Ken Jones Gallery

Photo © Ken Jones. Please do not re-post without permission.

Despite suffering from a heavy cold I accepted the invitation to photograph this 1942 Sunbeam single deck trolleybus, CET613, which is being restored in the livery of when it was Rotherham 73.

The history below is provided by The Rotherham Trolleybus Group.
This trolleybus is one of a fleet of 16 similar vehicles supplied to Rotherham between 1940 and 1943. These 39-seat 6-wheel single-deckers were fitted with bodies built by East Lancashire Coachbuilders of Blackburn. The preserved vehicle started out as number 88 and was renumbered 73 in the late 1940s. It was the subject of a major rebuild and further renumbering in 1950 and was finally withdrawn in 1954.

After Rotherham service, 73 was stripped of all valuable parts and then used as a meeting room for the Rotherham Chantry Pistol and Rifle Club. In the late 1970s, the bus was saved for preservation and moved to Sandtoft. It changed hands again in 2001 and restoration to pre-1950 condition then began.

On starting the restoration, a major search was begun to source the missing parts of the trolleybus. Thanks to help from many individuals and the established trolleybus museums, it has been possible to find most of the missing pieces needed. Many of these have had to be refurbished before they could be fitted.

Since 2001, steady progress has been maintained in the restoration of this vehicle. Many steel parts of the body structure had become very corroded over the years and have had to be replaced. Some of the timber parts of the frame have also needed renewal and following this work interior body restoration has continued.

New construction has been needed for some items and these include the trolley gantry and trolley gear, the roof mounted resistor-case and contactor panels. The body frame has also been reconstructed to reflect the vehicle in its pre-1950 condition. At the present time, restoration continues and it is hoped the completed trolleybus will be fit for use within the next few years.

Photo taken by Ken Jones, Friday 28 September 2018, Private site in the Midlands
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Photo ref: rr73. Page and photo added October 2018
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