Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Catching the tram ............. another story from Barny

I'm not quite old enough to remember trams, but I can certainly remember the tram-lines that were set into some of the cobbled streets of Deptford.

LCC Tam, 1622,  route 40 from New Cross to Westminster, 2015
The things grabbed the wheels of my bike and threw me off on more than one occasion.

The last tram to rumble along London's streets arrived at South East London's New Cross depot in the early hours of 6th July 1952.

It was driven by John Cliff, deputy chairman of London Transport Executive, who began his career as a tram driver.

Trams had, all week, been carrying banners proclaiming "Last Tram Week" and special tickets carried the same message were also printed.

Conductors punched souvenir tickets and enthusiasts drove or cycled alongside the tram, Car No.1951, for the duration of the journey.

The tram's journey time was extended by almost three hours by crowds of cheering Londoners who surrounded it along the route from Woolwich to New Cross.

At New Cross depot the tram was greeted by LTE chairman Lord Latham.

"In the name of Londoners I say goodbye, old tram," Lord Latham declared as the vehicle entered the tram shed.

The first electric trams appeared on London's streets in 1901 following on from horse-drawn trams which were introduced in 1861.

By the 1930s trams were seen as noisy and dangerous to other road users.

In 1931 a commission of inquiry recommended trams be replaced by trolleybuses. These electrified vehicles did not need tracks, but many trams were temporarily reprieved by the outbreak of WWII.

The final phasing out of the trams followed the closure of the Kingsway tram tunnel three months before.

The tunnel which began in Kingsway and extended under The Strand was opened in 1906, housing two tram stations, Aldwych and Holborn.

Location; New Cross, London

Pictures;  LCC tram 1622, 2015, Crich Tramway Village courtesy of Andy Robertson*

*Crich Tramway Village,

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