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#1079719 17th Sep 2020 3:38pm
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I have been looking at a map from 1876 and it shows trams running on Price St then up Vittoria St to the park entrance. I thought they only ran along Conway St to that entrance so it must have been a circular route.
Another route I didn't know about was the one up to Palm Grove. It ran up Park Rd East, Park Rd South then up to the top of Palm Grove where it ends and there is a street railway depot there.
The only other route is Canning St, Bridge St, Cleveland St, and Beaufort Rd to the old Docks Station on Wallasey Bridge Rd.

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When the trams were electrified, about 1901-1904, some of the horse-drawn routes were abandoned, particularly those that had been designed with horses in mind. Some maps do mark them as such, but it is quite interesting if you go looking into the history of the trams to get a fuller story.

mikeeb #1079739 18th Sep 2020 12:18pm
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It did make me wonder how hard it would be for a horse to walk up Park Rd East then slog it up Palm Grove. Who'd want to be a horse in the 19th and early 20th century? grin
Very interesting that they didn't carry on utilising the tracks.

mikeeb #1079753 18th Sep 2020 11:17pm
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Are the trams in Birkenhead running these days? Every time I've been there whole of the Woodside area has been deserted. They certainly don't seem to be drawing in hordes of touristss and can't possibly be anywhere near profitable.

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In 1860, the eccentric American entrepreneur George Francis Train built a horse-drawn street railway (tramway) in Birkenhead, the first in Europe, after Liverpool City Council rejected the idea.

It ran on a raised iron track which was laid in just six weeks from Woodside Ferry to Palm Grove, near Birkenhead Park, a distance of one and a half miles.

Train, an avid self-publicist, threw a lavish banquet in a warehouse near Woodside to mark the launch. He invited 300 guests, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Ministers, MPs and peers, the crowned heads of Europe, Garibaldi and the Pope. Most were otherwise engaged.

The street railway became popular with the public, but drivers of horse-drawn cabs were angry at loss of business. A further annoyance was having to bump their cabs over the raised tracks, to the discomfort of their passengers.

The horses hauling the tramcars also had a hard time. Most of the route was on level ground and the going quite easy. But the gradual haul uphill from Conway Street to Palm Grove took its toll on the animals.

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Aah! So it was because the tracks were raised that they done away with them?

You can see why the haul uphill from Conway St would be hard for the horses, especially from the bottom of Slatey Rd and up Palm Grove. I wouldn't be surprised if some died of exhaustion.

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Originally Posted by Excoriator
Are the trams in Birkenhead running these days? Every time I've been there whole of the Woodside area has been deserted. They certainly don't seem to be drawing in hordes of touristss and can't possibly be anywhere near profitable.

As far as I know, it is a charity that runs the trams.
Some one correct me if I am wrong.

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The park shelters that we used to play in as kids we never really thought about, but now can picture them in my mind. Could they have been the old horse drawn tram bodies minus the wheels.

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I believe the shelters in Arrowe Park in the 50s/60s were old tram bodies

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These extracts about the tram railway are from Auld Lang Syne, by Harry B Neilson, a memoir of Birkenhead starting from his boyhood in the latter part of the 19th century – the book was published in 1935. Neilson was quite well-to-do. He makes it quite clear how the poor horses suffered hauling the trams.

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