LEEDS CITY TRAMWAYS 1871-1959

Railways, trams, buses, etc.
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Brunel
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Postby Brunel » Thu 12 Sep, 2013 1:37 am

           https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6roKqK2w73eZUR6NmlHSVN3N2M/view                                    All 41 pages.
Last edited by 1 on Brunel, edited 0 times in total.
DaveJ
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Postby DaveJ » Sat 07 Dec, 2013 4:32 pm

Route 2 to Moortown:
The booklet (produced in 1981) obviously has a few typos, but I am wondering how accurate it is about Route 2 to Moortown. My memory (not really good these days so will need someone to confirm) was that the trams terminating at Moortown did not make the turn at Moortown corner but went straight on in front of the shops to a short turn around spur. This was probably the service that was discontinued in 1957 but I thoought the Route 2 Moortown circular trams continued up until 1959.
A. D. Young
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Postby A. D. Young » Sun 08 Dec, 2013 6:56 am

The circular tram route to Moortown always turned from Harrogate Road into Street Lane.

Way back when, cars terminating at Moortown crossed over in Harrogate Road, just before Street Lane. That crossover was removed and replaced before WW2 by one on Street Lane itself at about what was then named Back Allerton Avenue.

When the 2 circular tram service ceased in September 1957, and indeed the whole service to Moortown via Chapeltown and Harrogate Roads, the crossover on Street Lane remained in use for cars coming up from town via Harehills, Roundhay and Street Lane (3). That ceased in March 1959.

Tram tracks on Harrogate Road beyond Street Lane never happened. The replacement Moortown only bus (2 in 1957) took that route however, ending at the late-lamented Chained Bull (a site that now hosts Marks and Spencers only).

It then deadheaded down to the roundabout at Harrogate Road/ Scott Hall Road to turn, then went back up Harrogate Road to wait at the parade of shops that flanks Harrogate Road just north of the junction with Shadwell Lane and across the road from the Chained Bull.

The replacement 2 circular bus of the time, however, followed the former tram route from Harrogate Road into Street Lane.

A. D. Young picture of AEC Regent III 664 having arrived on a Moortown-only service at the departure stop for the return to Dewsbury Road in March 1963.

A. D. Young

PS does this site allow more than just one picture to be attached to a comment/reply? If so, how?
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AEC Regent III 9613E 664, Harrogate Road at Shadwell Lane, Moortown. 1963. D. A. Young.jpg
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Phill_dvsn
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Postby Phill_dvsn » Sun 08 Dec, 2013 10:38 am

A. D. Young wrote:

PS does this site allow more than just one picture to be attached to a comment/reply? If so, how?

You can't add more than one photo in one comment by using the photo attachment option.

The only way to add more than one photo in a comment is if you use a photo hosting site like flickr, or photobucket e.t.c. Alternatively you can use Firefox browser and hot link as many photos as you like into one comment box. Hot linking a photo is pretty simple to do, just grab the photo's forum tag and paste it into the comment box.



It's a bit long winded to go into if non of those options apply to you.
But if they do, I can go through it better for you. The next best way to post several photos is just post one comment after another and add one photo at a time, shorten any long descriptive text up and break it down under each separate photo.

It would be good if S.L had a section on how to post photos by different methods in the help & F&Q section I think.    
My flickr pictures are here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/

Because lunacy was the influence for an album. It goes without saying that an album about lunacy will breed a lunatics obsessions with an album - The Dark side of the moon!

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Brunel
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Postby Brunel » Sun 08 Dec, 2013 12:54 pm

David Young, hope you enjoyed reading LEEDS CITY TRAMWAYS.

Many hours scanning, optical character reading, correcting errors and finally converting to PDF.

The original paper copy was borrowed from "Tramway" Mel.
A. D. Young
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Postby A. D. Young » Sun 08 Dec, 2013 1:08 pm

Thanks for that- sounds like a practical method for putting up photos, if a trifle cumbersome--but then we're all bound by technology's limitations so at least let's rejoice that we can do it at all.

Further to Moortown Corner and trams extending beyond along Harrogate Road, there was as far as I know never even the remotest discussion of extending tram lines along Harrogate Road, other than for Bertrand Mather's suggestion of 1944 to push a reserved-track tram line out to Alwoodley Gates, taking advantage of the dual carriageway on Harrogate Road, most of which was already in place by then.

That idea was a part of his fanciful and highly expensive idea of using Scott Hall Road's dual carriageway as a speedy light rail line from Alwoodley down to town--an idea partly realised by the more recent busway toy. Mather's suggestion was part of his comprehensive plan to rejuvenate the Leeds system by eliminating overlapping tram and bus services, scrapping some routes, building a few link lines and perhaps some more advanced Light Rail lines etc.

A bit of history. When the Harrogate Road tram lines were extended from the Queen's Arms to Street Lane and then on Street Lane to Roundhay Park in the early 1900s, feeder motor buses followed on only a couple of years later, including a bus to Shadwell, so almost from the beginning the idea of Harrogate Road as a tramway extension (and at that time the area was way out in the country) was already a non-starter.

