Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Tram Depot

Lewis Street

In 1897, Alderman John Norman, Mayor of Stalybridge, first proposed a joint tramways and electricity scheme, but it was another two years before progress on that was made. Hyde and Dukinfield had already applied to build a tramway between the their towns, then in September 1899 they were invited to join with Ashton, Stalybridge and Mossley in a joint undertaking. Although Ashton Corporation was willing to be involved in a joint tramway scheme they were not willing to participate in a joint electricity scheme and consequently withdrew. In October 1899 the four towns had reached a formal agreement and the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board was formed.

The tramway was not an immediate success, with the Board incurring heavy losses in the first few years, which had to be met by a precept on the rates. By 1908 annual losses were over £10,000, which necessitated stringent economies. Reductions in car mileage were achieved by discontinuing some services, including the Hyde to Roaches, and the Hyde to Acres Lane sections. The service from Stalybridge Town Hall to Ashton was discontinued, the Ashton to Mottram service, which almost duplicated it, being extended to serve the Town Hall when necessary.

In 1927 an express bus service was introduced between Hyde and Albert Square, Manchester along with additional routes serving Dukinfield, Audenshaw, Gee Cross and a further express service between Stalybridge Station and the Central Station in Manchester. Nine new Thornycroft single-deck buses were delivered this year, along with another eighteen in 1928. On the 12th January 1928 trams were withdrawn from the Hyde to Ashton route and replaced by motorbuses. Just over seven months later, in August, trams on the routes from Ashton to Acres Lane and to Dukinfield were replaced by motorbuses and the decline of the tramway system had begun
In 1931 a decision to finally abandon the tramway services was taken, many of the tramway routes already having being superseded by motorbuses, although it was to be sometime in the future before final abandonment was possible. By 1935 there were only twenty tramcars operating and the Board was seriously contemplating replacing the remaining trams with trolleybuses. Indeed the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley & Dukinfield Transport and Electricity Board Act of 1936 actually authorised the operation of trolleybuses along tramway routes. Despite this, the Board never operated trolleybuses.
If you like stuff like this GMT have a great transport museum, follow the link below


Tom said...

There quite a bit of wrote about these trams and of course SHMD... I'll do another post about the Trolly Busses and such again.. These must have been a sight in their day... and the sound of them coming up the street must have made such an impression. We certainly take Public Transport for granted now..

Ex Hydeonian said...

Excellent post Tom. My gran used to tell me of waiting for her father who drove a tram. They used to wait for him at some junction or other and then drop him his lunch. He was a very strict man who was a stickler for the rules and woe betide anyone who caused problems on his tram! I remember that you could still see tramlines in a lot of places when we were kids. Then they bring in buses and now the latest rage around the world is trams again! As things change, things stay the same. Nothing new anymore etc...

When I were a lad........

Lew said...

Ineresting history you have here! I especially like the "then and now" aspect. Washington, DC is bringing back the electric trolley (streetcars). The city has bought some rail cars and is laying track on some streets, but no word on when they will be running.

Tom said...

Nancy and I have another post or two about these trams... I'm hoping to get a picture of one of the drivers from John Roberts. I won some old SHMD buttons on E-bay the other day and three more Postcards/Photo's of Hyde.

Thank you for stopping by.... Trams are indeed making a come back here as well... lines are being relayed after many years within a mile or two from Hyde.

Hydonian said...

Fantastic post, Tom - well researched and great photographs!! I knew a little of the trams from my Nan,Mum and Dad but not as much as I feel I should. Looking forward to reading some more....

ian... said...

Great post Tom - so this is the Depot on the old map.

Cheers for telling me about the Electricity Substation that powered the line - I always wondered what the building was thats still there on the carpark.

Anonymous said...

Recent roadworks on Mottram Road in Hyde (ca. 2014) exposed the tramlines that curved off that road into the little street that led down to the tram depot (replaced by what is now Morrisons' car-park.