2018 was 50 years since the last Trolleybus ran in Reading and passengers became reliant on motor buses. TV&GWOT’s Thames Valley & Reading Running Day marked the anniversary with former local buses from across the decades travelling on town and country routes. Destinations included Riseley, Whitley Wood, Peppard Common, Tilehurst and Maidenhead so that a number followed, as closely as possible, former Trolleybus routes.

Free vintage bus services operated from the South West Interchange at Reading Station which is on the site of the terminus used by Thames Valley buses and adjacent to the site of the former Reading Bus Station. 

There was also a small static display of older vehicles including former Reading Corporation Trolleybus 181, a tri-axle trolleybus of the type that operated in Reading until November 1968 brought by the British Trolleybus Society. Also on display were the oldest surviving buses from the Reading Corporation, Thames Valley Traction Company and Great Western Road Motors fleets.


The running day route map superimposed on the Reading Corporation Transport network diagram from February 1973.

     Burgundy – former trolleybus routes

     Red – former TVTCo. routes 






3 June 2018 – static vehicle display below Reading stations new and old. © Helen Billington

  Details in the accompanying events programme - which contains specially commissioned illustrated articles summarising the Trolleybus era in Reading to 1968, the Thames Valley fleet and operations at that time, and the view of an independent coach operator, Horseman’s, developing their services from the 1970s through to the present day - can be found here  
  Reading General Station forecourt full of Thames Valley buses in the 1960s. The scene has changed and the area is now pedestrianised so the running day on 3 June 2018 was centred on Station Hill and the event area just below the station. A significant number of former Thames Valley vehicles were in service. [David Sheppard Collection]   A view outside Reading station in Spring 1968 shows two coaches used on the Rail-Air Link service to Heathrow and a Thames Valley FLF. [David Sheppard Collection]  
Crowds on Station Hill ready to ride or photograph the 2018 running day. [© Colin Billington]

BTS’s Reading Corporation Sunbeam trolleybus of the

type withdrawn in 1968 is displayed alongside TV&GWOT’s Thames Valley Tilling-Stevens.

[© Len Wright]

Thames Valley in its 2018 incarnation on display courtesy of Reading Buses. [© Len Wright]

(C) Copyright The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust

Company Registered in England No. 5035702.  Registered Charity No. 1125980