Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.
Tees-side was one of only three trolleybus systems to endure for over 50 years, Bradford and Rotherham being the others. Wearing the uninspiring livery of Teesside Municipal Transport, former TRTB car 1, GAJ11, a Sunbeam S4 dating from 1950, turns at North Ormesby, its blind already changed to show Eston via Grangetown. Originally fitted with East Lancs 56-seat bodies, these trolleys were rebodied to H35/26R by Roe during the early '60s.
The tight terminal loop was at the junction of Smeaton Street and West Terrace and these trolleys were fitted with an illuminaated sign on the lower rear panel to warn following motorists that they were turning. Trolleybuses had priority at the traffic lights at this point, the skate in the overhead which kept the other lights at red being visible; another skate at the end of the circle returned the lights to their normal sequence. Also visible is the speed restriction sign attached to the span wiring. Prior to the creation of the circular service to Eston, the terminal loop at Normanby was equally tight, similarly making use of a road junction.
The whole of this part of North Ormesby including Smeaton Street School was swept away by the A66 and its slip roads; for many years Smeaton Street was retained as a name on a bus stop plate on one of these slip roads but even that has since been renamed. On 2 March 1970, as a result of the preliminary work, the trolleybus terminus was moved 200 yards west and a reverser installed at Hampden Street, the last reverser to be brought into use in the UK.
Clearly visible in this shot is the absence of an offside cab door on these trolleys, something which escaped the attention of the manufacturers at Corgi when they produced a model!
Photo taken by Alan Hall, 1969, Smeaton Street, North Ormesby
©1969-2019 Alan R Hall All Rights Reserved.
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