A vintage vehicle display will mark the anniversary of the end of Keighley’s municipal public transport and the start of privately operated public transport in the town.

Keighley Town Council and the Keighley Bus Museum Trust (KBMT) will celebrate the 80th anniversary during a National Heritage Weekend, on September 9.

One highlight will be a “trackless” trolleybus which is awaiting restoration after being used as a caravan. The vehicle, which unlike trams did not require tracks, moved passengers around Keighley for eight years before being decommissioned.

Graham Mitchell, the chairman of KBMT, said: “It’s a unique piece of transport history. It drew its power from overhead lines. In the 1920s this was state of the art.

“The vehicle operated in Keighley from 1924 to 1932. The trolleybuses ended up looking very quaint and old-fashioned compared to the new motor buses. They were seen as obsolete.”

The trolleybuses were powered from an electricity generator in Coney Lane and were formally known as Straker Clough Trolley Omnibuses. After they were overtaken by advances in technology they were withdrawn from service, in August 1932. In October of that year Keighley Borough Council’s operation of public passenger transport also came to an end.

Mr Mitchell added: “Against all the odds one of the 1924 batch of ten Straker Clough Trolley Omnibuses survived, as a weekend caravan near Grassington. It subsequently found its way to the Black brothers, Gordon and Thomas, who partially restored it and donated it to Bradford District Council, which placed it in store at the Bradford Industrial Museum, at Eccleshill.

“Having nowhere to place it on display, the Industrial Museum responded to a request from KBMT for the vehicle to return on permanent loan to the only location where it ever operated — Keighley.

“And that is where it is today, at KBMT’s Riverside Depot, probably the oldest double deck electric trolleybus in the world. We’re looking for funding to help with its restoration — this would be something like £15,000 to £20,000. If anyone wants to help we’d be delighted to hear from them.”

Mr Mitchell can be contacted on (01535) 645454.