Welcome to the
Hucclecote Model Railway Show
Saturday June 15th 2024

The Electric Tramway

There were horse-drawn tramways in Gloucester since 1879, but until the 20th century Hucclecote’s transport needs were met by George Symonds’ fleet of horse buses. Then, in 1902 the Gloucester City Council purchased the assets of the horse tramway, and in 1904 opened an electric tramway, built to the 3'6" gauge. One line extended from the Cross to the Top Shop at Churchdown Lane. Hucclecote was then outside the city, so the line here was the property of the County Council.

The pdf document Gloucester Corporation Transport published by the Local Transport History Society is an excellent history of the system.

The cars were built by Brush Electrical Machines of Loughborough. The livery was crimson lake and cream, but, during World War I, the livery changed to all-grey. This could have been due to a shortage of paint, or because the trams went to Brockworth Aerodrome, a sensitive military area. This all-grey livery lasted until the system's closure.

An extension from Churchdown Lane to the Victoria Inn and into Brockworth Aerodrome took place during 1917, using recovered track from the little-used Westgate Street line. More track was laid into the Great Western Railway (GWR) sidings at the Gloucester Docks, where much of the material was unloaded. Some of the trams were fitted out so that they acted as locomotives pulling several railway trucks, taking materials to the aerodrome.

In the summers of 1922 to 1924, a passenger service ran to the Victoria Inn, transporting passengers to the then countryside. After this, the track extension, from Brockworth back to Churchdown Lane, was lifted.

As part of a programme of replacing the tramway services with buses, which had started in 1929, the final trams ran on 12 January 1933.

That's not quite the end of the story! Some track remains under the Hucclecote Road, and is occasionally unearthed during roadworks.