By the Wheatsheaf Public House in Loose Road
Short working turning point and junction for either Loose or Park Wood

 Wheatsheaf Junction
Click on picture [175]
for an enlarged version

From: "Tony Hocking" <>

There was a turn back facility here, from the Loose outbound line to the Sutton Road inbound line. This was only used once a day, so it was a bit of a treat to see a trolleybus showing a bold WHEATSHEAF as the destination.

Another unusual feature at this location [but only in frosty weather] was the first trolley of the day. This would be equipped with metal collector shoes instead of the usual carbon ones. These were used to cut the frost from the overhead and must have been a spectacular sight - loads of blue sparking! Anyway the point of the story is that the bus would have to turn from Sutton Road inbound to Loose Road outbound. There was no wiring to make the turn so the bus would turn as far as the booms would permit, the conductor[?] would nip off, transfer the booms to the Loose Road route and off they would go, ice-breaking again. This all took place in the dark of a winter's morning so it is unlikely that anyone has any photos. I did hear that one or two enthusiasts' tours did the same manoeuvre - but have no evidence. Anyone got the photograph to prove it?

From: "Terry McKeown" <>

Comments regarding the first trolley the day on frosty mornings are most interesting, I used to live on the Loose Road, beyond the fork at the Wheatsheaf, and well recall the sight and sound of that first 'bus in the morning.

Regarding the turn facility at the Wheatsheaf, although only scheduled for use once a day, it was also used when there was more than 3 'buses on either the Sutton Road or Loose spurs, any fourth vehicle heading for that part of the route would be turned at the Wheatsheaf. I assume this was to avoid overloading the system and tripping the breakers.

An even less frequently used turn around was the one at the Cannon in the High Street; a westbound bus could be turned back easttbound, although to have been travelling west on the upper section of the High Street the 'bus must previously have turned around at the Queens Monument. I can only ever recall seeing this happen once, in November 1960, when due to flooding a number of trolleybuses were "trapped" east of the river unable to reach the Barming depot and were being parked in various odd places.

The turn at the Cannon was of course frequently used for services from both Sutton Road and Loose heading for the Queeens Monument via Mill Street.

Your photo of number 87 at the Wheatsheaf shows a particular feature of the stop at the Wheatsheaf, the overheads were positioned well away from the side of the road at this point and rather than risk "coming off the wires" drivers rarely stoped close to the kerb.

From: "Johnny Smith" <>

I lived at Shepway and as Mr McKeown mentioned, the drivers didn't like to pull into the kerb at the Wheatsheaf. Many times I witnessed the boom arms being put back onto the lines with the use of a long pole, which I believe was stowed under the bus.

Thanks for a great site by the way.