Renovation of old Shields bus is just the ticket

The picture of the No. 204 trolley bus which prompted Alan Newham to get in touch.
The picture of the No. 204 trolley bus which prompted Alan Newham to get in touch.
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I recently featured photographs of two old buses, one of which was a trolley bus.

As a result, Alan Newham got in touch to tell me about a remarkable coincidence – involving the very same trolley bus.

Trolley bus No. 204 before it was lovingly restored.

Trolley bus No. 204 before it was lovingly restored.

Alan writes: “I was interested in the photograph you published in your column of April 13 of the South Shields trolley bus No. 204.

“Three days later, my friends and I visited the Trolley Bus Museum at Sandtoft, near Doncaster, where we saw and indeed took a ride on the very South Shields trolley bus No. 204.

“The bus must have been rescued from the scrapyard by enthusiasts for renovation.

“According to the ’South Shields Trolley Buses’ DVD, the wooden-framed bus was purchased, along with buses 205, 206 and 207, in 1937, and saw service in the town until 1963, a year before the very last trolley bus finally entered the Chichester garage on April 29, 1964.

Pictured with the renovated No. 204 trolley bus are, from left, Keith Black, Alan Newham, Ken Hardy and Ivan Marshal.

Pictured with the renovated No. 204 trolley bus are, from left, Keith Black, Alan Newham, Ken Hardy and Ivan Marshal.

“The scrapyard photo showing bus No. 205 was apparently in The Gazette in 2014, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of the trolley bus era in South Shields.

“The photo of the shell of the bus was taken at Sandtoft during renovation.

“The fully renovated 204 shows, left to right, Keith Black, Al Newham, Ken Hardy and Ivan Marshall, all South Shields lads who would have ridden on the bus all those years ago.

“You will note that the photo you published showed the bus as having a number window and two extra lamps on the front of the bus, these were later additions. However, the renovation was based on the original design, so they were not included.

The old No. 204 trolley bus in its heyday.

The old No. 204 trolley bus in its heyday.

* We’ll have more trolley bus memories tomorrow.