Norwich Electric Tramway

 
1933-07 Tram on E side on first traffic day [B604] 1933-07-01
East side of Fyebridge rebuilt.
1933-07 Tram on E side on first traffic day [B605] 1933-07-01
St Giles' St laying track from Chapel Field [B793] 1933-10-08
By St Giles' Gate in the district of Heigham stood the Grapes Hotel, a late Georgian house that had undergone various alterations at different times. Perhaps the most drastic was the insertion of shop fronts on either side of the original pillared doorway.
During the raids of the 27th-29th April 1942, the upper floors of the building were gutted, but the ground floor was saved and continued in use until a few years after the war, when a new building (not a hotel) was built. A small lead plate transferred from the old house and dated 1811 marked the boundary of the then parish of Heigham St Bartholomew. It carries the initials "H.B." and the saint's symbol of a knife, with which he is said to have been flayed alive. The plate is unique in being the only one of its kind marking a parish outside the city walls. The post-war building was itself replaced in 2006.
The tall building to the left of the Grapes dated from late Victorian times. While the half occupied by the Midland Bank was not greatly damaged in the raids, the other half, then occupied by Yaxley's wireless shop but previously by the West End Grocery Stores, was burned down completely.
My photograph was taken on Sunday morning, 8th October 1933, when workmen were renewing the tram track, unaware that the whole system was to be abandoned little more than two years later.
St Giles' St laying track from Tuns Inn [B794] 1933-10-08
At St Giles' Gates the Unthank Rd and Earlham Rd routes converged with the route via Chapel Field North and Theatre St. The latter was used only by the outward bound early morning services to avoid parked vans delivering goods to the Market at that time.
St Benedict's Gate site south side view E [0015] 1934-01-21
In the raid of April 1942, all the wall shown in the photograph was blown down, but the gatehouse abutment still stood, albeit considerably cracked and out of true, on the very edge of a large bomb crater. Because of its condition it was later entirely cleared away, and so the last remnant of the gates belonging to the city's fortifications was destroyed as a result of enemy action.
City Rd removal of track view to Bracondale [0034] 1934-02-20
The City Rd service was withdrawn October 1933.
St Catherine's Plain tram on loop line [0038] 1934-02-22
The work of constructing the tramways in Norwich commenced on 22nd June 1898. On 19th April 1900 trial trips were made on completed sections, the service being formally opened to the public on 30th July following. The bodies of the tramcars, by Brush Electrical Engineering Co had seats for 26 persons inside and 26 outside. Commencing in 1923 a number of new tramcar bodies, built by English Electric Co, were purchased to replace others which had worn out. These differed in detail and seated 26 inside and 29 outside. Photographed just before closure.
Bracondale tram at terminus [0044] 1934-02-24
Trowse station. The Orford Place to Trowse station route just before its closure
Bracondale removal of tram track view north [0285] 1934-09-09
The Trowse service was withdrawn February 1934.
Silver Jubilee Orford Place tramway centre [0509] 1935-05-03
Tramway shelter and timekeeper's office. Erected 1928 by Walter Macfarlane and Co Glasgow, cost 650.
Orford Place shelter Jubilee floodlit [0536] 1935-05-06
Silver Rd former depot tracks [4382] 1955-09-19
On 19th April 1925 the Aylsham Rd track was abandoned, the first of a fleet of tramway motor buses being substituted on amended routes. City Rd services withdrawn October 1933. Trowse services withdrawn February 1934. The last service to operate was between Newmarket Rd and Cavalry Barracks Riverside Rd the final car leaving Orford Place 11:10pm on 10th December 1935. In 1955 the only places where track remained were at the former tramway depot Silver Rd and in Thorpe Station yard.
Denmark Opening Derelict tramcar chassis [4565] 1960-07-23
The end of the road.

Text and photographs copyright George Plunkett

 Home