In Pictures: Cambridge Horse Car 7

A few weeks ago we bought you photos of Ipswich 33 which has recently been  cosmetically restored at the Ipswich Transport Museum and made mention of the fact that the team responsible were turning their attention to Cambridge Horse Car 7 and we are now able to bring you a few images of this tram courtesy of Stephen Cobb.

So far the main work undertaken on this horse tram has been the painstaking task of carefully rubbing down sections of one side with wet and dry paper which has led the team to make a few discoveries about the tram. This includes the fact that it is definitely car 7, the crimson livery, a number of adverts applied to the tram and some signwriting of the Tramway Company name.


A view showing part of an advert for Boulton Bros which is on the lower section of the tram. (Photo: Stephen C0bb)


A close-up of end of the car below the windows which shows the crimson livery and the "Tramways" wording with a section of an advert below. (Photo: Stephen Cobb)


A view of the just visible 7 surrounded by a garter which you can just read the "...way Company Ltd" section at the bottom. (Photo: Stephen Cobb)


A general view of the tram. (Photo: Stephen Cobb)

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8 Responses to In Pictures: Cambridge Horse Car 7

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    This tram dates from 1894 and had seating for 18 inside and ‘garden seats’ for 23 outside. Auctioned off on February 20, 1914, two days after the Cambridge Street Tramways closed, to a Mr Howard for £9.15s

  2. Stephen Cobb says:

    Some additional information from one of the team working on the tram which poses some questions as to its history prior to 1894…….

    “The true origin of the tram is something of a mystery. G F Milnes had taken over The Starbuck Company eight years before No.7 was delivered but continued to construct trams to the Starbuck pattern for a few years, however No.7 carries a Starbuck Co. builders plate not Milnes. It is a typical example of their 1880s style light-weight enclosed 18 seat single-deck tramcar with monitor roof and seven side windows, 21’ 8” long by 6’ 1” wide, which has been converted to an 1890s style open top double-decker. The conversion was achieved by adding a cambered floor, supported by iron brackets, mounted over the existing roof, with staircases at each end and transverse seats for 22 or 24 additional passengers. The possibility is therefore that the tram had been completed as a single-decker by The Starbuck Company prior to the take-over but had remained unsold and been converted by G F Milnes into a double-decker to fulfil the order from Cambridge. This conversion may have been available from G F Milnes as a standard kit of parts as several of the Ipswich Tramways Co. single-deck horse trams were converted in the same manner during the 1890s.”

  3. Stephen Cobb says:

    Some further details which have come to light regarding this tram:-

    There is a fourth livery layer under the three Cambridge ones – one which appears to consist of a blue & cream colour scheme, with the cream areas being lined out in blue. There are fragments of a company/municipal crest of some sort on both sides on the panel beneath the windows as well. The words “No. 3 car” are on one of the interior panels, and the remains of seating capacity lettering (for a single deck car) have also been found.

    More importantly, a General Managers name has been found on the lower ends of both sides of the body, which appears to read ” John Haugh (or possibly Maugh). Gen. Manager”. This name doesn’t appear to be relevant to its period in Cambridge, so has anyone got any information on where this person would have been Manager??

    The only John Haugh I can find on the internet was involved with the West Carbery Tramways and Light Railway in Ireland – but this was a steam line as far as I can make out.

  4. Stephen Cobb says:

    Some more very careful rubbing down has finally revealed part of the crest on the bottom layer of paint and has produced the words Labor and Vincit at each end of the band underneath the crest. This would therefore appear to be part of the Latin motto “Labor omnia vincit” which is used by the Municipalities of Bradford, West Bromwich and Illkeston.
    What we could actually have therefore is a Bradford horse car that ended up in Cambridge!! It appears to have been built as a 4 foot gauge car, so that would support the view that it originated in Bradford.
    Further research will be carried out on its origins now that this evidence has come to light.

  5. W.Mann says:

    The name on the tram is a Mr John Waugh C.E. & Manager from Bradford and Shelf Tramway Company, used by them up until around 1892 (changed livery to brown in 1892 this tram was not, it was still the dark blue ) very possible pulled along as a steam trailer at some point , possible number 8 car (single deck 18 seat Starbuk) but not 100%. Prussian blue with gold and white pin stripping along with a Bradford coat of arms with a small rumble (crotal) bell hanging from the bottom with the words .LABOR.OMNIA.VINCIT. It was then brought by Cambridge in 1894 but now as a double deck with a milnes top deck. Its worth paying the Ipswich Transport Museum a visit to view this tram as the better side is not shown in these pictures.

  6. Dave Mitchell says:

    The Shelf tramway was basically near flat for about 3 miles probably more.
    At that time in the 80s and 90s would have been a fairly sparse population explaining its long life as horse drawn with the later steam and lastly electric haulage till 1949/50 and closure.
    Bradford being my home city would appreciate further information as it appears.

    For people interested in the Bradford horse trams there were films discovered from early news reals that have been placed onto the internet.
    Those trams on Manningham lane going to the Park gates.


  7. R. G. Mitchell says:

    Sorry to disagree with my namesake (no relation) but according to the late J.Stanley King, the Bradford & Shelf Tramway Company operated only steam-hauled trailer cars from Bradford Town Hall southwards up the 1 in 28 incline of Manchester Road to Bankfoot from 1884, extending along the relatively level plateau to Shelf in 1886. The trailer car livery was indeed Prussian Blue & Cream. The only horse cars within the Bradford boundary were operated by the Bradford Tramways & Omnibus Company along the relatively level Manningham Lane from Rawson Square to Lister Park (Victor Road) from 1882 to 1902. There was an horse tram extension from Park Gates to the boundary at Frizinghall from 1885 to 1888, before the same company introduced “steamers” from Forster Square to Frizinghall (along the same tracks as the horse trams) between 1888 to 1902. The livery of the BT&OC horse cars and steam trailer cars was Nut Brown & Cream. Bradford Corporation (Bradford City Tramways) never operated horse-drawn cars, and electrified the Manningham Lane routes in 1902, using Prussian Blue & Ivory cars, carrying the City Crest, “Labor Omnia Vincet”

    • Phil Calvey says:

      What a great job has been done on Ipswich 33. What a great find with Cambridge 7 but they now also have only the third surviving steam tram trailer in the UK! On checking my records I agree with Mr R. G. Mitchell’s comments above. I have been researching into the Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company’s sister company the Blackburn and Over Darwen Steam Tramway co which had the same owners as the BT&OC. There are lots of similarities between the two fleets and liveries so if Mr. Mitchell wishes to contact me then let me know as I would like to pick his brains also.

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