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Do you remember the 46?

Number 46 trolley bus at the Old Steine 1956
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

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This photograph was taken in the Old Steine in 1956. It shows the trolley bus number 46 whose route was Beaconsfield to Carden School.

Did you use this trolley bus? When was that and where were you travelling to? Can you remember how long your journey took? What about the fare?

If you have any memories you can share with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Hi, I remember the 46 trolley busses you’ed get on at the Old Steine and they would travel along London Road and then turn right up Beaconsfield Road,  turn left at the top of Beaconsfield Road and go past St. Mary’s church just off Preston Park and past Bates Road and past  the other entrance to Dorothy Stringer school.  Then it was down this steep hill (I can’t remember the name of the road ) and then it would turn right at the bottom of the hill and go past Windmill Parade shops and then go past the Snipe pub on the left and past Carden Hill school in Hollingbury where I lived. From Carden Hill it would travel up to the terminal for the break and then it would travel up Lyminster and there I would get off at the bus stop for Fernhurst Crescent.  Then it would travel down Ditchling Road back to the town.

    By Stephen Raynsford (15/01/2014)
  • Hi Jennifer,

    The number 46 bus was the bus that me, my sister and brother used to catch when the 26 was not at the terminus to go to my aunt’s house when Mum used to have a job at Rottingdean. (We lived at Hollingdean, so it was quite a long journey to be baby sat by our aunt in Petworth Road, Hollingbury). We all used to like getting the number 46, as it seemed to be a much longer journey than the 26, and more interesting.  We used to sit upstairs right in the front seats, with my brother pretending to be the driver, and were often the only ones up there for the whole of the journey. If my memory serves me well (as this was about 1956), I think it cost us 1 penny each, and I remember  saying  to the conductor (“3 halfs to the terminus please”).  At lunch time we all walked along to Carden Avenue to catch the 26 trolley bus to the Fiveways, where Mum would meet us off the bus.  Quite a journey for three little kids to take on their own, but we loved it.

    By Sandie (16/01/2014)
  • Or is it a No 26 Jennifer, as the rear destination board shows. In fact, I believe these two routes changed numbers en-route, going up London Road as the 46 and coming back down Ditchling Road from Hollingbury as the 26, or vice versa. The 46A and 26A did much the same, but on a shorter route via Preston Drove.

    By Alan Hobden (16/01/2014)
  • What always comes to mind, even today, whenever I see buses at the Old Steine was the conductor calling out: “Old Steen, Stine or Stain”, as the bus arrived there one day in 1956 or 57, when my Mum was taken home from the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

    By Alan Phillips (22/01/2014)
  • I remember the Trams in 1936; I had many rides on them. The coloured lights on them were great, and the decorations for the Jubilee were wonderful. We did get wet from time to time with the open top, and the arm came off the wire a lot – and the crawl up Ditching  Road was painful! I think the fare from Hollingbury to the Steine was one penny for the trip!

    By John (27/01/2014)
  • Does anybody remember when the bus used to stop in between the Snipe pub and the Mascot paper shop, l think that was as far as it went? Mr and Mrs Gawen used to run the shop for years and then time caught up as it does with us all. Does anyone remember the number of the bus? l’ve got 35 in my mind but probably wrong.

    By Gerry Millard (28/06/2014)
  • I too spotted the ’26’ still on the rear of the bus as the conductor probably went off for his cuppa rather quickly. My mother and I took this journey many a time to and from Hollingbury. And, indeed, it was a circular trip. Once at the terminus just above Carden School it then became the 26 to go up Carden Hill, down to the Open Market and end up again at the Old Steine to be a 46 again.  And vice versa of course.  Their journeys parted at St Peter’s Church. The 46 heading off along the London Road and the 26 bearing right to embark upon the slopes of Ditchling Road. I am certain this is the 46 as the 26 always stood in 1st lane and in the photo it is visible, just one wheel ahead of the 46 bus.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk-Baldwin (28/06/2014)
  • When was this, Gerry? I was born in 1955 and spent my childhood in Hollingbury. I mainly remember the motor buses (just a vague memory of the trolleys), and the only services to Hollingbury were the 26/46 as previously described, and the number 19 which ran from Wilmington Way to Hangleton. The only other bus which came anywhere near was the 5 which went to Patcham.

    By Janet Beal (29/06/2014)
  • My sister and I used to catch the 46 bus to Dorothy Stringer school from the bottom of Beaconsfield Villas. This was around 1971/2. There was always a guy working in the window of one of the houses, drawing or painting on a draftsman’s board. We learnt many years later it was the artist Roger Dean who was beavering away on the Yes album covers.

    By Martin Scrace (18/08/2017)
  • My family moved to 48 Springfield Road in 1938. On the corner of Beaconsfield Road, this was on a tram route and the noisy trams went clanging past my bedroom window. What a relief in September 1939 when the trams were replaced by the virtually silent trolley buses on route 46/46A. The tram rails were laid within wooden blocks and when they were taken up there were many blocks available for scavenging. They made wonderful fuel for the open fires we had in those days. The first trolley buses were registered FUF 1 to FUF 44 and it was our ambition as boys to travel on each one in time. They were given pet names of World War 2 aircraft corresponding to the serial numbers of aircraft recognition cards in Sweet Caporal cigarettes which the Canadian soldiers billeted in the town were always happy to give us (as well as the chewing gum!}. The only ones I can remember are FUF 18 – Glen Martin Maryland and FUF 44 – Spitfire. A sad day when the trolley buses were withdrawn but the maintenance of the overhead wiring had become too expensive. Preston Circus doesn’t look the same without all the wiring.


    By Chris Strick (23/10/2018)
  • Hi all,
    I can remember those days, I was a young boy at the time and many years later I worked for the bus company at Conway Street Hove.

    By robin white (08/11/2020)
  • I remember the trolly bus wires for the 46 being erected. Previously the old 35 bus used to really struggle to ascend Braybon Avenue, the driver having to double de-clutch into 1st gear with a grating of cogs. The 46 climbed effortlessly.
    I started at the BSBE school in 1951 and travelled on the 46 to Preston Circus from Carden Avenue, Patcham every day. I think the adult return fare was the 7d ! Descending Braybon Avenue the driver would engage the coating brake which slowed the bus to app15mph while feeding current back into the system. On reaching the terminus in Carden Avenue (near the new industrial estate) the 46 became a 26 for the return to Brighton via Ditching Road.

    By John Snelling (09/06/2021)

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