Friday, 10 June 2016

Catching the last horse drawn tram from Brooks's Bar, ......well almost

I don’t suppose the passengers on this horse drawn tram at Brooks’s Bar thought they were on the edge of history, but then no one ever does.

But this is sometime around 1895 and within less than a decade the horse had been replaced by the electric cable.

Likewise the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company which had been formed in 1880 would go into liquidation in 1903.

Just three years earlier the  company had operated services over 140 route miles in Manchester, Salford, Patricroft, Oldham, Stalybridge and Stockport, using 515 trams, 5,244 horses working from  19 depots organised into 8 operating divisions.*

So there you have it, “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition” and some at least might not have anticipated that Manchester Corporation would in the year that this picture was taken decide to takeover and modernise the city’s existing tramways.

But as you would expect once the decision had been taken the Corporation explored the different means of powering the trams from steam power and cable hauled to one using compressed air but the use of electrical power carried by overhead cables won out.

And the rest as they say will appear as more stories later in the month.

Picture; from the Lloyd Collection

* Gray, Edward, The Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company, Manchester Transport Museum Society, 1977

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