English Electric had been a major supplier of electrical equipment to Railless and were therefore concerned for this business when Short Brothers, who owned Railless, decided to concentrate on other, more profitable, business. Looking for a way forward English Electric decided to build trolleybuses based on modified motor bus chassis.
Leyland was an obvious choice as they were local and had no trolleybus interests of their own, thus being happy at the additional business. Thus was born this prototype which used a Leyland Lion PLSC1 chassis.
It originally had a rear-entrance body, but following Bradford's decision to tender for ten centre-entrance saloons (with the objective of faster loading and unloading) it was rebuilt in that form and also had some modifications made to the control gear.
It was clearly successful as Bradford ordered further similar vehicles and even bought this one, the only trolleybus to be taxed as a Leyland by Bradford. It had previously demonstrated in Ashton, for several months, and Maidstone.
© David Beilby