Win a book of fascinating memories of life on Norwich's trams

Passengers on an old Norwich tram.

Every man for himself! A busy day on Castle Meadow in 1905. - Credit: Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.

For 35 years they ruled the roads…highways and byways across Norwich had taken on a whole new look to make way for the trams. The first comprehensive public transport system.

For a long time now Frances and Michael Holmes of the Norwich Heritage Projects have been putting together their new book - The Days of the Norwich Trams: Transforming Streets, Transforming Lives.


Book cover for The Days of Norwich Trams

Win a copy of the new book by the Norwich Heritage Projects. - Credit: Norwich Heritage Projects

And this is your chance to win a copy.

The book follow the often rowdy and fascinating debate over the trams, who should pay for them, and the movers and shakers of the day so well.

Eventually the Norwich Electric Tramways Company coughed up £44,000 in 1897 towards the road widening and at the end of July in 1900 it was all systems go. The trams were running.


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We reported at the time: “The interior of the tramcars are furnished comfortably. Electric light apparatus is fixed and on each side are three sides of dainty design.”

A group of tram line workers pose for a picture.

A rare photograph sent to the authors by Hazel Westgate who read our stories appealing for tram memories. These tough guys were taking a break to have their picture taken while laying the tramway on Newmarket Road in Norwich in around 1898. Isaac Moss, that’s him sitting in the front row, third from the right, was Hazel’s grandfather. Isaac, born 1867, was a teamster working with horses in the Alpington area, In 1989 he came into Norwich to work on the tramways to earn extra money so that he could marry his sweetheart Lucy which he did in May 1899. I wonder who that little lad all dressed up and sitting next to Isaac is? - Credit: Hazel Westgate

Many of your memories and photographs, often passed down, by granny and grandpa and mum and dad, are part of this marvellous book.

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The impact of the trams was immense and they encouraged people to put pen to paper.

A group photo of the Norwich Electric Tramways Company workforce in 1901

Meet the workers. The Norwich Electric Tramways Company workforce in 1901. - Credit: East Anglia Transport Museum.

John Smith wrote to us with the following song inspired by the trams:

"They run you round to Sprowston and take you down to Thorpe,

Also to Angel Gardens where lovers go to court.

They take you round to Chapel Field to hear sweet music play,

Where the girls like to laugh and dance,

And a penny all the way."

Trams in Norwich

The authors have added a splash of colour to some of the pictures to add to the atmosphere. This photograph from the Mike Adcock Collection was taken overlooking the bottom of Timber Hill in around 1930. - Credit: Mike Adcock Collection

A coloured picture of the old trams which ran along St Stephen's Street in Norwich.

It was six years ago when Muriel Roe, then aged 93, told me how she was born in St Stephen’s, Norwich, and lived with her mum and dad in a flat above the Maypole grocery shop until she was four years old. “The trams ran up and down St Stephen’s and I would wave to the passengers on the top deck and they would cheerfully wave back. With slightly longer arms we could have touched hands,” said Muriel. “I can still remember the excitement of waiting for the next tram to pass,” she said. And this Archant photograph of St Stephen’s in 1930 illustrates so well how narrow the street was….then the Luftwaffe bombed it and the planners moved in…it is still making the headlines. - Credit: Archant Library

When the last tram ran Towncloseite wrote:

"And so you’ve passed! You dear old trams

Who gave us of your best:

The generation thou hast served,

And well deserve they rest.

The gong was music to our ears,

When fast the rain come down;

We scampered quickly to thy folds,

Lest we went drenched to town.

Some days we waited for thee long

To take us to the train:

We looked for thee with eager eyes,

But had to look in vain.

Full well we know they capering tricks

As by the pole you pranced

We shouted loud but thou wast deaf,

As after thee we danced.

At times we took a walk with thee,

Down by St Stephen’s Street:

And often we arrived there first,

Thy cheerful face to greet.

Farewell dear trams, we thank you all!

Conductors, drivers, too:

For kindness shown to one and all

Our thanks to ALL of you."

A coloured picture of the old trams which ran along St Stephen's Street in Norwich.

It was six years ago when Muriel Roe, then aged 93, told me how she was born in St Stephen’s, Norwich, and lived with her mum and dad in a flat above the Maypole grocery shop until she was four years old. “The trams ran up and down St Stephen’s and I would wave to the passengers on the top deck and they would cheerfully wave back. With slightly longer arms we could have touched hands,” said Muriel. “I can still remember the excitement of waiting for the next tram to pass,” she said. And this Archant photograph of St Stephen’s in 1930 illustrates so well how narrow the street was….then the Luftwaffe bombed it and the planners moved in…it is still making the headlines. - Credit: Archant Library

How to win a book

When did the last tram run in Norwich?

Was it: A) 1925. B) 1935 or C) 1945.

Answers to be emailed to: info@norwich-heritage.co.uk by August 10. Please include your name and postal address.

Five entrants will received a copy of The Days of the Norwich Trams: Transforming Streets, Transforming Lives.

The book, which costs £12.50 can be bought from outlets across Norfolk, including Jarrold and City Bookshop or direct from www.norwich-heritage.co.uk

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