Film ID:
YFA 1710

BRADFORD TROLLEY BUSES 1972

1972-1978

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by Cawood Filmmakers in 1972, this film records the last of the Bradford trolleybuses.  The commentary was added in 1978, and the sound is a mixture of oral histories of the trolleybuses and recordings from speeches made at the time.

Title – Bradford Trolleybuses Britain’s first and last

The film opens as a blue trolleybus backs out of a large garage.  It pulls into the street and heads off on its journey.  There are close up shots of the overhead wires as well as of the driver.  The bus is on route through Bradford, and the city streets can be seen with the trolleybus coming towards the camera.  The conductor gets off and pulls on a chain.  There is a view of the back of the bus and more footage of the wires overhead.   

At night, the trolleybus makes its way to Thornton.  Crowds of enthusiasts climb aboard, most of whom have a camera with them.  There is also good footage of contemporary fashions.  The bus goes on its way, and an Asian conductor collects the passengers’ fairs.  People get off the bus at various stops before the trolleybus is eventually empty.  The conductor rings the bell and the bus moves off.  The trolley bus enters its garage and the doors are closed by two men holding cigarettes in their mouths.  Finally, the driver collects his coat and leaves the garage.  

It is the final day for the trolleybuses, and they have all been lined up along a street.  Accompanying the images is a recording from the Lord Mayor of Bradford who reminisces about his time as a trolleybus driver.  The buses have adverts along their sides reading, “1911 Bradford’s Last Trolleybus 1972.”  Various people climb aboard including a policeman, and the bus makes its way along the streets of Bradford.  It then pulls into the garage where the Lord Mayor officially switches off the power signalling the end for this mode of transportation.  The film closes with the crowds of people who have gathered to have one last glimpse of the trolleybuses.