Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.
Former Reading 186, VRD186, dated from July 1961 and was one of five Sunbeam F4As with Burlingham H38/30F bodies which were controversially purchased by Teesside Municipal Transport in January 1969. At the last minute TMT tried to pull out of the deal and purchase shorter trolleys from Bournemouth instead but Reading insisted on the deal going through. Their time on Teesside was unhappy, one only seeing three months' use; they suffered from mechanical problems and their extra length made turning at North Ormesby tricky.
Car 11, seen here, was retained until the closure of the system and, by then renumbered as car T291, was specially decorated for the closure ceremonies. It ran for the final four days of normal service bedecked with bunting on its booms and between the decks whilst the between-decks panels were also painted to commemorate 52 years of trolleybus operation. It was one of two ex-Reading cars which operated on the final morning of normal service (4 April 1971) along with three 'native' ex-TRTB vehicles; two weeks later trolleybuses ran for the final time with two former Tees-side cars carrying enthusiasts and car T291 carrying the civic party. After teveryone had alighted, car T291 was reversed into the depot and the power switched off bringing the curtain down on a fascinating little system.
It is preserved at Sandtoft as car T291 but is not normally on display; it can be seen in its commemorative livery on the Sandtoft website.
In this photograph car 11 is loading at the original terminus at North Ormesby shortly before it was moved to allow work on the A66 slip roads to commence. The blind reads 'Eston via N.B.Y.' (Normanby). The buildings, all of which were demolished, are already empty and soon the whole area will be lost under the construuction site.
Photo taken by Alan Hall, 1969, Smeaton Street, North Ormesby
©1969-2017 Alan R Hall All Rights Reserved.
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