The Twickenham Museum
Exhibitions : Road Rail and River

Trams
The trams came to Middlesex at the start of the 20th century

The tramway under construction in London Road on 3 July 1902 where the entrance to Holly Road can be seen to the left

In July 1899 Middlesex County Council consented to the proposal by the London United Tramway Company (LUT) to lay down a network of tracks in South West Middlesex, in particular one from Isleworth to Hampton Court via Twickenham and Hampton.

Tram passing Garrick’s Villa, Hampton, in 1903. The wall had been set back 20 feet (6 metres) to accommodate widening of the road to facilitate double tram tracks

There had been no horse tramways in the immediate area, and people who could not afford to travel by train would generally have to walk. Mr (later Sir) Clifton Robinson, General Manager of LUT, was a supporter of cheap and reliable public transport. Lines reached Twickenham and Fulwell in 1902 and Hampton Court in April 1903.

Several trams passing under ‘The Dip’ on Heath Road carrying children for an ‘Infants’ Tram ride on Coronation Day in 1911

There was great disruption. The work in the Hampton, Twickenham and Teddington districts amounted to £202,000 or about £16,000 a mile, a huge sum in those days. Heath Road, Twickenham had to be widened by 45 feet and the wall of Bushy Park had to be set back all the way from Hampton Court to Garrick’s Villa, Hampton. In addition a large number of buildings in the High Streets of Hampton Hill and Hampton Wick had to be demolished in order to widen these previously narrow thoroughfares. A number of bridges also had to be rebuilt and widened. In 1906 lines opened across Kingston bridge connecting the Surrey and Middlesex routes.

The first tram in Teddington on 2 April 1903 outside Deayton’s Stores. The tram had come over the bridge and past what is now Barclays Bank

A large new tram shed was necessary to house all the trams. In 1901 a lease was obtained on the southern part of the Freake Estate by South Road in Teddington and a building erected on the Fulwell land. The depot included 18 tracks of which 15 were available for through running from either end of the building. The other three tracks were used for the repair shop.

Laying tram track for Fulwell Tram depot (now Fulwell Bus Garage) in 1902 with the depot being constructed in the background

During the First World War women were called upon to work in previously unavailable jobs, including on the trams, and in August 1918 there was a five day strike due to the claim of women workers for “equal pay for equal work”.
The trams provided frequent, cheap and reliable transport locally, carrying large numbers of visitors to Hampton Court and other riverside attractions. However, they lasted barely thirty years and were replaced by trolleybuses from 1931.

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