Picture in Time: Seaton 12

Picture in Time heads south today for a visit to Eastbourne in 1968 where we see the tram we now know as Seaton no. 12 but in those days was probably actually Eastbourne or just plain old Modern Electric Tramway 12.

1968 was the penultimate year of operation for Modern Electric Tramways in Sussex before the tramway moved along the south coast and at this time no. 12 was only two years old having being built in 1966. If you think of 12 today you think of its double deck form as what a Feltham would have looked like as an open topper but when originally built it was a single decker with more than a passing resemblance to a Blackpool Pantograph car even down to the livery style. Originally constructed to the 2 foot gauge (and having heating when first running) it was converted to the 2’9” Seaton gauge in 1971 and continued to operate in Devon in this style until 1980 when it was rebuilt into an double deck open topper although it wasn’t to be until 1999 when it took on its Feltham design.

This image shows the tram at Eastbourne in 1968 during a pre-arranged visit by the photographer which included a tour of the system by Claude Lane himself.

Photograph by John Hampton

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2 Responses to Picture in Time: Seaton 12

  1. Peter Makinson says:

    I accompanied John on that visit way back in 1968 and have a similar photograph myself. It would be good to get in touch with John again!

    • Derek Smith says:

      Hi Peter,
      I am writing a book on the Seaton Tramway’s days at Eastbourne which I hope will fill in a few gaps left by the Seaton Trams book. I’ve been lucky in amassing a number of photographs and memories but I could always do with more. You note that you have a similar picture to John’s of Car 12 and was wondering if I might use it in the book. It’s very much a labour of love and I certainly won’t make any money from it but if you can help I would be grateful.
      Kind regards
      Derek Smith

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