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Brixton Hill tram depot and its Trams


thirty2a
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3 hours ago, thirty2a said:

My LT tram archive 

image.jpg

"Bare Empty Sheds" is an autobiography of a tram driver that used to work on the south-west services until they were replaced in 1950/51.   It is worth reading for the work atmosphere.   To properly complete the lead-in to "London Transport Tramways" (LTT) (or as we called it "LCC 3"!!!) you do need both Ted Ockley's LCC volumes and the LUT and MET books by Cyril Smeeton,which I could not see in the library shelf photo.   Alas, as I think I have mentioned before, LTT is superb with the detail of the tram services but sparse on the trams themselves outside the chapter on the Rehabs (reprinted from the series Ted and I wrote for "Modern Tramway") and the chapter on works cars (I finally updated this after I first retired which was after LTT was published).   

 

If anyone wants more detailed information, for their models, on individual cars/classes/types, including works cars, about their body work differences (CRD were extremely good at keeping parts together at the lowest cost!) and whether for the LT pre-war and post-war periods including their licence numbers (LTT only gives MSC Nos. on scrapping) for completeness, you are welcome to contact me direct.   Kind regards, Colin.

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I loved the photo of the AEC Mercury tower wagon and had thought that I had taken a photo of "West Croydon" on the occasion that the layout was positioned alongside it at an Open day there.   I did take photos of both sides and ends of the tower wagon.   Instead, I could only find the photo of its model (from Adrian's lovely ABS kit of it) with the overhead gang at work on the corner of Station Road and North End when the span wire came adrift from the pole in setting-up!   

tower wagon a.jpg

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10 hours ago, coline33 said:

Ray, the only horse tram depot in Greenwich itself was known as Hoskins Street which is the road alongside the Tramways Generating Station (still existant).   When the LCC took over this, Rye Lane and Bowles Road for electricification, all were equipped with over-running trollers with cables that plugged into the then new electric cars which were conduit only using 'long lead' ploughs that could be lifted in and out within the lower saloon.   Hoskins Street was  absorbed into the power station site, Rye Lane went from works to permanent way with the opening of CRD and Bowles Road from depot to permanent way/road vehicle garage.    The Deptford Wharf site appears to have been bought after 1900 by LCC specifically for transferring materials from barge and storing permanent way items.   Somewhere I did have a plan of the Wharf so when it surfaces I will send it.   Trust this helps.   Colin.   

 

Hi Colin.

 

I have attached small snippet of the 1894 O/S which shows what I think is the tram depot. Greenwich High Road runs up from the bottom left corner and the depot entrance is between the G and R.  There appears to be some other track work just inside the entrance and possibly some more track linking buildings, but that may be something completely different. Perhaps you could confirm if that is correct.

 

Tony.

 

Some very nice photos. I think that there used to be another tower wagon owned by a group who had an RT, RF Tower Wagon and one of the STL converted tenders. These were stored in a barn on a farm somewhere which was torched and I think all the vehicles were lost. I do have pictures of these vehicles from rallies, but would have to do some searching to find them.

 

I have an un-built kit for the ABS Tower Wagon and a tree lopper STL, also an old BEC Feltham tram kit, all in white metal.

 

I organised an exhibition in 1982 to celebrate 30 years of the end of the trams in the Brunel Pumphouse up in Rotherhithe. It was spread over two weekends and a couple of days during the week between. We even ran a special free bus service from New Cross Bus Garage (Tram Depot) up to Rotherhithe using RT 1702. The event was quite well attended despite being a small affair, but helped to raise the profile for the trams.

 

All the best

 

Ray

Deptford Wharf Tram Depot_001.jpg

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Hi All.

 

Just a few notes on the map.

This shows the close proximity of the depot to the river.

The dispensary is what I think was the Miller Hospital ?

The floor mill shown by the river on the left was Mumford's Floor Mill, quite a tall building with large vents on the roof. It is still standing and now converted into flats.

