London Trolleybus at the junction of
Plumstead High Street and Wickham Lane

 Plumstead High Street / Wickham Lane junction
Click on picture [406] for an enlarged version

From: "Steven Cambridge" <no email address>

I was nearly two when the Bexleyheath system disappeared. My mother tells me that there used to be a spare pole [for placing the trolley booms on the wires] at the top of the hill on Wickham Lane [probably before the junction of Lower Road]. One wonders if this was a location of frequent dewirement. The conversation centered around the fact if it was there today some one was bound to steal it.

Also in the 1960s my father was in the LFB and fire appliances used to carry shorting devices [on a pole] to deal with the overhead wires.

These days I live in Darlington [which up to the year of my birth 1957 had its own trolleybus system].

During the early 1980's I was a train driver at West Croydon. Though mainly a rail enthusiast, I find the concept of trolleybuses and trams fascinating - perhaps because they are regulated by HMRI as they are a guided system! Having worked with electric trains for many years, I am trying to find out how the distribution system was controlled. Was there such a thing as an Electrical Control Room as there are on main line railways? Did sub-stations require staffing as did the early main line electric railways?

Having read 'British Trolleybus Systems' by J.Joyce it would appear that most systems suffered like the Tyneside third rail electric trains, the refusal to modernise the electrical distribution system. Little wonder it cost more with rotary converters! With modern technology [and today's trams prove it] there is a niche for the modern trolleybus.