our events will run in line with our Covid-19 policy that follows government guidelines. You can find our Covid-19 policy information page here.
- Spare batteries
- All levels welcome