I think that the name of the pub further down is the North Pole. Or that might be another one further up the road.

The building to the right of the Police Station is the Greenwich Court, now out of use as such since they opened the large Belmarsh Prison and Court complex.

The building to the left is the old Morgue. Long out of use and has been boarded up for many years.

The building on the corner was a small primary school. This building was in use, but is now boarded up and I think has been purchased for conversion into a hotel.

 

I hope that this might be of interest.

 

All the best

 

Ray

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Couldn’t find my pictures of West Croydon so here’s one of east! 

Some great posts guys, really informative. I will take a picture of books from the other end tomorrow there are a few more books too see ..

temp.22af91ed499afe7d1fa1.JPG

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Hi Tony.

 

Yes the modern tram layout was built by the Croydon MRS. It is fairly simple and I think operates automatically.

 

By the way, in my notes about the map, the river I refer to is Deptford Creek, or the Quaggy or Ravensbourne. I am not sure if this is the location that Colin is referring to as 'Deptford Wharf ?'

From memory there were three rivers which merged together and eventually came out into the Thames at Deptford Creek. Two of them join just below Lewisham Station and can be seen from the platform. I cannot remember the name of the third one. I think that the river was navigable up to about the bridge on Deptford Broadway. The river was crossed by two other bridges, the road lifting bridge on Creek Road which I think is still operational and the the horizontal rising railway bridge, originally on the London and Greenwich Railway, which I think is now permanently fixed due to the lack of river traffic. This used to require the removal of fish plates, electrical cables etc. before it could be raised. Quite a drawn out process. This was the third bridge used by the railway. The first opened with the extension of the line to Greenwich in 1838 and was a drawbridge type. I believe possibly the first railway bridge of its type in the world. This was replaced with a more modern version of the same type, I think off the top of head early in the 20th century. There are some nice photos of this replacement work possibly in the Greenwich Local Studies Library.

 

By the way, I have copies of the late Ted Oakley's books and he gave a talk about trams to the Peckham Society some years ago. He covered the 'Ha' penny  Bumper' horse tram route which ran over various sections through Bermondsey to several termini including Spa Road, Dunton Road, Rotherhithe Red Lion and Canal Bridge (Old Kent Road) and was the last horse tram route in London, closing during the first world war. Several pictures exist in Southwark Local Studies Library and elsewhere including a couple in Southwark Park Road near to the street market in 'The Blue' which used to extend along a large length of the road. Mind you, the poor old horse looked rather emaciated ! He also mentioned another even more obscure backstreet horse tram route which ran intermittently around Peckham and East Dulwich along such streets as Choumert Road and Crystal Palace Road up from East Dulwich Road. Not sure when that closed, but he showed what I think was the only picture of a tram on that service and it was a 'Toast Rack' type with curtains on the sides totally different to those used elsewhere in South London

 

All the best

 

Ray

 

P.S  Might see you Tuesday evening Tony ?

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Yes, the last photo is of "Wellesley Road" owned and built by Croydon MRC and is still extant with its single Bombardier in original red and white livery to conform with the then bus livery (to me it is actually Vienna red and white because that is where they were built and tested).   Thus it is a "second generation" tramway model which is automatic and spent a day in the Palace of Westminster at a demonstration of modern tramway practice by the All-Parliamentary Light Rail Group for the education of peers and MPs.   The Club's "first generation" tram layout is the circular "Toop Tramway", also 4mm., which in its original condition had been bequeathed by Mr.Toop to Croydon Tramlink (CT) after he had offered it to me but I declined.   CT also found that it was not suitable for advertising a modern tramway!   To make space in the Tram Shop for a ticket machine, it was transferred to the conference room in Therapia Lane depot.   Again not really wanted, the Croydon MRC accepted it (CT had also used "Wellesley Road" for show purposes).   Then John Clarke ("West Croydon's" builder) and I redesigned it with John rebuilding a completely new base and trackwork for the buildings to be reused.   It is analogue 2-rail.   I attach a rebuilt Market Place view of it with Mark's Bluebird in blue and my cars LPTB 345, Southport toastrack and LPTB 280 front to back.   I won't take up space with the views I took before we completely rebuilt it!!!  

