A Trolleybus Tour in Bournemouth

A Trolleybus Tour in Bournemouth

I thought that you might like to see the following pictures which were taken on a trolleybus tour in Bournemouth sometime around 1960. When we all used to bundle into a coach and go to a pre-arranged meeting with various bus companies. It was at a time when such things could be done without "health and safety" being rammed down your throat as it is nowadays instead of just being honest and saying "NO".

Ray Soper

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Or go to a particular fleet number: 14 | 16 | 13 | 33 | 89 | 200 | 202 | 240 | 261 | 294 | 296


What a wonderful collection of photos.
I went on a family holiday to Bournemouth in 1960 and persuaded my parents that we HAD to go on the Open Top Trolleybus Tour, it would have been on either 200 or 202 as pictured in the Gallery. I recall a trip on the open top service to Hengistbury Head (maybe on a Guy Arab 'decker?) and also trips by bus to Alum Chine.
At the time I thought that the Bournemouth fleet was very strange with its mainly dual entrance/staircase layout. It obviously worked for the Town despite the inevitable reduction in seating capacity but it certainly gave it individuality. It was a strikingly different livery as well.

Ian Wild

21/04/11 - 07:07

Reading the page regarding Sunbeam trolleybuses operating in Bournemouth I was reminded of a memory which comes to mind. Around 1960, Bristol City Council took over the old Ashton Court Estate including the virtually derelict mansion and opened it up to the public. In the early days things were somewhat primitive so as they needed visitors, they had to do something quickly so purchased an ex Bournemouth Sunbeam trolleybus c.1935/7 which was converted into a ladies toilet and parked in a courtyard behind the old house. I recall that it was still in full Bournemouth livery and outwardly looked fairly much untouched except that the destination boards read "LADIES" and the windows were painted black. Due to lack of cash to develop the buildings, I think it was parked there and "in service" for around five years.
Sadly I do not have any details nor pictures to help but wonder if any of you experts might work out which bus it was that suffered such an odd end to it's service life?

Richard Leaman

10/10/11 - 07:01

This is an unusual picture because in my records, no. 14 was FEL 217, a single deck Bedford WTB. FEL 214 was fleet no. 31, at least by 1963, so must have been renumbered. No. 14 (FEL 217 that is) starred in the Norman Wisdom film "Press for Time" which still comes round now and then on tv.

J Mawson

FEL 216 was no 13, not no. 18. It was a 1939 Bedford WTB seating 25 passengers. There were 25 in the fleet, the first batch with Duple bodies and the later ones with Burlingham. There were also half a dozen wartime "utility" bodied Bedford OWBs which entered serbice in 1943.

J Mawson

Thanks for that Mr Mawson I have corrected the caption on the photo.

10/10/11 - 07:42

The Bournemouth trolley converted to a Ladies toilet in Bristol was LJ 7703 (fleet no 70) one of four experimental trolleys which ran from 1933. It was converted to a motor bus in 1936 and ran until 1950. It was basically an AEC661 and was very much like a motor bus in outline, having a half-cab. LJ 7702, another of the four (a six-wheeled AEC663) was also converted to petrol and suffered a similar fate in Southend. I can remember travelling on this bus when it was in service in Bournemouth up to 1950 - it was often my "school special"!

J Mawson

29/12/11 - 07:10

Absolutely fantastic heritage for Bournemouth, I live in Christchurch. Thanks to whoever uploaded the photos

Mr Anon

26/03/12 - 17:06

Thank you for the memories of Bournemouth as I briefly knew it when my family lived there for six months in 1960. My mother loved to "go to town" to shop and that meant many trips on the yellow buses. We didn't live on a trolley route but I enjoyed seeing them at The Square and elsewhere, as they reminded me of the home we had left (Vancouver Canada) and to where we returned later. I did explore much of the system by cycle although I wasn't supposed to stray far from home I was fascinated with the system which was then at its best.
The trolleys may have left Bournemouth a long time ago but a large fleet (262) carries on in Vancouver: perhaps that is why I have stayed here.

John Day

21/01/13 - 07:00

I have read several of the blogs above about the hasty and untimely withdrawal of trolleybus services. I grew up in west London in the 1950/60s and remember going with my mother by bus to Hounslow and taking the trolleybus to Ealing. When we immigrated to Canada in 1966, to my surprise there were trolleybuses in Hamilton and Toronto (also, PCC trams (streetcars)). These buses were Canadian Car/Brill T48/As, and then replaced by Flyer E700A in 1972, and then Flyer E800s in 1978, unfortunately both Hamilton and Toronto ceased trollleybus operations in the early 1990s. Vancouver, B.C., is the only Canadian city to contiue trolleybus operations.

Roger Pride

01/03/13 - 09:33

I was born in Bournemouth 1943 and lived there until 1966, became very familiar with the trolleybuses and think the B.U.T.s from the fifties were the best ever! "Luxury" upholstery, almost completely silent operation, I think the front exit door was even air-operated. The gallery of Bournemouth buses sure brings back memories - excellent. I was horrified at the trolleybuses demise. I'm also familiar with the Brills that used to run in Vancouver when it was BC Hydro operating them, they were very speedy but rough-riding. Now they've even got the wretched bendy-buses!

Steve Phillips



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