FWX 914

Part of the KBMT Collection Not for Hire

1948/62 Sunbeam F4


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The Story

Bradford 844 in fact started life as Mexborough & Swinton 32-seat centre entrance Brush bodied single-deck trolleybus no; 30 in 1948. A long time associated with a comprehensive rebuild programme, Bradford acquired 12 such Sunbeam chassis from Mexborough after their system closed in 1961. Of these 5 were used for spares with the remaining 7 being rebodied in double-deck form by East Lancs. These were to become the last to be acquired and the last to enter service for Bradford.

From 1953 Bradford also tended to purchase trolleybuses from other operators as their systems closed down and by the time of the arrival of 844 the 8foot wide East Lancs design with the large front windscreen was the preferred option of build. Unlike nearby Huddersfield, Bradford did not see the need for big trolleybuses and prior to this the Bradford trolleybus system had opened on the 20th June 1911 the same time as neighbouring Leeds had begun their operations. While the Leeds trolleybus system had been abandoned by 1928, the Bradford system was to remain operational until closure on 26th March 1972, being the last trolleybus system to close in Britain.

FWX 914 was to provide transport for the local dignitaries for the last run on 26th March 1972 bearing appropriate all over commemorative headings for the occasion which it still bears today. It was subsequently sold for preservation and was moved to Sandtoft Transport Centre where it remained until it was purchased by the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive in May 1975. Later in 1984 it was placed on loan to the West Yorkshire Transport Museum and on closure of Transperience custodianship was transferred to the Keighley Bus Museum Trust.