Transportation => General Transportation => Topic started by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on April 16, 2017, 18:31:23

Title: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on April 16, 2017, 18:31:23
16 Apr 2017, Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum near Doncaster (and quite near where I live too).
They were marking 50 years since the end of trolleybuses in Maidstone, with two former Maidstone vehicles (and one from Huddersfield) giving rides around the site. Interesting place, with a very 1950s feel to it, including a 50s prefab, and a bike shop.
Anyway, a few quick photos:
The first one has "Sutton Rd" on the destination blind.
The interiors are all from one of the Maidstone vehicles. I liked the light fitting.
 
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Sentinel S4 on April 16, 2017, 18:58:54
There is one at the East Anglia Transport museum near Lowestoft. They have a 1953 BUT with a Weyman body. I do like the trolley buses, can't abide normal ones.
S4.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on April 16, 2017, 19:01:26
Riding on that one today, it was noticeable that the only vibration was from the slightly dodgy road surface. Otherwise very smooth to accelerate.
There are modern ones in service all over the place outside the UK.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: grandarog on April 16, 2017, 19:36:55
I always remember the maze of overhead power line pairs above the junctions outside the bus depot opposite the Rootes Garage . Was disappointed as we used to get a normal bus to Headcorn. I always wanted to go on the trolley buses but never did.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: conan on April 16, 2017, 19:53:34
There's some footage here of the last trolley bus to run in Maidstone,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcrdkd0OCHw

and some footage of M&D trolleys running in various parts of Kent

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKA50V1iVlU
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: StuarttheGrant on April 16, 2017, 22:06:52
We should have stuck with Trolleybuses for the simple reason of No Pollution!
Thanks for the Links conan.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Stewie on April 17, 2017, 07:58:58
But where are all the people and the traffic?

;-)
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: mikeb on April 17, 2017, 09:48:21
M&D only operated trolleys in Hastings & Bexhill following the absorption of Hastings Tramways in 1935. The Hastings system changed to bus operation I think in 1957.
Some nice clips of Gillingham Depot in this link as well, thanks conan.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Dave Smith on April 17, 2017, 14:01:19
Is my memory not so good, or did M&D operate trams in Gillingham in the 30's? I'm sure I travelled along the High Street on the top ( open) deck when I was small.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: mikeb on April 17, 2017, 14:13:26
You could quite possibly have travelled on an open top tram in Gillingham Dave, but they were replaced by buses in Sept. 1930. The trams were operated by Chatham & District Light Railway Co which sold out to M&D in 1927, (the local councils having refused to do so themselves!).
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on April 17, 2017, 18:27:03
We should have stuck with Trolleybuses for the simple reason of No Pollution!
...
... or strictly speaking, pollution moved to wherever they make the electricity.
But yes, removing the diesel fumes from the streets would be great. And why do so many buses seem to have exhaust pipes pointing at the pavement instead of away from it?
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: DaveTheTrain on April 17, 2017, 19:35:44
Is my memory not so good, or did M&D operate trams in Gillingham in the 30's? I'm sure I travelled along the High Street on the top ( open) deck when I was small.
[/quote

I would love to be able to have seen some of the things you must have seen Dave Smith,  the Medway Towns during the 1930/40s must have been fascinating.   The transport, dockyard and rapid social changes.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: KeithJG on April 19, 2017, 16:07:35
Back in 1962/3 I used to catch the train from Strood to Maidstone West and then the Barming Trolley Bus, walk down the hill to Teston bridge from it`s terminus and go fishing.

I was just 14yrs then .....never caught anything, just liked being free to roam.

Trolley Bus just entering Lower Stone Street from Gabriels Hill.....they used to fly down there.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on April 19, 2017, 17:36:13
Picture gallery of Maidstone trolley buses.
http://www.trolleybus.net/m1.htm (http://www.trolleybus.net/m1.htm)
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Dave Smith on April 20, 2017, 21:13:04
mikeb. As I was born in April, 1930, I must have been mistaken- strange though, I can almost hear the rattle! Maybe it was an open top bus but that wouldn't have rattled? Dave the Train. I haven't been back for very many years. Is the Co-Op still in the High Street- on LH side looking at the rlway station? It was by far the biggest store & I was always fascinated by the money being sent on overhead wires to the central kiosk.Sorry, I'm off thread so better not go any further or I will be chastised!
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: DaveTheTrain on April 20, 2017, 21:16:46
mikeb. As I was born in April, 1930, I must have been mistaken- strange though, I can almost hear the rattle! Maybe it was an open top bus but that wouldn't have rattled? Dave the Train. I haven't been back for very many years. Is the Co-op still in the High Street - on LH side looking at the railway station? It was by far the biggest store & I was always fascinated by the money being sent on overhead wires to the central kiosk. Sorry, I'm off thread so better not go any further or I will be chastised!