Market Place.JPG

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Sorry, I missed LTE Class B snowbroom 034 between the crowded toastrack and Type HB 280, in the view.   I have other views of this and "West Croydon" but really I consider them OT when looking a the development of a depot based on John Howe's "Brixton Hill" kit.

 

Thanks Ray for the 1894 map.   Yes, that depot has the hall-mark of a tram depot.   In one of Ted's diagrammatic maps there is an indication of something at that end of Greenwich High Road in horse tram days prior to LCC takeover.   However, I cannot easily find any direct reference to it but there were horse depots under different street names in Deptford as opposed to Greenwich.   Remember Ted's life and memory went very well back in time when boundaries were different.   Certainly, the horse tram entry/exit track layout shown is identical to that the electric stores/sand vans used to the end.   It looks as though the LCC went on to take over all the land from the rear to the Creek and after 1900 completely redeveloped the area to receive especially the sand for the driers there.   Your statement about the Ravensbourne as the principal tributary is correct and as to ship navigation Deptford Bridge was the limit from the Thames that I had as a separate PLA Thames chart in the days when I was in charge of its Hydrographic office in the 1960s.   Alas I cannot recall whether the site on the map was marked LTE nor can I recalled from my next job of maintaining the PLA's records of every ownership of the foreshore and banks from Teddington to Sea Reach No.1 including all the creeks.   But if time allows, I might look further into Deptford Wharf's earlier history - wish Ted, Cyril and others in the LTHG were still alive so I could add this to the many questions that have arisen since the LCC, LTT, LUT and MET books were published.   I think there is only I, Chris H and Peter D (who bought 1858) left.   Certainly on the web you can see LTM's WW2 bomb damage pictures of the site.   If any one particularly wants to model the Wharf and its operations, then again please contact me direct.   Colin.

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At last a moment to file old images into folders!   Found a couple to interest you.   First is an early experimental track section for RNR with RTR section of straight glued to a cardboard base then the road and pavement areas built up with cardboard and faced with Kingsway's printed surfaces.   The car is M 1698 and the buildings behind are Builtezzi.   The second is pertinent for any depot builder estimating its size to be!!!   The view is my work bench with the LT Croydon services "first generation" cars scheduled to work "West Croydon" at the 2015 Festival,2124892622_Kingswayexptllayout1.jpg.6260e78fad92f88dfee73014ec4e6ef7.jpg before overhaul.    I know this has appeared on another forum/site but not this thread.   Line 1 cars for 4 Penge and 5 Crystal Palace.   Line 2 cars for 7 Sutton.   Lines 3/4/5 for 16/18 Embankment and Purley.   Line 6 for 30 Nr.Willesden Jnc.   Line 7 for 42 Thornton Heath.   Line 8 display cars 015 sand van, 034 snowbroom and 2076 route proving Feltham (1934).   Line 9 the trolley only reserve fleet HB 280, M 1698 and an unnumbered ex-Walthamstow four wheeler.   Enjoy, Colin.    

LT serviceable 7.7.2015 a.jpg

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Colin.

 

Your depth of knowledge astounds me. When I get a copy of the 1914 edition we will see if there were any changes post electrification.

 

I never realised that Rotherhithe New Road had such a good shopping centre. I can only remember a small Co-op parade - greengrocers, butchers and grocers I think.

 

A splendid selection of trams. You certainly do not need to build any new rolling stock.

 

All the best

 

Ray

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Great posts guys and I agree on the level of knowledge. I think it is important to keep these memories alive there are probably only a few of us that really enjoy this sort of thing but I do love a bit of tramway / local history though

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Just thumbing through Southwark and  Deptford tramway album it seems there were a few horse depots, Bowles road, Leo street and Evelyn street all mentioned.

i found it interesting mentions of dulwich area hirers trams, lived round there and I don’t think I’ve heard those mentioned anywhere before but will do some reading.

