This Remember When picture of trolleybus No 201 having just negotiated Fratton Bridge, Portsmouth, in the mid-1950s delighted John Kirby and Robert Smith. They got in touch to tell readers that the vehicle, an AEC 661T with English Electric body new in 1934, still exists.
They say that although it was not used during the Second World War, it re-entered service after the end of hostilities and remained in use until October 1958.
On September 24, 1960, it was acquired by Portsmouth Ratepayers’ Association, who presented it to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, where it arrived on October 25, 1960. In June 1972 it was acquired by City of Portsmouth Museums & Records Service and fully restored by City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department at Eastney Depot.
Twelve years of open-air display at Beaulieu had taken their toll, but John and Robert said it looked ‘superb’ at the Southsea Spectacular Bus Rally on Southsea Common in June 1978, as Robert’s picture shows. It was on public display at the Milestones Museum at Basingstoke from March 2003 until June 2009 when it was placed in the City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot at Portchester, where it is being cared for on behalf of City of Portsmouth Museums & Records Office.