Friday, 9 June 2017

Manchester Corporation Tram nu 765 does its bit for King and Country in 1914

Now here is a story just at its beginning.

Manchester Corporation Tram nu 765, 2016
This is tram number 765 of Manchester Corporation Tramways Department.

It was built in 1914 at Hyde Road in Ardwick part of which is still a bus depot.

At the outbreak of the Great War it was dressed up as an aid to recruitment carrying the large banner on its side “GOD SAVE THE KING.”

Last Saturday I met Jeremy Valentine at the Celebration Day for the Manchester History Festival and he showed me a series of photographs of the tram in Albert Square which he had taken back in 2014.

Peter saw the photographs and decided it would make a fine subject for a painting and here it is.

Miss Chapman joins Salford Corporation, 1918
The original tram Jeremy tells me, “was restored in the 1960s/1970s and has operated at Heaton Park since around 1980.”

It was recently back in Albert Square again but although I saw tram number 765 from a distance I never got round to visiting it which is my loss.

But as we move into the summer and the promise of fine days I think I will nip up to Heaton Park.

I had hoped that number 765 would appear in the book but it just missed out to a picture of young Clara in the uniform of the East Lancs and a set of certificates from Miss Rebecca Chapman who in 1918 began work as a conductress with Salford Corporation Tram Department.*

That said both Peter’s painting and Jeremy’s pictures will appear again on the blog.

And as you do I asked Jeremy for the route  of tram number 765, and it turns out to be that of the old 53 bus..

Young Clara, date and surname unknown
This is one of those fondly remembered routes which during its day would pretty much dip into great chunks of the City.

It was described  as Jeremy says "at least by locals as a circular trip, and it seems to be about 3 quarter s of a circle.

Starting at Queens Road tram depot (now the bus depot) it went east on Queens Road, then south down Hulme Hall Lane, Grey Mare Lane, Pottery Lane, briefly east on Hyde Road, then south west on Kirkmanshulme Lane, Dickenson Road, briefly north on Wilmslow Rd, west across Gt Western St or Moss Lane East depending on direction, then south west on Upper Chorlton Road to junction with Seymour Grove."

So that really is it.

Location; Albert Square, Heaton Park and Southern Cemetery

Painting; Manchester Corporation Tram nu 765,1914, © 2016 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,

*A new book on Manchester and the Great War,

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