Picture in Time: Great Orme Tramway 5

It’s 1993 and we are in Llandudno for the next instalment of our archive photo series. Of course the tramway in question is the Great Orme Tramway as we take a look at one of the lower section’s tram – no. 5.

As with all four of the trams on the Great Orme Tramway no. 5 was built in time for the opening of the line by Hurst, Nelson & Co Ltd of Motherwell. It arrived in North Wales along with fellow lower section car no. 4 in 1902 and entered service in that same year. To be honest the history of all four of the trams is much the same and rather boring as there is no evidence to suggest that any of them have ever operated on the other section and so throughout its career has gone up and down the lower section in a variety of different liveries.

This view of no. 5 shows it descending on the lower section with Llandudno Bay seen in the background. The photo was taken on 17th April 1993 but apart from the age of the cars the scene has changed very little today.

Photograph by Ralph Oakes-Garnett

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4 Responses to Picture in Time: Great Orme Tramway 5

  1. Paul says:

    Probably the most obvious change since then regarding the tramway itself is that the “overhead” wire – in actual fact a communications telegraph not a power supply – has gone to be replaced with a radio system and the cars now run with both trolley poles hooked down. (there was a short time when at least the upper section cars ran with no poles at all)

  2. David A. Young says:

    No change? The loss of the overhead wire and poles has wrought a considerable change to the tramway’s appearance. Admittedly, the wire was for telephone communication rather than propulsion, but its absence over the last 20 or more years has been noticeable and in my opinion not for the better.

  3. Andy Bailey says:

    Don’t forget that there was a bad accident in the 1930’s which shut the tramway for a short while.

  4. John Hibbert says:

    There is no “overhead” on this photo – it had already gone.

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