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First electric trams, Reading

Postcard - 22 July 1903

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Crowds surround Reading's first electric tram on Broad Street

A crowd surrounds electric tram car no.1, decorated for the Mayor of Reading, Alderman A.H. Bull, on the first day of operation on 22 July 1903. This photogrpah was taken in Broad Street outside Wellsteeds department store (now The Oracle) and there is a Blandy and Hawkins brewery dray in the foreground. The postcard was produced by Jenkins of London Street, Reading.

Horse drawn trams had been operated by the Reading Tramways Company since 1879 along Oxford Road, Broad Street and King's Road. In 1901 Reading Corporation Tramways took over the private operator and they quickly set about modernising and improving the service with new routes and electrification. A new tram depot and power station was built on Mill Lane. The electric trams were replaced by trolley buses in 1939.

Museum object number REDMG : 1996.223.105