Was numbered 037 originally then later renumbered to 028
WT 7101 : Straker-Clough Brush
Although trolleybuses ran in Keighley for a relatively short period from 1913 to
1932, during that time there were two separate and quite different systems. The original
1913 installation comprised three separate routes acting as extensions to the tramway
system - Ingrow to Oxenhope, Keighley to Oakworth, Utley to Sutton. These routes
used the unsuccessful Cedes-Stoll system, whereby 4-wheeled trolleys ran on top of
a pair of overhead wires and were towed by a cable connected to the trolleybus itself.
On single track installations such as Keighley, this meant that trolleybuses had
to stop and exchange trolleys when they met. For various reasons - the pioneering
nature of the system and the difficulty of obtaining spares after the outbreak of
the Great War (Cedes had Austrian origins) - the system operated intermittently and
finally expired in 1921.
Trolleybuses, this time of a conventional nature, returned to the streets of Keighley
in 1924, replacing trams on the Utley, Stockbridge and Ingrow routes and using double
and single-deck vehicles supplied by Straker-Clough with Brush, and in a few cases
second-hand Dodson bodies. The Ingrow - Cross Roads section continued briefly to
use the Cedes-Stoll overhead with one of the Strakers specially adapted. The new
trolleybus system, however, proved to be short-lived. Faced with growing competition
from inter-urban bus operators, the last trolleybus ran in August 1932, a month before
Keighley Corporation's services - they also ran buses - were absorbed into the joint
Keighley West Yorkshire company.
Many of the relatively new trolleybuses found further use as sheds, stores and caravans
in and around Keighley and the Dales. 5 was itself discovered serving as a caravan
in the Grassington area. From there it was rescued by local transport historian J.S.King
and presented to Keighley Corporation. It has been conserved as a static exhibit
and for a time was on display at the Victoria Hall and later in the Peter Black Collection.
It has been owned by Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council since local government
reorganisation in 1974 absorbed Keighley and has been in store at Bradford Industrial
Museum since 1994.
From early 2000 it has been placed into the custodianship of Keighley Bus Museum
Trust, enabling it to return to its home town once more for display. It is believed
to be the world's oldest surviving double-deck trolleybus.