Remembering the quiet '˜tracklesses' around Doncaster

Doncaster Corporation first introduced trams in 1902 but these were replaced by trolleybuses (known as tracklesses by the people of the town), with the first route to Bentley commencing some 90 years ago, on August 22, 1928.Â

Friday, 21st December 2018, 11:37 am
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 11:43 am
Marketplace, Doncaster

Subsequently, trolleybus routes operated to the areas around town, consisting of Beckett Road, Wheatley Hills, the Race Course, Hyde Park, Balby and Hexthorpe.

The Corporation's trackless vehicles were smartly presented in their maroon livery, with the Doncaster coat of arms proudly displayed on the front of each trolleybus.

Doncaster 'trackless' at work

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These vehicles received their power from overhead wires, supplied with electricity from the town's power station in Greyfriars Road, where the depot was situated directly adjacent to Greyfriars swimming baths.

For 35 years, the tracklesses quietly glided along the town's streets, transporting thousands of passengers, and were particularly busy on Doncaster's popular market days and race days.

The increasing economic viability of the diesel motor bus saw the Bentley route close in 1956, followed by the remainder in the early 1960.

The last trackless operating was to Beckett Road on December 14, 1963.

Outside the Doncaster Co-Operative store

It was fitting that the last vehicle to operate in service, fleet number 375 (CDT636), was presented to Doncaster Omnibus and Light Railway Society.

Members of the society have recently set to work and restored the vehicle to its former glory.

Today, visitors to the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, can take a ride on the Doncaster Corporation's trolleybus 375, and relive the days of this environmentally friendly form of transport in our towns.

The five pictures that accompany this article were photographed by Mr David Parker.

Beckett Road run......

In the 1950s and 1960s, Mr Parker visited various trolleybus systems in this country, to ride on them and to take photographs of the various vehicles.

He would then develop the prints in his own dark room and sell them at any number of transport and collectors' fairs.

Now, some 60 years later and aged in his eighties - he still attends such events with his interesting stock of black and white prints.