The changing face of a major Isle visitor attraction

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - volunteers man the payment gate during the 1970s.
Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - volunteers man the payment gate during the 1970s.

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 - overhead layout at Sandtoft in 1980.

Sandtoft TrolleyBus Museum pictured in days gone by - overhead layout at Sandtoft in 1980.

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 submitted these pictures 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.

The wiring poles are marked out at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum.

The wiring poles are marked out at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum.

He told the Epworth Bells; “The job of setting up a circuit for the trolleybuses to operate was no easy task even though there was a runway in place.

“Traction poles which support the overhead wiring had to be planted first and their positioning had to be worked out.

“During August 1970 a number of members were on site and were used to work out where the traction poles needed to be planted.

“The photo (Top right) shows members standing in their positions whilst the locations were marked out.”

“The overhead wiring was gradually developed over the years to enable trolleybuses to undertake different manoeuvres. This 1980 view (Bottom right) shows Sandtoft Square with a revised overhead layout. The site looks quite bare in this view compared to how it looks now.”

He added: “The first public entry gate into the museum (portrait picture right) was a little bit primitive compared to what we have now. Two local girls used to manage the gate for us on occasions and are seen just outside the museum in the early 1970s.”

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.