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Trolleybus Twilight (Hardback)

Britain's Last Trolleybus Systems

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century Photographic Books Transport > Buses Transport > London Transport Transport > Trams

By Jim Blake
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 112
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781473861466
Published: 30th May 2017



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In this new photographic album from Pen & Sword, transport historian and photographer Jim Blake presents a fascinating selection of pictures of a form of public transport now sadly missing from Britain's streets trolleybuses.

Most British trolleybus systems flourished in the inter-war years, particularly the 1930s. The biggest fleet was that of London Transport. But for the Second World War, it would have been bigger still if South London's trams had been replaced by trolleybuses, as intended. London, however, replaced these with motor-buses instead, influencing other operators to abandon their trolleybuses, too. By the 1960s, their demise was well under way.

Fortunately, during that decade, Jim traveled throughout England and Wales, photographing buses, coaches, steam locomotives and trolleybuses. This book features the latter, beginning with their final weeks in London, then continuing to places as diverse as Bournemouth and Cardiff, Bradford and Maidstone.

Most pictures have never been published before. Taken between 1962 and 1968, they transport the reader back to a wonderful land with many quaint forms of public transport, particularly trolleybuses! What will strike readers is their variety of liveries, manufacturers and so on.

Britain's last trolleybuses ran in 1972. Despite many other world cities having modern trolleybus systems today, it will be a long time before they return to our streets, if ever! How sad when our cities are polluted by vehicles powered by internal combustion engines: trolleybuses are completely pollution-free!

A curious and interesting book for our visual enjoyment that envelops us in the past as we run our fingers over its pages.

Read the complete Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM

Fortunately, Jim Blake traveled through the UK taking photos of doomed trolleybus systems between 1962 and 1968. It is from this collection of mostly previously unpublished pictures of systems including Bradford, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Glasgow and Reading that this nostalgic pictorial volume benefits, plus the knowledgeable captions provided by the author.

Best of British, August 2017 – reviewed by David Brown

This marvellous book tells the sad story of the demise of the trolleybus but revels in their glory with some fascinating and beautiful photos. Superb.

Read the full review here.

Books Monthly
 Jim Blake

About Jim Blake

JIM BLAKE was born in December 1947 and brought up in Islington, North London. As did most young lads then, he soon developed an interest in railways, but also London's trams, trolleybuses and buses since North London's last two tram routes ran near his home, at the heart of London Transport's trolleybus system. His interest developed into transport photography in 1961 and he took over 100,000 photos before retiring his cameras in 2015. He still lives in North London today.

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