From RAF fighter planes to Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - Mike Dare celebrating the museum's second birthday in November 1971.
Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - Mike Dare celebrating the museum's second birthday in November 1971.
0
Have your say

Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum has been a popular visitor attraction ever since it opened more than 40 years ago.

The museum occupies part of the former RAF Sandtoft, an operational bomber airfield during the Second World War.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - the first traction pole planting at Sandtoft on September 12, 1971.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - the first traction pole planting at Sandtoft on September 12, 1971.

It was disposed of by the RAF in 1958 and the site was acquired for the museum in November 1969.

Since that time, volunteers have transformed a barren site into a museum with the addition of workshop, vehicle depot and exhibition building.

Museum volunteer Dave Hall kindly submitted these pictures to us.

Describing the captions for the photographs, he said: “The Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and it has become a custom at Sandtoft to decorate vehicles for important royal anniversaries. The photo shows the ex-Walsall trolleybus No. 342 decorated for the occasion.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Walsall 342 FW decorated for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Walsall 342 FW decorated for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.

“The first traction pole was planted on 12 September 1971. Guest of honour for this auspicious occasion was Ronald Edgley-Cox, then transport manger for the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive and a man who did so much to promote the trolleybus in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s.

“He can be seen in the photo with a shovel in his hand whilst making a speech.”

He added: “Mike Dare was the founder of the Reading Transport Society in April 1961, the first enthusiast group set up to preserve trolleybuses in the UK.

“He also was responsible for financing and setting up the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft in 1969.

“Without his foresight and vision it is doubtful there would be a trolleybus museum at Sandtoft now. The photo shows Mike cutting a cake to mark the second anniversary of the Museum’s existence.”

The first ever event held at the museum was the Sandtoft Gathering in 1971, which is still held annually.

The museum is recognised as having the largest collection of preserved trolleybuses in Europe, if not the world, with over 60 examples.

Apart from trolleybuses and transport, the museum also features a collection of 1950s/60s memorabilia.

•You too could feature on our Retro Bells page by sending us your old memories and photographs.

Our page aims to show how life has changed from the 1950s through to the Noughties.

You can contact us by email at editorial@epworthtoday.co.uk.

Alternatively, send in by post to The Epworth Bells, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, DN1 1NB, or call us on 01302 347223.