ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Two classic bus photos from 1969

A southbound 8 Davie at Howe and Pender in 1969. Click for a much larger version. Photo by Angus McIntyre!

The lovely Angus McIntyre is scanning his archives of historical Vancouver transit photos, and sent along two classic bus photos that he thought we might enjoy. Above is one, and below is the other!

Granville southbound, nearside Dunsmuir. Note the split stop arrangement for the 7 and 10, and the Granville behind. Click for a much larger version. Photo by Angus McIntyre!

Angus added the following about this second photo:

Notice lack of right side mirror, no licence plate and the change dish is visible through the front window. A gentleman at the rear doors is holding the gate for alighting passengers.

Oh also — it turns out that Angus also took one of the photos of the 14 Hastings recently posted on the blog, and he sent along a little more info about it!

A Brill trolley with the BC Hydro colours, operating as the 14 Hastings in 1967.

The photo above is the one Angus took, and here’s the background info:

I thought you might like some information on the photo of the 14 HASTINGS on the Buzzer Blog. I took this image at age 19 during a PNE parade rerouting, and if you look closely you will see that Brill 2334 is turning from S/B Carrall to E/B Cordova, and if you look really closely there is no overhead switch or wires to do so! The detour 14 service ran downtown from Kootenay Loop via Hastings, Commercial (manual turn), Powell, Carrall to E/B Cordova (manual turn) and thence to Main, Powell, Commercial, Hastings (manual turn), and Kootenay Loop. This service ran until the PNE parade was over and regular routing resumed.

So, there was a so-called “Utility Operator” at the rear of 2334, either running behind or riding the rear bumper ready to pull the poles down and clear of the wires so the trolley driver could coast around the corner, and the pole puller could rewire the trolley poles. I did this type of extra work a number of times, and at Hastings and Commercial there were usually 4 pole pullers and a supervisor to handle the number of trolleys going through this intersection. One day a guy stood watching our antics for some time, and came over and said it was more fun than watching the parade!

Thanks so much Angus!


  • By zack, April 27, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    There is a problem here. I tried to click on one of the images for a larger version but it was un-clickable as well as the other images.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 27, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    Fixed it! Should work now.

  • By zack, April 27, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    That was super fast!! faster than I can say “WOW!!” :D

  • By Wayne, April 27, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Great work Angus. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your photos. It sure takes me back.

  • By Reva, April 27, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    Great photos Angus! Looking forward to seeing more of your collection!

  • By Reva, April 27, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    And an interesting note to Angus’s note about the second photo: trolleybuses didn’t have license plates at that time because they were still classified as railway cars. This did not change until the mid-70s!

  • By Sewing, April 27, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

    Great stuff!

    The 7 and 10 probably shared the stop on Granville because both routes ran up Broadway all the way to Alma, before splitting up.

    And thanks to Angus for the explanation of the 14 Hastings photo: I was completely stumped trying to figure out the location, and now I know why!

    Out of idle curiosity for Angus or the TRAMS guys…did a bus ever come to a standstill while coasting with the poles down? If so, what could be done about it (apart from waiting for a hook or a push)?

  • By Rob C, April 27, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing these Angus! Yes, as a kid I remember those re-routes for the PNE parade. I was fascinated by the manual manual turn on #20 Granville. A Brill trolley would go northbound along Commercial Dr to East 10th Ave. There were no right turn wires to allow the bus to go eastbound on 10th Ave (behind the Safeway). So the Brill would roll along Commercial, the pole pullers would take down the rolley poles on the Brill. The bus would do a right turn on to 10th. Then the same pole pullers would put the trolley pulls back up. The 20 Granville would continue east on 10th Ave, then north on Victoria Dr, then west on Broadway, north on Kingsway, then Main towards downtown.

  • By Adam, April 27, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    I like the look of the old buses so much more than the modern bricks we have rolling about now. Why can’t New Flyer bring some style to their buses?

  • By Jimmy, April 27, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    Did the Brills each had an EPU(backup) battery back then?

  • By Joe, April 27, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    Jimmy no they did not, there was no way to move without the poles. Because of this I’ve heard of stories of passengers (don’t know if they’re true though) getting out to push if the trolley ever got stuck on the frogs for some reason (traffic, novice driver, etc.) and lost power.

  • By Sewing, April 28, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    Someone should try to get a picture of New Flyer 2154 southbound on Granville at Dunsmuir, for a “then and now” comparison with Angus’ second picture.

  • By Cliff, April 28, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    @ Joe:

    I’m positive that looks as hilarious as I think it would.

  • By Donald, April 28, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    My old 86 Civic didn’t have a right side mirror as well. In fact they didn’t become standard on base model Civics until the mid 90s, most other manufacturers made right side mirrors standard on their lowest model cars by the early 90s. They probably became required by law on commercial vehicles long before passenger vehicles.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 29, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

    @ Buzzer Blog & Angus & Others

    Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing stuff.

  • By Tony West, October 23, 2014 @ 9:44 am

    In answer to “Joe” about whether a group of passengers would get out and push the bus? Yes of course it’s true, many times, especially if you got stuck on a ceramic section insulator, you would tell the passengers that they could wait the ten minutes or so for the following bus to push you onto a live section of wire or a few strong shoulders will get them on their way in less than a minute. Pushing with another bus was taught in training, when the following bus arrived you used your wooden wheel block it had a braided nylon retriever rope and a steel hook hooked over the rear bumper on one side and the pushing bus’s wooden wheel block on the other side of the bumper, he would slowly drive forward, make contact with the blocks and push you to where you could reconnect your poles.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » A story by retired bus operator Angus McIntyre — October 19, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » Bus photos old and new from Angus McIntyre — August 23, 2012 @ 9:00 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Please read our Participation Guidelines before you comment.