Daily Archives: May 4, 2010

Trolley Bus Mercian May-June 1966 5.3

More Trolley Bus Stuff – Mercian May-June 1966 Vol.5 No.3

The Odd Man Out at Hednesford – Part Two  – J. Hughes.

At the time of the ‘Scrap the Trolleys’ announcement, there were about half-a-dozen local enthusiasts.  The matter was discussed and only two of the number showed any real interest in keeping a vehicle, so a fund was started between us.   At this stage it was not known how long the conversion would take or when it would start.  Little did we know that scrapping had already begun.  Four trolley buses were already off due to a subway scheme at the Retail Market.  Birmingham motor buses were being used as replacements while this work was carried out.

When the trolleys resumed operation one route did not go back, this was Oxbarn Avenue.  This route was the one we had never photographed, as is often the case, and even now only a few views exist of vehicles on this section.  Two trolleys (459 and 647) were written off after accident damage, the rush was now on to write off the whole fleet.

Early in 1962 a certain Councillor made statements demanding the ‘removal of these vehicles as quickly as possible’.  This promoted another spate of letters in the local press and as a result of these letters a meeting was arranged between the writers and other enthusiasts.  This time the discussion ranged from trying to stop conversion and saving a trolley or two for museum purposes.  We all knew what chances small groups have against ‘them’; this was agreed by all those at the meeting.  Ever tried to persuade BR to keep a branch line open??  We had seen it all happen before in other towns, first with trams and now trolleys.  The same old arguments of ‘more mobile buses’, ‘can run anywhere’, ‘don’t get held up in traffic’ and so on, being trotted out.

To return to the museum theme, a list of vehicles suitable for preservation was drawn up and discussed.  It was decided to try for two vehicles, one for ourselves and one for the Birmingham Science Museum if they would accept one.  This latter was the idea of Mr. J. C. Brown, one of the two original persons supporting preservation, and Dr. E. R. Clark, who agreed to negotiate with the Museum and the Wolverhampton Transport Department for this vehicle.  Coming to our own vehicle we had to find a suitable site and weeks were spent searching without success, for trolleys are big things and not easily stored.


At this juncture Ald. F. Mansell, Chairman of the Transport Committee, said he would be happy to give away the entire trolley fleet.  The Transport Dept had over 200 applications, one gentleman said he would take the lot; needless to say he was a scrap dealer, as were many of the others.  The RPS applied for one and along with our request received favourable consideration.