Helping the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft to Expand
In 2017the Society purchased the bungalow and property adjoining the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft. On 5 October 2018 the Trolleybus Museum announced that it had purchased another 1.5 acres of land, mainly adjoining the western boundary of the BTS land. The Society's Committee and the Museum's Board of Directors are working closely together to develop a strategic plan that meets the specific needs of the Society and the Museum and will eventually result in a much improved visitor experience. This will include a spacious Exhibition Hall where visitors will be able to view selected trolleybuses and an exhibition telling the story of the trolleybus in the UK.
The Society's most recent acquisition, Bournemouth 301, seen here on Christchurch turntable while on hire to the Reading Transport Society (as we were then known) on 29 December 1968, will move to Sandtoft at the end of October 2018. 301 was the last new trolleybus to enter service in the UK.
What We're Doing in 2018
READING ANNIVERSARY This year marks the 50th anniversary of the closure of our "home" system, Reading, where the Society was founded in 1961. There is currently an exhibition of Reading trolleybus artefacts on display in Reading Museum until 3 November 2018. Visitors can also take a 20 page complimentary booklet produced by the BTS about Reading's trolleybuses which includes some evocative photos.
As part of the exhibition, the British Trolleybus Society and Reading Museum will be hosting two very interesting speakers for an informal get-together as part of BLACK HISTORY MONTH. The event is called 'Come and Drive Our Buses'. Do you remember driving or riding on Reading's trolleybuses? Perhaps you or an elder relative was employed to drive. Maybe you can remember getting off the trolleybus outside the Cadena Cafe in Broad Street, with the rich aroma of coffee in the air. The first speaker is Lord Stoddart, who will be talking about his time serving Reading Borough Council and his fight to save the trolleybus system. He will be followed by Gul Khan, a former Reading trolleybus driver and also ex Mayor of Reading in 2010/2011, who will be talking about the ethnic minorities in Reading and their contribution to employment in the town and especially on Reading Corporation Transport. Everyone will be welcome to share thoughts and memories of how we used to get around the town. This event takes place on Thursday 25 October 2018 starting at 10.30am in the Victorian Gallery in Reading Museum, Blagrave Street. The event is free but you will need to book a seat by either contacting Reading Museum on 0118 937 3400 or visit Reading Museums' website at www.readingmuseum.org.uk and look for the event 'Come and Drive Our Buses' where you can book tickets.
On Friday 2 November there is a free film show in Reading Town Hall co-presented by Dave Hall and Peter Whitehead showing old cine film and digital photos of Reading's trolleybuses. The event is free, courtesy of Heritage Lottery Funding, but you will need to book tickets using Eventbrite. Follow this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/remembering-readings-trolleybuses-tickets-48047993843.
Click on 'register' then input the number of tickets required. Once done go to 'checkout' and it will ask you for name (s) and email address. When completed click on 'complete checkout'. The ticket (s) will then be emailed to you and you will be able to print them. It is important to print the ticket to gain entry to the film show.
On Saturday 3 November 2018, Reading's last trolleybus, 144, will be parked outside Reading Town Hall. There will be a family fun day around the vehicle, organised by Reading Museum, which will include face-painting and a stilt walker. Dave Hall's new Reading Trolleybus book will also be launched at the event. Regent III No. 3 will be on hand to take people over the old trolleybus routes. These events have also received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It promises to be a great weekend!