Development began with the coming of the tramway and by 1925 most of Harrogate Road, and Street Lane too, was well built up with villa type houses and inhabitants to match, plus many more modest suburban semis. An awful lot of all these folks had at least one private car, even in the mid-20s and in 1944 it must have been obvious that once basic petrol ration was restored, they'd get their cars off the blocks, charge up the battery and zoom back into their own private transport, so making a nonsense out of any suggestion of post-war extensions to North Leeds tram lines before the war was even over.

In retrospect, by the time I knew the area as a child in the late '40s, a time when private cars were already back en masse in this part of town despite petrol rationing, it was amazing that the complexity of the tram services at Moortown Corner continued to survive. Indeed, it was exceeded by the sheer choice of bus services available at Moortown Corner. No wonder Leeds City Transport was losing money on so many of its routes in a time which others have described as the golden age of public transport, for many other tram termini or hubs around the city were either experiencing the same thing already or were set fair to do so once petrol rationing ceased.

In 1948, trams terminated at Moortown, or went on as a 2 circular to Roundhay then via Harehills and the city (some would terminate in Briggate and retrace their steps as a 3 or 3 circular), then as a 1 car, they would creep along Boar Lane to City Square before tackling the climb up Cookridge Street and Woodhouse Lane to Headingley and Lawnswood.

Change cars at Roundhay, and you could pick up a No 4. tram that took the same route to town, then trundled out to Kirkstall Abbey and Hawksorth Road, practically in Horsforth. Change cars at Harehills instead and South Leeds was available by tram-No 5 to Beeston.

Coming from Roundhay to Moortown as 3 circular cars, trams went down via Chapeltown and Sheepscar to Briggate and terminated, or as 1 cars went on to Headingley and Lawnswood via City Square. From 1953 or 1954, trams to 9 Dewsbury Road (practically out to Middleton Ring Road) from Moortown via Chapeltown were added, refugees from cross city tram route pairings which had already been closed. (Did they also run the other way to Dewsbury Road via Street Lane, Roundhay and Harehills? I forget)

How the whole pattern of these intensive tram services meshed together remains unclear to me; at that young age the trams just seemed to be a constant presence, meandering along without timetable or sequential pattern, though that surely could not have been the case. And all this in one of the first parts of town to have gone over to the private car (though today's 2 and 3 car households were yet to come).    

When inevitably the tram routes closed one by one, the replacing bus services were every bit as complex--and with the March 1959 tram closures that brought about the amazingly convoluted Moortown/Roundhay/Belle Isle/Middleton, plus Moortown Dewsbury Road groups of services even more so. Meanwhile more and more motor cars...

At the time, people moaned a lot about losing direct connection to the railway stations with these bustitutions, but as I said earlier, most in this area were people for whom trams, buses and all but the longest-distance railway trains no longer loomed large in their lives-or indeed at all. Even with just one car, a family was almost permanently lost to public transport.

No more waiting at cold rainy stops, with the wind cutting through you like a knife, no more waiting endless minutes for a vehicles that never seemed to come (it did actually, and quite frequently too but who likes to wait?) and now TV had arrived, who but the young wanted to drag themselves out of the house to go to town and the Odeon, Majestic, Scala, Gaumont etc. or even the neighbourhood cinema by tram or bus any more, especially when drunks, spivs or newly-arrived teddy boys were about?

The tram trip to town via Harrogate Road wasn't terribly speedy-a West Yorkshire bus on the 36 route, which you could get on at Moortown corner, was swifter-partly because it ran limited stop down to Vicar Lane--it would stop to let people off, but not to let them on--and few people wanted to get off.

Not that they were such comfortable vehicles, the lowbridge double-deckers especially, but they did the job well and today's wonderbuses on the 36 are a rare example of public transport and the vehicles provided being better than 50-60 years ago, and on only slightly reduced frequencies - 3 an hour at best instead of 4 an hour in the 1940s-70s for example.

A tram trip to a youngster was always interesting if only for the sheer variety of trams that showed up at Moortown Corner; every type of car in the fleet could be seen in the course of a day if you were lucky and when there were special events at Roundhay Park and us kids could ride for a 1d in the summer holidays, you were spoiled for choice because old, new and second- hand cars in a rainbow of different colours and paint schemes would show up willy-nilly.

It was a spectacle, a grand piece of transport theater, this growling, groaning collection of railed vehicles that Alderman Rafferty (the Transport Committee Chairman for so many years between 1945 and the mid 1960s) once disparagingly referred to as the city's "Ancient Order of Odd Fellows," as they banged and crashed (some of them) over the tracks.

Maybe, but they were almost always clean, adequately comfortable, reasonably cheap despite the almost constant fare increases, and always in sight for if you missed a tram, even at outer ends of the system like Moortown Corner, there was almost always another one in sight.

The only cars I didn't ride from Moortown Cirner were Middleton streamliners because they usually ran on the Moortown lines only at morning peak hours (and not all that regularly) which in North Leeds occurred about an hour or so later than in South Leeds. Not that it mattered to me for I would be in school and miss it all.