Not anymore Dave Smith, it became a Wilco about 8 years ago.  It was always a great shop.  As an aside there is an intact cash overhead shuttle at the Crich Tramway Museum in the shop, all set up.  I had to explain to my  daughter what it was. 
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Dave Smith on April 21, 2017, 12:00:52
Thanks for that DavetheTrain. We went to Crich when I retired 20 years ago but they wanted 30 each to go in - our pension for the week - so we didn't! I can't argue if the trams stopped at the end of 1930 but... I don't remember any details of the "Tram" ride, just being there. I would have thought 2 or 3 year old as I couldn't have been a babe in arms, could I? AND on the top deck!
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: 80sChild on April 22, 2017, 15:03:03
My father grew up in Maidstone when he was a young child with his family, and he even went to school there.

And he actually remembers these brown Trolley Buses travelling along the streets.  :)

He used to catch them with his school friends to and from school.

As mentioned earlier, The East Anglia Transport Museum, just outside Lowestoft, which has a collection of classic and vintage vehicles on display and they actually have one of these Maidstone Trolleybuses in their collection.  :)

I've found a picture of it, with Barming on the destination:

http://www.omnibus.org.nz/publication/rsheet/aug10_tram.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5531/12108497525_384e634430.jpg

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bN94rIxOVek/maxresdefault.jpg

I went there when I was on holiday in Norfolk a few years ago, and I actually saw this particular bus, but unfortunately the pictures I took at the time didn't come out too well. :(
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: mikeb on April 22, 2017, 17:33:47
Quote
As I was born in April, 1930, I must have been mistaken-
Dave, at the risk of wandering off topic too much, M&D bought their last batch of open top buses in 1929 and sold them on to London Transport in 1933. Is it possible you were travelling on one of these through Gillingham?
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: 80sChild on May 09, 2017, 14:16:14
If anyone's interested, you can actually BUY die-cast models from Corgi of the Maidstone Trolley Buses.

Here are some pictures I've found of the model:

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/V6IAAOSwFdtXxwno/s-l300.jpg

https://www.picclickimg.com/d/l400/pict/272108178515_/Corgi-40101-Weymann-Trolleybus-Maidstone-Corporation-Transport.jpg

http://www.bradfordtrolleybusassociation.co.uk/images/sales_items/Maidstone%20Corporation%20Weyman%20Trolleybus%2040101.jpg

A few years ago I actually brought one of these models for my father as a gift, due to his connections with Maidstone and these Trolley Buses when he was a child.

By the looks of it you can still buy these models online and in model shops, if you know where to look.  :)
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Oxlade on May 15, 2017, 14:32:00
Interesting to see mention of trolley buses. I'm not sure if my memory is playing tricks on me (again) but I'm sure I remember trolley buses in Chatham (Star Hill in particular springs to mind) in what was probably the late 1950's.  Any ideas as to when they were withdrawn on the M&D services?  I lived in London until I was about 3 years old so I may be thinking of those earlier days...
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: smiffy on May 16, 2017, 20:51:19
Sorry, Oxlade - I think your memory is definitely playing tricks! Medway never had trolley buses, only trams and they were withdrawn in 1930.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Oxlade on May 17, 2017, 18:57:37
Thanks for that smiffy. At least it's good to know that I can at least remember some things from when I was only 3 years old!
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Robin on May 18, 2017, 14:04:17
Digressing slightly if I may,  I was in Chatham this morning travelling along Dock Road, when I saw a 'new' type double-decker bus going in the opposite direction that was liveried in green/brown with, I think, M&D titling on the side.  As it was only a very brief sighting, I did not see what was on the destination board.  Has this been painted for some special occasion.

Robin.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Lyn L on May 18, 2017, 16:01:35
I have seen this one a few times. It doesn't seem to be for a special occasion but I can't for the life of me remember what location it goes to. Will have a look next time I go to Chatham. I was surprised to see the old colours when I first saw it.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: mikeb on May 18, 2017, 16:07:17
Robin
Quote
Digressing slightly if I may,  I was in Chatham this morning travelling along Dock Road, when I saw a 'new' type double-decker bus going in the opposite direction that was liveried in green/brown with, I think, M&D titling on the side.  As it was only a very brief sighting, I did not see what was on the destination board.  Has this been painted for some special occasion.
I suspect that you saw a bus belonging to New Venture which has been painted in a retro version of Chatham & Districts, green, cream & brown. It has the C&D name on the side.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Robin on May 18, 2017, 17:19:15
 :)Thank you.

Robin.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: conan on May 18, 2017, 19:20:31
Is this the bus?


http://www.chathamtraction.org.uk/news
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: Robin on May 18, 2017, 22:24:50
Not sure, but don't think so.  I do not think it was Nu Venture.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: 80sChild on May 29, 2017, 15:31:46
I've found some great footage of Trolleybuses on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1VU7BKgDkc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKA50V1iVlU

On the second video it is captioned MAIDSTONE DISTRICT BUS MEMORIES, but I can't quite place where most of this is filmed. The destination sign on the front of the buses is too blurred to read.
Title: Re: 50 years since the end of Maidstone's trolleybuses
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on June 04, 2017, 10:53:42
As a footnote to this, I just had a city break in Salzburg, Austria, where they use modern trolleybuses.
Big bendybus type vehicles, some air-conditioned, all with comprehensive info display screens inside, showing the next few stops/destination/connections to other services. Was almost bowled over (literally) by their acceleration.