All aboard the trolleybus at Sandtoft this weekend

London trolleybus 1348 (centre) being tested under the wires for the first time in 50 years

London trolleybus 1348 (centre) being tested under the wires for the first time in 50 years

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Gainsborough resident Barry Coward has raised over £12,000 for Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum.

The money has allowed a 1939 vintage London trolleybus to be restored in time for the museum’s London Weekend over the August bank holiday.

It is 50 years since the world’s largest trolleybus system closed in London.

And this weekend Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum will mark the occasion by operating three London trolleybuses.

It is two years since London trolleybus no 1348, built by Leyland Motors in Lancashire in 1939, returned to the UK from Ireland, where it had been for the past 50 years.

A team of volunteers got stuck in, assessing the work that needed to be done, and showed that restoration could be completed by September 2012 - if sufficient funding could be found.

Barry, who has previous experience of fund raising for transport projects, knew that securing donations on a little and often basis would enable the project to go ahead on schedule.

“Knowing that Barry would ensure the donations would keep coming in has allowed the team to concentrate on the restoration, which has been substantial owing to the poor condition of the bus when it arrived at Sandtoft in the summer of 2010,” said project team leader Brian Maguire.

The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft holds the world’s largest collection of these electric buses, which were known in London as ‘silent death’ as pedestrians and cyclists could not hear them coming.

They served London, silently and efficiently, from 1931 to 1962.

This bank holiday weekend, visitors can travel into history with rides on 1348 and two other London trolleybuses.

Other period vehicles that served the streets of London will also be attending. And there will be exhibits including a ‘prefab’ house - a common sight in London’s Blitzed out streets - and period shop windows.

Home made cake, pies and refreshments are available in the cafe.

To find out more, and see opening times, visit www.sandtoft.org.uk