View Full Version : Old Tramway on the Sussex coast.

None of the above
25th Jan 2013, 15:12
OK, now you're here, you'll probably want to file this one under the heading 'Too much time on his hands' but I'll give it a whirl anyway.

I remember being on a family holiday in Brighton, c1960 and travelling on a tram along the coast. I was trying to think of the name of this tramway the other day but for the life of me I cannot recall it.

Something in the back of my mind tells me that it was 'Mumbles' but the Mumbles Tramway was/is in Swansea. Perhaps it had a similar sounding name.

Aged Dad (87) can't remember hence my appearance here. Not the most important thing in the world, I'll grant you, but if anyone can come up with the name I'll be very grateful.


N o t a

PS I've done all manner of searches but come up with nothing as yet.

G&T ice n slice
25th Jan 2013, 15:25
I think you must have been in Eastbourne

see comment in History of The Seaton Tram (http://www.tram.co.uk/p/history)

"The Eastbourne Electric Tramway ran for 2/3 mile between Princes Park and the Crumbles "

as according to Brighton Corporation Tramways - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_Corporation_Tramways)
the Brighton tramway shut down in 1939

I think there was a "toytown" type railway that ran along part of Brighton seafront but the past is a foreign country a long long way away so I am probably rong

25th Jan 2013, 15:28
"toytown" type railway that ran along part of Brighton seafront

The Volks minature railway alongside Madeira Drive on the front at Brighton -'tis still there and running...

None of the above
25th Jan 2013, 15:42

I think you must have been in EastbourneThat's it! When typing my post I originally stated 'Brighton or Eastbourne' but edited out 'Eastbourne' from the final draft.

When we got to the end of the journey dad got off for a walk around and the tram set off without him. He proved himself commendably fleet of foot and as he settled back on his seat he said something along the lines of 'Scrambles for Crumbles'.

Thank you, sir:ok:

Treadigraph. Thanks for your response as well. I don't remember the Volks Railway but I'm pretty sure we'd have had a go on it.

25th Jan 2013, 15:43
None of the above
Is this the one you are on about?
Try History of trams Wikipedia
In 1883, Magnus Volk constructed his 2-ft gauge Volk's Electric Railway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volk%27s_Electric_Railway) along the eastern seafront at Brighton, England. This 2 km (1.2 mi) line, re-gauged to 2 ft 9 in (0.84 m) in 1884, remains in service to this day, and is the oldest operating electric tramway in the world.

sorry for repeating the above info took to long to post

25th Jan 2013, 15:44
..............and for the REAL oldies, The Selsey Tramway.

25th Jan 2013, 16:14
This is in support of None and treadi, and a comment on yet another of the amazing coincidences that seem to arise throughout life.

Recently I bought a copy of "History of British Aviation, 1908-1914", by R Dallas Brett, published in 1933. My copy was in poor condition, hanging together really, so I had it rebound. I look on it, as on many of my books, not as a possession of my own but as a treasure of which I am but temporary custodian, in trust to be passed to another generation.

A week ago the rebound volume was delivered to me.

Late last night I was deeply into the book and came on a reference to a Mr Volk or Volks, who owned a light tram at the front in Brighton. Even as I read, I wondered if there might be a civic record of such an enterprise at Brighton, but presumably, so I thought, long gone after rwo world wars. It would be interesting to know. And then today I see your postings! Well! Well!

Mr Brett's excellent book is, as they say, a mine of information. The tramway man was active in early British aviation, but in the still watches of the night I did not have a sticker nor notebook handy, and could not mark the reference.

The book has not merely one index, but several. There ends its near-perfection, for none of the indices lists Mr Volk, or Volks, or his tramwagens.

I do however undertake to start reading it all over again, and when I find the reference I shall pass it along. By way of caveat, though, I do caution that when I give such undertakings they are sometimes accompanied by a vexatious selective blindness that makes my eye skip quickly over precisely the very point I want to check.

