Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.
Stephen Lockwood, commenting on the decline of the Shields trolleybuses during their final year, refers to the final compact network of circular services serving Tyne Dock, “Where trolleybuses lingered on, their numbers diminishing as new motorbuses became available, until they finally faded away.” One that didn’t “fade away”, however, was 204, CU3593, a Weymann H29/26R-bodied Karrier E4, which entered service on 30 April 1937 and was withdrawn in February 1963. Remarkably, in view of its condition less than three years earlier, its restoration was completed by 2005 and a rejuvenated 204 re-entered service at Sandtoft at the Spring Bank Holiday weekend that year.
The eagle-eyed will spot one obvious difference from the ‘before’ photos; South Shields didn’t number its services until 1950 when, reflecting the enlargement of the system, route numbers were introduced and all existing trolleys had a route number box added, giving them, I always thought, a somewhat lop-sided appearance. 204 has been restored to its original condition and the number box removed. 204 is loading on the stand in the summer of 2015 and, clearly visible, is the bamboo pole in the unusual position favoured by SSCT, above the nearside lower-deck windows.
Photo taken by Alan Hall, Saturday 25 July 2015, Sandtoft
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