Synopses & Reviews
The first trams to be operated in West Bromwich belonged to the South Staffordshire Tramways Company, which began operating double-deck steam trams from Handsworth to Wednesbury in 1883, eventually extending the route to Dudley. Between 1885 and 1893 the Birmingham & Midland Tramways Company operated a route with steam trams between Bromford Lane and Spon Lane and these were somewhat unusually replaced by horse trams before the routes were electrified in 1903. The B&M also operated the Birmingham to Dudley service via Smethwick and Oldbury, which joined up with the Bromford and Spon Lane services. These were the foundations of the tram services that ran through the West Bromwich area and which were abandoned in 1939, the last of which was closed just after the outbreak of the Second World War. In this book, David Harvey uses photographs from his collection to show the development of tram services over their more than fifty-seven years in West Bromwich and nearby Smethwick, Oldbury and Dudley.
From the late nineteenth century until 1939, a series of tram routes ran between Birmingham and West Bromwich, including steam trams, electric trams, and in the early years a horse tram service operated on behalf of one of the tramway companies by a local undertaker. The route was electrified by West Bromwich Corporation and operated by Birmingham & Midland Tramways (who had first operated the steam trams in August 1885), South Staffordshire Tramways and, later, Birmingham Corporation Tramways.
Immediately before the Second World War, the last of the routes between Birmingham and West Bromwich were replaced by more cost-effective buses. In this book, David Harvey uses a collection of rare photographs to examine these tram routes that ran through the West Bromwich area, including Smethwick, Oldbury, Wednesbury and Dudley.