A light hearted look at the possibilities for an
enthusiast in the 1960s, with the desires of today
Click on any thumbnail for a larger image but wait until all thumbnails have downloaded
This picture makes a nice caption subject: "Hey fellows, you get on at the other end!"
One London tram, 1858, was privately purchased and found a new home at Chessington Zoo where it remained for the next twelve years.
It was nice to meet up with an old friend, from time to time, but restoration was failing to match the vehicles deterioration within a site clearly unable to provide for the vehicles long term needs. The hunt was on for a more secure future for the vehicle!
Your Webmaster helped to secure donations for its move to the East Anglia Transport Museum.
|Croydon's Tramlink opened for public, fare
paying, use on 11 May 2000, with Route 1 between Central Croydon and New Addington. All routes were opened by the
end of the month.
In April 1951, the local tram routes 16, 18 and 42 carried their last passengers and just over a year later there were no more trams to ride on in the Capital. Who would have thought then, that trams would have been seen anywhere in London again, especially as the other electric passenger vehicle, the trolleybus, was to be swept away just 10 years later on 8 May 1962?
OK, this new breed of tram does not normally mix with other road users, and in Croydon there is perhaps less than a couple of hundred yards where this occurs and so the objections of the past vanish. Well almost, there is a small anti-tram group in Croydon, but never-the-less environmentally friendly vehicles are back!
But, Tramlink was a year late opening, was way over budget, and appears to have too few vehicles to meet breakdown contingencies or increased passenger demands. For forty years there has been a need for a rail head at New Addington to provide easy access to Croydon and its railway stations. A long time to wait for a decent service against the increasingly long journey times by bus. What ever Tramlink's shortcomings maybe, its got to be a better way to travel.
If only 1858 could have 'guest' running privileges on the Croydon Tramlink network for nostalgic rides and photographic opportunities. Sadly restrictive clearances on many bridges and tunnels make this an impossible dream. In any case it would not be the same with the trolley pole replaced with a pantograph, would it?
All pictures on this page were taken by David Bradley.
Pictures 58 and 109
Boarding a Palace bound trolleybus on the last Saturday of operation in March 1959, when 'going all the way' meant a ride to the terminus. With the trams and trolleybuses gone, and the swinging sixties starting, what does your transport enthusiast do?
Play trams of course, and with big ones at that! Spend holiday times creating a tramway museum out of a quarry at Crich or perhaps more conveniently restoring an LCC tram [No 106] locally. Maybe build a ¾" to the foot model London tram to run on your garden layout and, perhaps, have the pleasure of guest models on your system such as Richard Elliott's masterpiece of a London E3, 1898.
The endless rounds of exhibitions, preservation activities, modelling and photographic excursions to systems still running end through the discovery of more curves than found on a table top model railway - girls.
A few young ladies share the passion of tramways and all things that run on rails, but .... well you know the story don't you? It's an introduction to curtain track, which once used, and a new life long interest is born.
The camera catching transport scenes is used less and less often. When the Maidstone trolleybus system ceases, that's it.
Playing away from trolleybuses
Peter Davies, the trams owner, cogitates the trams future with free, but not useful, advice.
Vintage public service vehicles restored to a high standard fetch astronomical prices, but without museum workshop facilities, and a lot of enthusiasm, seldom become a 'runner'. 1858 provides nostalgic rides today, but in its former life moved thousands of Londoner's around town.
At the East Anglia Transport Museum, 1858 is caught on camera on 9th September 2007 in revenue earning service.
Vintage London trams also run at the Tramway Village in Crich and of course we can now ride on its modern equivalent in Croydon.
Picture 1008 - Taken in November, 1999
Tramway Replacement Service. Change of direction; now your ride to New Addington can be by electric tram, not a diesel bus on route 130. The last trolleybus to run in Croydon left this very spot on the evening of Tuesday, 19 July 1960 bound for Hammersmith Depot. A piece of history was created when the first passenger tram departed for New Addington, at this very spot a mere forty years later!