But after school, a ride to Chapel Allerton library would often produce one of the big roomy London cars (of all three types) which was a treat, and on one memorable occasion a Lance-Corporal car. I lived in Alwoodley, so would return from the library not by tram, but by West Yorkshire bus, which had a stop across the street just past Stainbeck Lane.

Leeds buses from Moortown corner ran to Alwoodley, to Shadwell, to town via Street Lane West and Scott Hall Road (a slow and somewhat indirect journey) and there was also the 38 Oakwood-Whitkirk service which began here. That was for years the mainstay of the 340-399 group of Leyland bodied Leylands, whereas the 34 and 35 Alwoodley circulars and 37 Shadwells were dominated by post-war Regents in the early 1950s, except at rush hours when all sorts of elderly pre-war Regents would show up as Duplicates, until the last of them was withdrawn in 1956.

Later in the 50s and into the 60s, just about anything was used on these Moortown Corner bus services to supplement the Regents-30' Leylands, Daimlers, early Atlanteans, you name it, but from 1947 when I have my first clear memories, the JUG/LUA Regents 401-450, and a year or so later their slightly younger MUG/NNW/NUB bretheren were fixtures on the Alwoodley circulars and Shadwell services that passed through Moortown Corner, supplemented in later years by everything else in the fleet, right up to their very last hurrah between 1965 (LUA Regents) and 1971 (NUB Regents).

The wildly assorted "Yorkshire Pool" intercity buses/coaches linking Newcastle with Leeds, Manchester etc. were just as much part of the show, though they didn't stop anywhere to my knowledge, never mind Moortown Corner. Instead they swept imperiously through North Leeds until they got to Wellington Street bus station.

On the West Yorkshire 36 Harewood-Harrogate-Ripon service, there was an occasional UniteD single or double decker in the afternoon rush that would show up at the Moortown Corner bus stop on its way to UniteD territory in Ripon, generally as a relief or something like that.

Apparently there was also an East Yorkshire turn from the city to Alwoodley Gates as a 36 relief bus every now and again. I've made trips to transport exotica all over the world, but this one running on my home bus route, that could drop me at the end of my street, is a piece of exotica that's eluded me-indeed I never heard of it until someone told me about it in recent years.

Did anyone ever see or photograph it?

Given the level of affluence seen in North Leeds generally since the 1950s it amazes me that to this day, Moortown Corner remains a major public transport hub. Just a shame there's no trams to add to the mix, not since March 1959...

A. D. Young


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Postby A. D. Young » Sun 08 Dec, 2013 1:11 pm




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# Posted on: 08-Dec-2013 11:54:48.      Quote


David Young, hope you enjoyed reading LEEDS CITY TRAMWAYS.

Many hours scanning, optical character reading, correcting errors and finally converting to PDF.

The original paper copy was borrowed from "Tramway" Mel.


Yes, thanks, though I must confess I have a copy of it myself. Only thing is I can't put my hands on it so glad to have been able to look at the pdf you posted.

A. D. Young
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Re: LEEDS CITY TRAMWAYS 1871-1959

Postby richardburnley » Sun 14 May, 2017 8:05 pm

Maybe someone can answer this question. I regularly travel along York Road outside Seacroft hospital to be exact. I have been fascinated with leeds trams for many years but too young to remember them. The road outside the hospital seems to be on two different levels. The Leeds bound carriageway significantly higher than the Crossgates side. My question is how did the trams operate on these different levels? The carriageway is perfectly flat at Burger King. Surely the carriageway outside the hospital hasn't been raised up over the years?

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Re: LEEDS CITY TRAMWAYS 1871-1959

Postby richardburnley » Sun 14 May, 2017 8:06 pm

Maybe someone can answer this question. I regularly travel along York Road outside Seacroft hospital to be exact. I have been fascinated with leeds trams for many years but too young to remember them. The road outside the hospital seems to be on two different levels. The Leeds bound carriageway significantly higher than the Crossgates side. My question is how did the trams operate on these different levels? The carriageway is perfectly flat at Burger King. Surely the carriageway outside the hospital hasn't been raised up over the years?
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Leodian
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Re: LEEDS CITY TRAMWAYS 1871-1959

Postby Leodian » Sun 14 May, 2017 8:54 pm

richardburnley wroteColonMaybe someone can answer this question. I regularly travel along York Road outside Seacroft hospital to be exact. I have been fascinated with leeds trams for many years but too young to remember them. The road outside the hospital seems to be on two different levels. The Leeds bound carriageway significantly higher than the Crossgates side. My question is how did the trams operate on these different levels? The carriageway is perfectly flat at Burger King. Surely the carriageway outside the hospital hasn't been raised up over the years?


Hi Richard :).

That's an interesting question which I'm sorry that I don't know the answer. I would have used that route many times and as far as I recall the tram trackway ran along the centre of the road, so perhaps there was no level differences then (apart from the gradient rise going up York Road and that coming back down). Trams certainly could move OK on rises and falls of tracks, such as that going up to Crossgates along Crossgates Road from the Melbourne pub on York Road. The track along Gipton Approach would have been even steeper.
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