More Trolley Bus Stuff – Mercian Jan-Feb 1967 Vol.6 No.1
The Odd Man Out at Hednesford – Part Three – J. Hughes.
Although the RPS had asked for a trolley bus, this request was unknown to the Wolverhampton Trolley Bus Group. It was the Transport Department who informed us of the RPS and as a result of this, two of our Group went along to see Mr. D. A. Ives, RPS Secretary – and this incidentally was the beginning of a happy relationship with the RPS – which resulted in some of our group members joining the RPS.
As has previously been mentioned, No. 616 was the choice – and incidentally Wolverhampton Corporation Transport Department towed this vehicle to Hednesford as well as supplying paint and a number of useful spare parts. It was the original intention to use the vehicle as a cinema but this was found to be impracticable due to the restricted width.
However, restoration commenced and the first task was to give the vehicle a thorough clean and to touch up the paintwork. It is amazing how much dust and dirt the interior of a trolley bus collects, the cleaning went on for weeks. Notes were made of all the parts requiring replacement or repair and these parts were salvaged from other scrap trolleys. It was decided to do the inside first, starting with the upper saloon although the outside is kept in condition by ‘touching up’ regularly.
The seats were removed and all the panelling dismantled. This was followed by another clean then the entire framework was given a good coating of wood preserver. The interior panels were similarly treated before being refitted. The biggest job upstairs was one which we were not prepared for. That was the rebuilding of the destination box! The framework of this was completely rotten and with the awkward shaping of the frame, this operation took four months to complete.
Work continued for weeks and weeks with very little to show for our efforts. However, with the commencement of painting, the whole scene was transformed and within a few weeks the job seemed to be nearly finished. In fact the whole job will have taken nearly 15 months when it is completed.
The next job is the cab, this will be followed by the lower saloon and finally the platform. Then we can start on the outside!!
To return to the second vehicle – the one to be exhibited in the Museum of Science and Industry, Birmingham, this vehicle has been the subject of much discussion, and negotiations mainly made by Dr. E. Clark, one of the original members of the Wolverhampton Group, and the next part of this article will deal with this project when the final details are known. At the time of writing there are only 28 trolley buses on the road – serving the one remaining route from Wolverhampton to Dudley. However, these were due for conversion to motor buses during last December.Heanor & District Local History Society