MVH 388

Part of the KBMT Collection Not for Hire

AEC Mandator Huddersfield Corporation A9

Tower wagon breakdown recovery vehicle.

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The Story

Eagle Engineering was a Warwick based body builder which was acquired by Dennis Brothers in 1907.

One of a pair of such vehicles acquired by Huddersfield Corporation in 1958 for use for the Trolleybus Ancillary fleet A9 was used primarily for overhead wiring replacement and repairs, towing wire and pole trailers and recovering trolleybuses. It had the capacity to tow from either end and was fitted with both a trailer brake and air brake take off system to enable it to tow trolleys which otherwise needed their own DC supply to operate their air brake compressors. In 1964 sister vehicle A10 (MVH 387) had its tower removed and was converted to a breakdown tow truck for motor buses however A9 continued as a tower truck being used to dismantle the overhead systems on the closure of trolleybus services in 1968. Due to the previous removal of overhead wiring, on Saturday July 13th 1968, A9 had the auspicious task of towing the last trolleybus (623 KVH 223) from Huddersfield town centre to Great Northern Street depot where it had its illuminations removed and was to be scrapped.

Following the trolleybus abandonment, MVH 388 was used at Longroyd Bridge depot until 1983 as a towing breakdown tender for the motorbus fleet. It was transferred to the PTE in 1974, but managed to escape being painted into the Verona Green livery of the Executive being acquired a year later, still wearing Huddersfield colours, by the West Yorkshire Transport Museum. The Keighley Bus Museum Trust acquired the vehicle from the administrators of Transperience in September 1998 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Science Museum PRISM Fund, and Bradford Metropolitan Council.