Old Bus Photos

Walsall Corporation – Sunbeam F4 – ADX 191 – 353

Walsall Corporation - Sunbeam F4 - ADX 191 - 353
Copyright Tony Martin

Walsall Corporation
1950
Sunbeam F4
Park Royal H30/26R

On a snowy day in February 1967 Walsall Corporation trolleybus 353 is on a short working to Leamore. The vehicle was an ex-Ipswich Corporation Sunbeam F4 with Park Royal body which was acquired with seven others due to the closer of the Ipswich Trolleybus system in 1962/3. In the background is the Carl Street entrance to Birchills depot.
But don’t worry, the Summer of Love is just around the corner! (Not that it ever reached Walsall…)

Photograph and Copy contributed by Tony Martin

———

04/01/13 – 06:49

The Ipswich destination box was an odd shape and it is strange how Walsall retained it, even going to the trouble of having blinds made to fit. With Walsall’s flair for bodywork rebuilding one would have thought they would have rebuilt these to their standard layout.
Accommodating the long word ‘Wolverhampton’ on these blinds meant writing the word diagonally.

Philip Halstead


18/10/13 – 07:41

Used to live about there on Bloxwich Road – watching some of the conductresses trying to switch the points into Carl Street could be amusing, but the sound of a trolley bus starting off from the stop outside our front window has lived with me for 60+ years ….

ex ENOC conductor


 

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Walsall Corporation – Sunbeam F4 – NDH 958 – 341

Walsall Corporation - Sunbeam F4 - NDH 958 - 341
Copyright Tony Martin

Walsall Corporation
1951
Sunbeam F4
Brush H30/26R

Former Walsall Corporation 341, by August 1970 owned by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, leaves Walsall Bus Station for Blakenhall. It is a Sunbeam F4 with much rebuilt Brush body and should be showing route 15. In the background is former Birmingham City 2593 registration JOJ 593, a 1951 MCW H54R bodied Guy Arab IV, transferred to Walsall in February 1970 with others to partially replace the trolleybuses, though it and its sisters were as old as the vehicles they replaced!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Tony Martin


07/12/12 – 06:55

Nice view, Tony. Thanks for sharing. Others on this site have commented on the full front Vs half cab arrangement of motor buses, citing the amount the driver could or could not see on his nearside – among other factors – yet MOST trolley buses were full front.

Pete Davies


07/12/12 – 08:11

Just speculation but I wonder if the use of full fronts on most trolleybuses was to protect the control gear from water ingress as this was generally on the bulkhead where the engine would be on a motor bus.

Phil Blinkhorn


07/12/12 – 08:12

Surely, Pete, the driver of a Trolley knew that the nearside window was the limit of its width, whereas the problem in the half cab was that the front nearside corner disappeared if a high bonnet obscured the mudguards? Anyone know first hand? Presumably the mirror, if mounted on the nearside corner was a help. Do you remember when you, the driver, could see the front of your car?!

Joe


07/12/12 – 09:56

Actually, Joe, the discussion I remember was about how much less the driver could see with a full front! In the event, the rear engine came along, with the door directly opposite the driver, and the argument was stifled. There was a similar sort of discussion when I was working, and about half the folk who commented said they liked the tip-up seats in shelters and the other half hated them. They went off the market after too many people fell off and the makers’ insurance company jacked up the premium. In a way, I suppose, those who hated the things won.

Pete Davies


07/12/12 – 13:34

I wonder if the issue with full front buses was steaming up in that awkwardly inaccessible left hand cabin. This would probably be more of an issue with the rising emissions from internal combustion engines than the drier warmth from electrical machines. This would not be a problem with rear engine buses of course, and the passenger door gave easy access to the nearside front screen if necessary. I guess everyone will know that the original fleet of Notts & Derbys trolleybuses were half-cabs.

Stephen Ford


08/12/12 – 09:26

I have heard that the cabs of Walsall’s F4As, with their curved glass windscreens gave excellent visibility. There is one behind 341 above and my photo of 872 which is elsewhere on this site.

Tony Martin


08/12/12 – 09:27

A lot of early t/buses were halfcab, because they probably thought they should look like buses. Some even had fake radiators. The 1931 London ‘Diddlers’ were halfcab with a central headlamp on the bonnet front, a la trams!

Chris Hebbron


08/12/12 – 09:28

The Notts & Derby trolleybuses that Stephen refers to had the motor and associated electrical equipment under the bonnet (with ‘dummy’ radiator with the AEC/English Electric badge attached). The London United ‘Diddler’ trolleybuses also had the motor under the bonnet but no attempt was made to provide a ‘dummy’ radiator but there was a single headlamp in the panel where a radiator would have been. There were other instances of trolleybuses with half cabs – Birmingham Corporation for example. Most trolleybuses had the motor located between the chassis side members under the lower saloon floor with a short prop shaft to the rear axle. With this arrangement there was no need to provide a half cab arrangement and the nearside of the full width cab was usually taken up with the contactor cabinet, although some operators, like London Transport, opted to have the contactor cabinet mounted on the nearside of the chassis with access via flap in the vehicle’s ‘skirt’ (or ‘valance’ – depending on which term you choose to use).

Michael Elliott


25/04/18 – 05:41

In Bob Rowe’s new, 2018, book on Walsall Trolleybuses, there is a copy of the tender for the bodies of this batch. Especially interesting is that the Corporation specified that the seats should be covered in leather made in Walsall.

