50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
The commencement of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the British Trolleybus Society (formerly Reading Transport Society) were held in Reading on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 April 2011 and what a weekend it turned out to be!
The events of these two days will, I am sure, live long in the memories of everyone. Members had travelled from around the country to attend these events, many not having been seen for a good many years. Let’s hope it is not so long before we all meet up again!
Film Show 1st April 2011
On Friday 1 April both Graham Bilbé and Dave Hall, aided by projectionist Dave Chick, presented a series of films to approximately 60 members at the Odd fellows Hall in Oxford Road. The films were designed to show what the Society had achieved and also the contributions of members to the Society at work and play during those 50 years.
Firstly, a ciné film of Reading trolleybus 113, which recorded its last days in passenger service with Reading Corporation and its subsequent tow to Smiths Coaches depot under Reading Transport Society (RTS) ownership was shown. This was followed by ciné film recorded by Tony Belton of RTS vehicles being moved around the country as the collection of preserved trolleybuses grew. The first half concluded with a series of digital photos of RTS/BTS members taking part on Society tours, assisting with towing of vehicles, undertaking work at Sandtoft or behaving in a comical way. Oh how young we looked in those days!
The second half got underway with a film show of preserved Reading trolleybus 181 operating in Cardiff in June 1969. This film was famous for the amazing running exploits of Mike Russell when trying to leap on 181 after a series of filming. The next film was of the sponsored bicycle ride from Reading to Sandtoft carried out over Easter 1972. Highlights included the late Mike Dare, who was wearing shorts, covering the first 30 miles. The whole evening was a memorable look back at events over 50 years and most people there will have been in one of the other of those films somewhere.
Text: Dave Hall