Sandtoft Gathering and other fun attractions

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Huddersfield 619 MJCD at a Sandtoft gathering on September 12, 1971.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Huddersfield 619 MJCD at a Sandtoft gathering on September 12, 1971.

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From the remnants of a decommissioned RAF base, Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum has grown into a popular visitor attraction in the Isle.

The museum is based on part of the former RAF Sandtoft, which served as an operational bomber airfield during the Second World War.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Sandtoft gathering in 1977.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Sandtoft gathering in 1977.

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.

More than 40 years on, the museum attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Museum volunteer Dave Hall kindly responded to our appeal for nostalgia pictures and provided these pictures to us.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - the first running wire erection at Sandtoft in August 1972.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - the first running wire erection at Sandtoft in August 1972.

They show people at the first Sandtoft Gathering, and how traction poles and wiring were first erected in the early 1970s.

The Sandtoft Gathering in 1971 was the first ever mass event held there and is still a popular annual event to this day.

Mr Hall gave an insight into how the museum has changed over the years, using the pictures provided as a guide.

He said: “The Sandtoft Gathering is still the museum’s biggest annual event in the calendar and usually held towards the end of July each year.

“The first Gathering was held on September 12 1971 and although there was no overhead wiring yet in place, two trolleybuses took people for a ride using their traction batteries.

“Ex-Huddersfield trolleybus No. 619 is seen taking a trip around the circuit loaded near to capacity.

“During 1972 traction poles were erected all around the proposed circuit.

“The photo, taken in late 1972, shows the back road complete with traction poles ready for the overhead to be erected.

“In 1973 trolleybuses were able to run around the full circuit for the first time.”

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

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