1891 Portsmouth Corporation Electric Tramcar


Early Buses and Trams 1863-1919

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Whilst there were trams in London, they never succeeded in penetrating into the heart of the capital. But in the provinces the intricate interlaced tracks succeeded in reaching city centres and was part of the daily scene. The Guildhall Square in Portsmouth, the headquarters town of Britain’s Royal navy, was the clanging, grinding and clanking centre of a network connecting all parts of Portsea Island. The first tram in Portsmouth was inaugurated in May 1865 with horse-drawn vehicles to provide a connection between the Town Station and Clarence Pier for the Isle of Wight paddle steamers. On 31st December 1900 the municipality took over and electrified the system in 9 months. The cars had been built in 1891 by G. F. Milnes and purchased second-hand from the North Metropolitan Tramways in London in 1896. The best four, then eleven years old, were converted to electric traction. The Brill Company of Philadelphia had produced a new type of truck and the horse cars were mounted on Brill 21E trucks equipped with two 25 hp motors. Dick Kerr controllers were fitted and the cars painted in the Council’s livery of rich claret and lemon chrome, numbered 81 to 84, and put into service on August Bank Holiday 1903. This tram, number 84, was preserved and having spent many years standing in a corner of the North End Depot, it can now be seen at the Milestones Museum, in Basingstoke Leisure Park, Basingstoke, England.

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Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm