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Homepage. This page: A classic Belfast Corporation trolleybus negotiates the city's streets in the 1960s.

AEC 664T Trolleybus.

The pedestrian's lot has never been an easy one, especially in a bustling city centre. In the early 1960s, not only did Belfast residents have to negotiate cars, motorcycles and lorries when crossing the road, they also had to run the gauntlet with carts, both horse-drawn and human-propelled, plus ageing AEC Trolleybuses, an example of which is shown below. The AEC in question was registered FZ 7836, fleet number 51, which resources elsewhere confirm was an AEC 664T Trolleybus with Park Royal H36/32R coachwork. It entered service in 1942 and is believed to have survived in service until 1962. This photograph dates to 1960, so the old dowager was nearing the end of her life, ferrying passengers on route number 30 at the time of this shot. (A period advertisement for these vehicles can be seen on this page of the site).
The location is Donegall Square North in Belfast. At first glance the horse-drawn "rag & bone" cart appears to have no driver, but the shadow on the road corrects this initial impression. At the kerbside a hand-propelled cart, laden with sacks, takes a break, directly alongside a "No Waiting" sign. Perhaps its owner had nipped in to Mr Alfred W. Mann's chemist and photographic supplies shop, visible to the right?
A photograph from a similar angle, but dating to 1968, appears on the Flickr site, and makes for interesting comparisons. There are many more road markings in evidence in the late-1960s shot, as opposed to my image from the beginning of that decade. The level of traffic in the 1968 image is much greater too, with a wealth of buses and trolleybuses in evidence. Which day of the week both images were captured on isn't recorded. 1969 would see trolleybus services in Belfast come to an end, so the writing was on the wall for these whirring, low-polution vehicles.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size Trolleybus image.)
1942 AEC trolleybus
Return to Page 16 in the gallery of classic vehicles.

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