Plaque will mark site of Gorleston horse-drawn trams depot

Gorleston feathers Plain and Library

Gorleston feathers Plain and Library - Credit: Archant

A blue plaque will be unveiled in Gorleston next week to mark a 'first' in East Anglia and a 170th anniversary.

Last horse tram in Gorleston

Last horse tram in Gorleston - Credit: Archant

March 25 is the 170th anniversary of the opening of the Gorleston to Southtown horse-drawn tram service, which was the first in East Anglia.

To mark the occasion, a Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society blue plaque will be erected and unveiled by the Mayor, Cllr Marlene Fairhead on the site of the tram service main depot – now the present day library. The depot operated from 1875 to 1905.

In 1882, the tram service was extended from Feathers' Plain via Lowestoft Road to the Ship Inn on England's Lane and later to Brush Quay.

By 1905, the borough council had taken over the service and electrified it. This required a smaller depot and coincided with a Carnegie Foundation grant for a new library in the town, so a new building was erected, housing the tram depot to the east and the library, on the corner of Baker Street and Lowestoft Road and designed by the borough architect, J W Cockrill.

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The library was opened in 1907.

The tram service gave way to buses in 1930, but the library remained until 1975, when the joint sites were developed into the present day library.

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Both tram depots and the Carnegie Library will be recorded on the plaque.

The unveiling will be at 10.30am and a display of pictures relating to the site, organised by Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage group, will be in the library.

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