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Trolleybus Memories courtesy of David Bradley at

In the past twenty years the whole of Ilford Town centre has been redeveloped. North of Ilford Lane is "The Exchange" Shopping Centre, which did not exist in Trolleybus days. To the West is the completed North Circular with the massive interchange covering much of the original Romford Road / Ilford Hill area.

The massive redevelopment has obliterated much of this area. The Exchange Centre has truncated Ley Street, which is also broken, further up. South of the High Road and Ilford [now Redbridge] Town Hall there are a mass of new roads that simply did not exist in 1959.

The wholesale rebuilding at Ilford Lane / Ilford High Road makes it very difficult to identify former landmarks and indeed the location of any trolleybus picture taken in the late 1950s in, and around, Ilford Broadway.
Pictures circa 1959

691 outside Ilford Depot (corner of Perth Road) facing towards Barkingside.

Ilford High Road - there was room for people to walk across the road!

Looking East up Ilford High Road from the Broadway

Roy Tyzack sent us some more Trivia related to these Trolley Bus Memories.

Whilst looking at the trolley bus pictures on this site it reminded me of an incident in the early 1980's. The photo showing the buses turning into Ilford High Road at the broadway shows a building on the right that later became the Co-op. The front of the building was later covered in very '60's looking plastic squares.

I was a serving officer at Ilford Police station one evening when we were called out to a serious fire at these premises. The building was well alight and as fire appliances began to arrive from far and wide and the flames were leaping across the road, we had no option but to close the High Road.

It was the beginning of the evening rush hour and the traffic poured, relentlessly, out of the City, up through Manor Park, arriving at Ilford broadway. Initially, we just diverted everything down Cranbrook Road and traffic coming out of Ilford lane had to be turned Left, back toward London to queue up to do a Right through the Mill Road 'rat run'. Soon we had to stop everything coming up Ilford Hill and every vehicle had to turn left down Mill Road if it was coming out of London or go down Ilford hill from Ilford lane and turn Right into Mill Road, uder the tiny, traffic light controlled tunnel and through the back streets to link up with Cranbrook Road.

As the evening wore on, the whole area just came to a standstill. The fire was still raging, there were fire engines, Police cars, ambulances, press photographers etc. everywhere. Even the Salvation Army Tea wagon had turned up (they were saints) and traffic was backed up for miles in every direction. The most 'hard done by' drivers were those coming down to the broadway from Ilford lane as we could not allow them to cross the broadway because of the mayhem of stationery public service vehicles. Imagine, having queued for an hour to get to the broadway and being sent Westbound again !

At one point, I was crossing the junction were I heard my name being called. I saw that it was Harry & Betty Kayler, the parents of my best friend David Kayler, an old Torbitt boy who had been tragically killed in a car crash when we were out together as teenagers. I took one look at Harry's face and told him to pull over into the centre of the road. I then got on my Police radio and asked colleagues on the other side of the broadway to clear a path as there was a 'doctor on call' coming through on an urgent case !. The road opened up like a biblical scene and with a broad smile, Harry (who was, actually, a menswear salesman !) & Betty were on their way, leaving 1000's of hot and bothered motorists in their wake.

Perhaps it was wrong but if David was looking down on us at that moment (and I'm certain that he often is !) he would have said "Thanks mate !"

Sadly, Harry and Betty have both now left us but if we really are reunited in death they will be ecstatic to, once again, be with their beloved son David.

Incidentally, the trolley bus picture that makes the comment about people people being able to walk in the road in Ilford High Road is actually taken in Ilford lane facing North toward the broadway. You can see the rear of the building I'm referring to on the Right. If anyone is really interested in Trolleybuses, there is some fantastic film of them all around London including East London, Silvertown, Forest Gate, Stratford etc. on YOUTUBE. Just go to the site and type in 'East End Trolleys' there is some fantastic footage from the 1950's and 1960's

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