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Yes, "LCCT Volume One" is the book for all the south side horse tramways and their very many depots as the LCC found when they took them over.   For 'northsiders' it is "LCCT Volume Two"!

 

Thanks, Ray. but I still have a handful of Croydon area cars to finish whenever I get back to them!   Kind regards, Colin.

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Hi Colin and Tony.

 

As you are no doubt aware, there was also a horse tram depot almost opposite Peckham Rye. north side East Dulwich Road/Peckham Rye West.

 

When the original Kings Arms pub was bombed during the war it got flattened and when they cleared away the rubble they found a lot of  horse tramway tracks under the floor/courtyard of the pub where there had presumably been a depot. They had obviously just built up on top of it perhaps incorporating the existing buildings in the pub ?

I recall seeing some very nice photos of these findings in Southwark Local History Library.

A new pub was built after the war to a modern style, but that closed I think at least ten years ago and was converted into flats.

 

More inspiration.

 

All the best

 

Ray

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Yes Ray, the tram track might still be there as there are so many incidences of track being left in-situ under cover.   Recently I came across the new flats built on the site of Chester's tram depot where the tracks had remained.   They still remain beautifully restored in the development's driveway.   To lay the Tramlink track in the centre of Croydon, tracks not used since 1927 and 1937 had to be removed first!   The WW2 scrap effort had overlooked them!!!   In the 1990's the site of Purley depot was redeveloped from a DIY store to flats.  The whole of the track fan and depot tracks were cut up.   I was able to inspect the sections looking to reuse any point pieces but everything seemed to date back to the start of the 20th century and so only fit for the smelter!   Possibly the best preserved conduit track is the lead in from Battersea Bridge Road to the former LCC permanent way yard site at Battersea Wharf (same purpose as Deptford Wharf).

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I have a few Bec kits made and unmade going to a sensible home if anyone's interested. There's at least 2 Felthams, one built, 1 part-built, a couple of 4 wheeler, a snowbroom, complete and running, maybe a couple of E1's as well. they have ABS trolley poles and Triang motors. ther'e also a Bec Horsfield car and an Anbrico sheffield Robert car, part-built bet needs rebuilding.

 

I used to help Adrian Swain run his tram layout at the horticultural Halls many years ago, maybe 1970/71.

 

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Hi Roythebus.

 

(No relation to Bertiethebus ?)

 

Interested in your collection of trams for disposal.

You say that these are powered by Tria-ang motor units. Now, the E1s and Felthams are bogie trams, so I do not think that there would be a suitable Tri-ang mechanism that would have fitted those ?

 

I might be interested in the snow broom, but would not want to prevent Thirty2A adding to his collection for his forthcoming layout.

 

Interested in your recollection about operating Adrian Swain's tram layout 1970/1. I think that I attended virtually all the exhibitions at the Horticultural Halls , (Can't remember when it moved there from the Central Hall). That was when I used to visit fairly local shows before I had a car. I don't remember seeing it, but it is a long time ago. Was Adrian producing his kits then ? I presume that he was, although a number of the tram kits would have originated with other manufacturers: Bec, Varney, Pirate, to name a few possibles.

 

All the best

 

Ray

Edited by wainwright1
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Roy, I confirm my interest in the snowbroom.   What were the other four wheelers, please?   

 

Ray, the original BEC bogie cars did have Triang motors, some were the TT gauge ones.   Adrian and I were brought together by Frank Vescoe about 1960-1 following the introduction of his BEC Leeds Horsfield kit and then his BEC E/1 (ex-Walthamstow) kit.   Adrian produced the four wheelers under the BEC/ABS range and Frank the bogie cars as BEC-Kits.   Both GTriang OO and TT motors were used to replace the original K's motors.   I did the product research and also constructed the motors from K's parts but as the failure rate in production (not use) was so great Frank switched to Triang.   All my BEC and ABS cars from the 1960/70 period have had their motors updated even to the extent of using Halling mechs. which are probably the best and the most expensive!    Adrian's kits are still available under ABS Kits.   Does anyone remember the BEC Models shop at 10 Tooting Bec Road?  Happy days when I could take the 64 bus through from Addington to Tooting Broadway and walk to Tooting Bec on a Sunday afternoon to deliver the next batch of motors for the following week's dispatch of tram kits. 

