How popular Isle museum took shape over the years

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - traction poles in place at Sandtoft in 1972.
Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - traction poles in place at Sandtoft in 1972.

Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum has been a popular visitor attraction and has seen many changes since it opened more than 40 years ago.

The museum is based on part of the former RAF Sandtoft, which served as an operational bomber airfield during the Second World War.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - depot 3 under construction at Sandtoft in March 1973.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - depot 3 under construction at Sandtoft in March 1973.

It was disposed of by the RAF in 1958 and the site was acquired for the museum in November 1969.

Since that time, volunteers have transformed a barren site into a museum with the addition of workshop, vehicle depot and exhibition building.

Museum volunteer Dave Hall kindly responded to our appeal for nostalgia photographs and submitted these images to us.

Mr Hall gave an insight into how certain aspects of the museum have changed over the years, using the pictures provided as a guide.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Bradford 845 a DGC gets a first run at Sandtoft in September 1972.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - a Bradford 845 a DGC gets a first run at Sandtoft in September 1972.

He told the Epworth Bells: “The first depot to be erected in 1969 was for 8 vehicles.

“A second depot was erected in 1971 for a further 14 vehicles and in March 1973 a further depot for another 22 vehicles was under construction, as can be seen in this photo.

“During the evening of 2 September 1972 an ex Bradford trolleybus made history when undertaking the first test run under the newly erected overhead.

“The Sandtoft Gathering was held the following day and ex Bradford No. 845 completed the first official trolleybus run at the Museum.

“Again it was Ronald Edgley-Cox who drove this vehicle.

“During 1972 traction poles were erected all around the proposed circuit.

“This photo taken in late 1972 shows the back road complete with traction poles ready for the overhead to be erected.

“In 1973 trolleybuses were able to run around the full circuit for the first time.”

The first ever event held at the museum was the Sandtoft Gathering in 1971, which is still held annually.

The museum is recognised as having the largest collection of preserved trolleybuses in Europe, if not the world, with over 60 examples.

•You too could feature on our Retro Bells page by sending us your old memories and photographs.

Our page aims to show how life has changed from the 1950s through to the Noughties.

You can contact us by email at editorial@epworthtoday.co.uk.

Alternatively send them in by post to The Epworth Bells, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, DN1 1NB, or call us on 01302 347223.