Twickenham to Teddington by Trolleybus

We’ve seen this video many times, but it always makes us smile, so we thought we’d finally share it.  The footage is taken from the first day of operation of the Trolleybus on May 16th 1931.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a trolleybus, they are like trams but without rails and take their electric power from a pair of parallel overhead wires by means of a pair of booms fitted to the top of the vehicle.

The journey starts in the centre of Twickenham, down Heath Road past the The Three Kings and Red Lion, along Twickenham Green… and then jumps to Stanley Road and along to Broad Street in Teddington before heading back on the return leg.

The buses still look remarkably similar to those we see today, but all the cars in the video look like they’re from a totally different era.  While discussion rages today about roadworks, cycle paths and traffic jams, the roads of 1931 seems very quiet and safe.

We also love the keen cyclist who seems to slipstream the trolleybus for the entire route.


2 comments to Twickenham to Teddington by Trolleybus

  • Barbara Cox Williams

    This reminds me of the films my father made – the first one was his wedding in 1928 and honeymoon in the Is of Man He was born in 1900 and the music is the sort of thing he used with his films. I still have these home movies so if you need them just let me know.

  • janice casey

    It is very much appreciated, as this is the bus route that took us to school;and our previous generation; mostly because is shows, what must have been Teddington Methodist Church before it was bombed,during the War during which children did their homework in the air-raid shelter built in the back garden. The church, unsurprisingly, occupied part of the present green in the middle of the village of Teddington. The route during much later years, included Surbiton to take families swimming in Surbiton Lagoon,that was demolished about 30 years later. Some parents took their families there after a long week at KLG Spark Plugs in Kingston Vale, that had a work’s party each year for the employee’s children: Coombe Bakery and Kingston Power station. Mrs Fenn of Fenn’s newsagents was where we stood to see the first fuel bus growling around the bend in Stanley Road, just before Princes Road,once trolley buses had ceased to run. Nearby in the parade of shops by the telephone box, were Mr Peck’s and the bicycle and autocycle shop, Palmer’s, run by two auburn-haired brothers, not long ago closed after decades of trading.

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