 

I  too used to operate Adrian's little demonstration line when I had to relieve him for breaks at exhibitions.   We are still together in touch but not as active on the exhibition rounds now.   He now has a large O-gauge layout.  

 

Colin.  

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On 08/03/2019 at 18:06, coline33 said:

Yes, Ray, "2099" (as I know it) is on indefinite loan from the Feltham Fund.   I was a member of the Tramways Sub-Committee of the BTC Clapham overseeing the trams in the years prior to its closure and move to Syon Park.   I loved driving the car on its blocks and my elder daughter, then 3 and 4, loved opening the front exit door every time I stopped - yes we had the compressor going for the air braking as well.   In trying to find a new home for the London items at Clapham, I had powers to operate all non-underground modes inserted in Lea Valley Regional Park Bill should funds be found to build a purpose built operational museum alongside the then new Northumberland Park Victoria Line depot to provide the DC current.   I had planned a single tram line from opposite Northumberland Park station to the museum from whence bus and trolleybus services could service within the Park.   Just think how this would have helped in 2012!!!   In the end no one then could afford a proper museum not even in Crystal Palace goods yard which BR offered.   Interestingly, the LTM director before EH asked me to find a way to lay a tramway between the Acton Museum depot and Acton Tram Depot which Livington would have taken over for the West London Tram but he soon dropped the idea when I pointed out the difficulties I had with the Northumberland Park line!   Instead he went for the miniature railway within the site!   By the way I have the LPTB Feltham driving instructions which shows that 2099 in the thirties was equipped differently to the other production Felthams.   I have a suspicion that it was changed when Vic Matterface was LPTB Rolling Stock Engineer (Trams) and by coincidence when he visited Charlton CRD in 1949 then as Leeds's Acting General Manager (Trams), 2099 was in for overhaul and he immediately asked for a loan of it!!!   He got it and the rest is history.

 

"CissiE" is a beautiful car and only a "Feltham" by location of its build as it was known as "Experimental Car No.3".   "CissiE" is the name given by the Finchley depot staff with the letters CE being for Central Entrance.   Built as a 70 seat + 30 standing crowd shifter on MET service 40 when it was the onward extension of the Northern Line from Golders Green.   BR Engineering did a marvelous job in restoring the running gear.   I spent an evening in 2002 with its dedicated driver back and forth - the quietness of it clearly was that which Vic Matterface and CRD had restored in 2085 about 1946 when 55 Broadway banned any further Felthams from having such a through 'war damage' complete overhaul - as people might oppose continuing tram conversion.   The Streatham depot staff named 2085 "The Queen of Telford" which was painted on the cab ceilings and of course this car now resides in the USA.   On my visit to Kennebunkport in the 1990s, I estimated return to UK and restoration to be close to a million pounds.   It has suffered through dismantling work to restore ceasing just leaving a complete mess - I could not work out whether dismantled pipework came from it or the New York subway cars it was between.   Very sad. 

 

I attach views of the templates for modelling the entrance tracks to Deptford Wharf in 'Recreation21', the present state of my RNR layout when Feltham 2073 tested the electrics (the depot front is laying on the track) and another of what still exists to whet David S's memories!   Enjoy, Colin.  

conduit template - Deptford wharf, New Cross, Streatham (Old).jpg

RNR stage 3 b.jpg

photo 12.jpg

 

Haha. The last one is a bit of my old layout that once occupied a spare bedroom where I lived in Morden. Still got a tiny bit in the loft.

 

This is well before I discovered how to easily built EMUs.

 

Dave

 

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