Last trolleybus on museum loan

John (10) and Mathew (7) Hills from Nottinghamshire swinging around the pole whilst no one is watching. Picture: Andrew Kershaw

John (10) and Mathew (7) Hills from Nottinghamshire swinging around the pole whilst no one is watching. Picture: Andrew Kershaw

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SANDTOFT Trolleybus Museum has had Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation’s last trolleybus on loan since last autumn.

The site already has one of the last survivors of Manchester Corporation’s trolleybuses, and believe this is the first time these two buses have run together within easy travelling distance of Greater Manchester for nearly 50 years.

The Ashton bus is due to return home soon to the East Anglia Transport Museum, so the Trolleybus Museum is giving visitors a final chance to see both in action and ride on them at its Manchester and Ashton Event on April 21-22, when on the Sunday they will be accompanied by contemporary motorbuses from the Manchester area, and a display of vintage cars.

The chassis of these two trolleybuses were assembled in the Crossley Motors factory at Errwood Park in Stockport in 1955.

The Manchester one was sent to Blackpool for bodying by HV Burlingham, whilst Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation chose to support local industry and used the firm of SH Bond.

Bond was a quality coachbuilder originally based in the Rusholme district of Manchester but in the early 1950s decided to diversify into constructing bus bodies, moving into new premises in Wythenshawe.

Their products didn’t find favour outside the North West and the 10 trolleybus bodies for Ashton Corporation were their only examples.

The firm suffered from union problems, and pulled out of the bus business shortly after the Ashton vehicle was delivered.

HV Burlingham had a strong reputation as a builder of coach bodies but also built bus bodies in the summer months. The company was taken over in the 1960s.

Their products found a wider market and our Manchester vehicle is one of four of their trolleybus bodies known to survive, of which three are part of the Trolleybus Museum’s collection.

The museum is open 11am-5pm and admission is £7 adults, £6 seniors (60+), £5 concessions and f ticket £22.