Tony Martin


 

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Walsall Corporation – Sunbeam F4A – XDH 72 – 872

Walsall Corporation - Sunbeam F4A - XDH 72 - 872
Copyright Tony Martin

Walsall Corporation
1956
Sunbeam F4A
Willowbrook H36/34R

Walsall Sunbeam F4A, Willowbrook bodied trolleybus, 872  XDH 72.
Seen leaving Bichills Depot on the evening of 3rd October 1970, having dropped off the guests it carried and is now making the last run ‘under the wires’ on a public road by a Walsall trolleybus.
At the wheel is Mr R. Edgley Cox, Walsall’s well known general manager.
The bus had been owned by West Midlands PTE since October 1969 and is now at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Tony Martin


13/11/12 – 17:30

How very atmospheric! Thanks for sharing.

Pete Davies


13/11/12 – 17:31

TDH 912

Here is a picture of fellow Walsall Corporation Sunbeam/Willowbrook trolleybus No. 862, which now resides at the Black Country Museum, Dudley, where I photographed it on 3 June 2010.

Roger Cox


14/11/12 – 07:31

Distinctive, if not that attractive vehicle, IMHO. I do recall being surprised at seeing one of these running around Portsmouth, when there was a municipal transport conference on at the Guildhall around 1955-56. It certainly turned some heads, with its blue livery amongst the familiar maroon/white natives!

Chris Hebbron


14/11/12 – 07:31

Although these vehicles were something of an ‘ugly duckling’ there was something charismatic about them and I always liked them. I have often wondered how long Walsall would have continued to run trolleybuses if the West Midlands PTE had not been set up. Having taken over in 1969 the PTE couldn’t wait to be rid of the trolleys and the drafting in to Walsall of large numbers of Birmingham ‘standards’ hastened the conversion. If my memory serves me correctly this left just Teesside and Bradford still operating trolleybuses and I was present at the last day for both these systems.

Philip Halstead


15/11/12 – 11:12

I’ve always thought that Mr Cox, if he had the chance, would have made sure Walsall’s trolleybuses were the last, even if only by an hour! Of course, early 1972 was one of the periods when power cuts affected many parts of the country.
More of my ‘old bus’ photos on www.flickr.com

Tony Martin


17/04/13 – 07:20

I have a photo somewhere of 864 running route 20 Eastney in Portsmouth – I’ll look to uploading it soon.
If only Walsall had retained the wiring on one of the circular routes and one each of the vehicles…

jvs


05/06/13 – 05:51

Almost certain Ron Edgley-Cox is sat on the contactor cabinet in this shot – but he was most certainly at the wheel when it came back

jvs


12/07/13 – 07:56

As mentioned the N/S cab contains the large contact box and keeps it well protected. These were the first 30ft trolleybuses to be placed in service on two axles and weighed in at I think, 7 Ton 5 cwt. 832 is a nice one to drive and very user friendly.

William Parker


15/07/13 – 08:14

It was perhaps surprising that Mr Edgley Cox opted for this design since in May 1954 he sent a drawing to the Ministry of Transport for a longer 62 seat version of Hulls Coronation trolleybuses. He fully supported G H Pulfrey’s views on one-man operation and saw this as a good design although his version lacked a central staircase despite having a central doorway as well as the forward doorway.
He also advocated longer single deck trolleybuses.

Malcolm J Wells


11/09/13 – 16:30

Great night picture. I passed out for my green badge on Walsall’s trolley buses (Was it Mr Clarke) and was so sorry to see them go. The colour of those buses at night was strange due to the street lighting. Frosty early mornings was like bonfire night sparks and flashes lighting up the streets. That bamboo pole was in regular use with me pulling the wrong change over, Great buses indeed yes I loved those trolleys. That vehicle they used to come and repair and tape up the damaged poles was an oddity lol. Happy days. I must go to the BCM to see one again. The Daimler Fleetline’s was a lot slower, shhhh, early morning Pratt’s bridge/Walsall you could get a lick on. Thanks for the chance to see those pics, lovely site.

Frank


14/02/14 – 13:29

Edgley Cox tried to get towards one man operation when he converted three trolley buses from rear entrance to front entrance. They were 875, 876, 877, These were the first buses I worked on when I started a an apprentice bodybuilder in 1961.

Stewart Poxon


16/02/14 – 07:53

There was a rumor that Walsall purchased Bournemouth 300 in 1969, for some sort of electric to diesel conversion experiments. Did this happen or was 300 scrapped like the rest?

Lewis Esposito


04/04/14 – 06:22

Walsall did have Bournemouth 300 (300 LJ) at their works in 1969, the plan being to make modifications so that it would be suitable for OMO. The plan was to buy 29 of these modern trolleybuses from Bournemouth at a total price of £4,000. One report says that the electric motors were to be removed and replaced by diesel engines. For more search Flickr "300LJ" and you’ll see my copies of newspaper articles from 1969 about this project.

Walsall1955


06/04/14 – 08:22

According to David Harvey’s book on Walsall no. 300 was fitted with a diesel engine under the rear staircase in order to be able to operate away from the overhead – the front entrance was to be widened and the rear platform and staircase removed . Extra trolleybuses were wanted for five additional routes under the terms of a Parliamentary Bill of 1969. I am very pro-trolleybus but why, with the impending PTE takeover, trolleybus expenditure was being pursued at this late date is an interesting question.
Ex Cleethorpes 873 was also subject to engine fitting experiments.

Malcolm Wells


06/04/14 – 10:41

Thx for the additional info, Malcolm. This would explain the hole cut in the offside rear of said trolleybus, which had puzzled me up until now. Here is the link to 300LJ which Walsal1955 mentioned above: www.flickr.com/photos/walsall1955

Chris Hebbron


11/10/14 – 06:01

Walsall 862 at the BCLM – www.youtube.com/watch?v

William Parker


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 23rd September 2019