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Maidstone Corporation Transport, simply branded Maidstone Corporation, was the operator of trams, trolleybuses and motorbuses in Maidstone, Kent from 1904 to 1974[1]. The operations of Maidstone Corporation passed to Maidstone Borough Council Transport in reorganisation of local government in 1974, expanding the Borough boundaries.

HistoryEdit

Maidstone Corporation began operation on 14 July 1904 with the introduction of a tram service to Barming, supplemented by routes to Loose and Tovil by 1907. The Barming trams were replaced by trolleybuses in 1928, followed by Loose in 1930. The Tovil tram was replaced by buses in 1929[2]. Trolleybus routes were expanded through the years to the 1950s with development of new housing, until 1963, when the decision was made to convert trolleybus routes to bus operation. The last trolleybuses ran on 15 April 1967[2].

In 1974, due to local government reorganisation and expansion of the borough boundary, Maidstone Corporation Transport became Maidstone Borough Council Transport.

LiveriesEdit

Maidstone Corporation started out with an ochre and cream colour scheme, with gold Maidstone Corporation lettering in conjunction with the crest of Maidstone[3]. With the decision to end trolleybus operation, a Fiesta blue and cream livery was introduced for the replacement motorbuses.

FleetEdit

Maidstone operated a fleet of Sunbeam trolleybuses. In 1959 following closure of nearby Hastings trolleybus network Hastings Tramways owned by Maidstone and District, Maidstone Corporation acquired five of their trolleybuses. Also purchased were two vehicles from the closing Brighton system, as personified by preserved 52[4].

Maidstone operated a universally double-deck fleet of motorbuses. Vehicles showed only destinations with no route numbers. The latter batches of motorbuses were standardised on the Leyland Titan as follows:

  • [1] PD2/20 Massey 1956
  • [2] PD2/30 Massey 1957-59
  • [3] PD2A/30 Massey 1961-63
  • [4] PDR1/1 Massey 1965-68
  • [5] PDR1A/1 Northern Counties 1971
  • [6] AN68/1R Northern Counties 1972

Preserved vehiclesEdit

56 and 72 are located at the The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, Lincolnshire. 52 is located at the East Anglia Transport Museum.

Maidstone centenary of transportEdit

2004 saw the centenary anniversary of transport in Maidstone. In commemoration there was a rally, cavalcade and running day featuring preserved vehicles from Maidstone Corporation and other local operators of the time, together with present day operators. Local bus operators Arriva Southern Counties and Nu-Venture painted buses in liveries reminiscent of the ochre and fiesta blue corporation liveries, with Arriva Dennis Dart 3176 and Nu-Venture Olympian 100 in ochre, and Nu-Venture Leyland Titan T857 in fiesta blue. [5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Southbus webpage Maidstone Corporation, old operator profile
  2. 2.0 2.1 Southbus webpage Maidstone Municipal Transport, A brief history
  3. Flickr image of the Maidstone Corporation crest
  4. Southbus web page Maidstone trolleybuses
  5. Southbus website Centenary rally description and photos

External linksEdit


Historic town tramway systems in the United Kingdom (v/t)

England

Alford and Sutton - Barnsley and District - Birmingham Corporation - Blackpool - Brill - Bristol - Chesterfield - City of Birmingham - Dearne District - Derby - Doncaster - Grimsby & Immingham - Grimsby District - Heaton Park - Hull - Ilkeston - Liverpool - London County Council - London United - Maidstone Corporation - Mansfield & District - Matlock - Mexborough & Swinton - Nottingham Corporation - Nottingham & District - Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire - Rotherham - Scarborough funiculars - Sheffield - Southampton - Volks Electric - Warrington - Wisbech and Upwell - Wolverton and Stony Stratford

Wales

Great Orme - Swansea and Mumbles Railway - Pwllheli and Llanbedrog

Scotland

Glasgow - Scottish Tramway and Transport Society

Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway Tramway

Isle of Man

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway - Douglas Southern Electric Tramway - Manx Electric Railway - Snaefell Mountain Railway - Upper Douglas Cable Tramway

Industry

Maley & Taunton

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