From time to time we ask for your support for dedicated projects. Money donated for these is ring-fenced and won’t be used for other purposes. Click on the links below to see our current appeals:

Appeal for the restoration of  Johannesburg 589

Appeal for the Gateway Project

Johannesburg 589            Donate Now

A Thursday afternoon (when nannies had an afternoon off) in October 1973 with no.589 having a helping hand as it heads for central Johannesburg during a power supply interruption in a section of overhead: clearly, nothing stops nannies having their time off!</span style>            (Photograph by AJR Belton)

The long, long job to restore our Johannesburg trolleybus no.589 back to its former glory is progressing to a new and exciting phase.

The chassis and mechanical components have been overhauled, many of its electrical units have been refurbished, the all-metal body structure that had seriously corroded away over the years has been a complex task requiring meticulous attention to authentically re-build it and now work has turned to the fitting out stage incorporating scrupulous detail to “get it right”. We estimate that no.589’s restoration is now around 85% complete.

All this work – and repatriating no.589 from South Africa in the first place – has been paid for entirely through kind donations amounting to more than £300,000 from enthusiasts (with much of it Gift Aided) and businesses. This staggering figure is, we think, unequalled anywhere in trolleybus preservation.

No.589 uniquely represents in this country the hundreds of double deck trolleybuses UK-designed and built for export. It spent over 26 years in service and is one of the first BUT trolleybuses to be built (early 1948). It was one of the replacements for Johannesburg’s pre-war AEC trolleybus order that was frustrated by WW2 and diverted to London Transport to become their SA3 class and based at Ilford Depot; no.589 is virtually identical to the SA3s and it is intended that for a 4 to 5 year period it will be painted in London livery to be illustrative of those iconic Ilford trolleybuses before regaining the attractive Johannesburg Municipal Transport colour scheme of maroon, ivory and silver. For more details about no.589, click here.

Please, GIVE US A PUSH and make a donation to help 589 on its way. We recognise that money is tight for many because of the Covid-19 lockdowns but whatever you can afford will be gladly welcomed and acknowledged Donations can be one-off or monthly by standing order – and Gift Aiding your donation will boost your donation by 25% at no cost to you!

A Gift Declaration can be downloaded here.

You can:

  • Pay securely, using the Donorbox button below; or
  • Transfer money (one-off or monthly standing order) direct into the ring-fenced Johannesburg 589 Fund account – email for account details and to advise of your payment plan so funds can be correctly traced and an acknowledgement sent; or
  • Send a cheques (payable to “Johannesburg 589 Fund” ) to the 589 Appeal, 8 Cottage Fields, Eaves Green, Chorley, Lancs PR7 3QE. Please don’t send cash through the post. Cash can be handed over to The Museum Shop or the the Financial Director, John Francis, at the Museum on Trolleydays.

Go on, please GIVE US A PUSH and let’s see if we can join together to meet our £80,000 target for the completion of no.589’s restoration! THANK YOU.

The Gateway Project

In 2018 the British Trolleybus Society purchased the neighbouring bungalow (Burntwood) with its adjoining land to the west of the Museum site and the following year the Trolleybus Museum acquired more land to the west. Together with an earlier acquisition the the size of the site has more than doubled in the last decade. We have ambitious plans to develop the enlarged Museum with relocated facilities and more attractions including a miniature railway, an extended trolleybus running line, and a dedicated overhead line for our Cedes-Stoll replica.

The first stage of this development is to build a new entrance to the west of the site, relocating the car park to this area with a Reception facility and Museum Shop. Planning permission has already been obtained for the initial works – the new gateway from Belton Road – and we urgently need your help to make this happen. You can:

  • Send a cheque payable to The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft to the Museum. Please do not send cash through the post; cash donations can be made to the Financial Director, John Francis, at the Museum on a Trolleyday;
  • Donate by internet banking. Please email us for our bank details; or
  • Use the Donate button below:

Thank you!