Trolleybuses began operating in Reading on the 18th July 1936. The system was operated for just 32 years, closing on the 3rd November 1968. We are fortunate in 2018 that six former Reading trolleybuses survive in preservation. Five of these fine vehicles can be found at ‘The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft’ in north Lincolnshire. Back in 2006 an event was organised at the Museum to celebrate 80 years since the opening of the system in 1936. The independent transport videos cameras were on hand to record the event over the weekend of 25th & 26th May. Using two cameras the event was covered from all angles to give you the best view of these lovely trolleybuses in action and together with six preserved Reading Corporation motorbuses joining in, the scene was set to recreate busy trolleybus days in Reading. Apart from the running of the trolleybuses we see a line-up of both trolleybuses and buses in age order and later concluding with a recreation of the final trolleybus parade using 181, 174 and 144 – the actual vehicles used on the 3rd November 1968. The trolleybuses you will see operating on this programme are: 113 (ARD 676) an AEC 661T with Park Royal H56R bodywork from 1938, 144 (DRD 130) a BUT 9611T with Park Royal H56RD bodywork from 1949, 174 (ERD 145) and 181 (ERD 152) Sunbeam S7s with Park Royal H68RD bodywork from 1950 and 193 (VRD 193) a Sunbeam F4A with Burlingham H68F bodywork built in 1961. The motorbuses you will see are AEC Regents 47, 98 and 3 as well as AEC Reliance 52, Dennis Loline 76 and Bristol RE 258. The Dennis Lolines and Bristol REs had been ordered to replace the trolleybuses.
The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft is well worth a visit. They hold a number of events throughout the year. The subject of another event can be found on our DVD programme entitled ‘Reading Trolleybuses Preserved 2018’, when the anniversary of 50 years since the closure of the system is marked. Enjoy!
Produced by Independent Transport Videos
Running time - 67 minutes (approx)
Format - 16:9 Widescreen
Release date - October 2018