I cannot attack the task right now, for against all the evidence I do have work to do. I'll get to it on the weekend at latest.

Lon More
25th Jan 2013, 17:50
Yhere were two tramways built by Volks. Traces of the Dady long legs (http://www.urban75.org/railway/images/daddy-long-legs-04.jpg) track can still be found.


25th Jan 2013, 18:36
And there was the Rye and Camber tramway . . .


Loose rivets
25th Jan 2013, 19:35
I can't say much about it without the owner's permission, but there's a bloke at home who repatriated several electric trams. I went to see one, it needs a lot of TLC, but really is a lovely bit of history.

Not that he's of a mind to sell them, but they must be very rare now - and valuable . . . that was a question wrapped up in a statement. :8

25th Jan 2013, 21:19
OK, now you're here, you'll probably want to file this one under the heading 'Too much time on his hands' but I'll give it a whirl anyway.

Of course you have too much time on your hands. You should be devoting it to more worthy subjects such as Formula One Racing, Curries, Malt Whisky and Weber Barbecues.

Tramways indeed! Who would find tramways interesting?


Lon More
25th Jan 2013, 21:48
This must be the ultimate train set


25th Jan 2013, 22:50
This must be the ultimate train set

THE ROMNEY HYTHE AND DYMCHURCH RAILWAY 1 4 2012 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLxXm30CwKI)

Had a ride from New Romney to Dungeness and back last summer. Quite unique and wonderful. If you can ignore the nuke power station Dungeness has a strange haunting beauty about it.

Yamagata ken
26th Jan 2013, 03:38
Crikey! I wondered if the Dymchurch railway would show up, and it did. When I were a nipper (6yo) my family returned from Oz (not me, I was born there), arriving in the UK December 1958. My parents found a rental cottage at Dymchurch, out on the marsh, right next to the railway. It wasn't active, summer season only I guess. What a change that was, from spring in Western Australia to mid-winter on Romney marsh. All that amazing never-seen-before stuff like frost, snow, ice on the ponds and in the ditches. It was a whole new world, and very very cold!

26th Jan 2013, 10:04
..............and for the REAL oldies, The Selsey Tramway.

In its later years, one of the railcars used two Ford Chassis (I was told they were based on 'Model T's). Not being the fastest means of transport on the planet, and passing through several meadows between Selsey and Chichester, there was allegedly a lineside sign informing passengers, 'You are welcome to pick the flowers, but please don't milk the cows.'

Lon More
26th Jan 2013, 10:22

The tramway was part of the Col, Stephens' Empire.

There were Ford T's and Shefflex railcars at one time there.

Selsey Tramways in its last days. (http://www.hfstephens-museum.org.uk/other-railways/selsey-tramway-in-its-last-days.html)

26th Jan 2013, 13:43
A dim memory has surfaced in OFSO's storage cells, that when my parents retired to Eastbourne in 1966, there was some sort of light railway that ran from the town centre out towards Pevensea. But I have no idea when it ceased to be - certainly by the nineties when I was last there, no trace of it existed. Or does it ? Off to Giggle Earth.....

..where in fact a pathway with gentle radii can be seen running along the coast ending in a large building to the east of Eastbourne. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced this was the 'ride' mentioned in the second post by G&T, and not the Volks Railway in Brighton.

Thanks for the info about Mr Volk, I always thought it was started by a German.

G&T ice n slice
26th Jan 2013, 15:45
from memory (this is going back to the summer of 1960) the tramway in Eastbourne was to the north of the town and ran from roughly the end of the promenade to just the other side of some low chalk cliffs

looking googoyl maps there seems to have been a lot of rebuilding and roads seem to have been moved, because I seem to remember that Princes park was accessible pretty well directly from the promenade.

So my guess is that it ran from very approx the tennis-courts just on the beach south of Princes park along the coast under the cliffs and ended at the grey oblong building on the beach just past the other end of the cliffs.

- "Princes park" actually contains Crumbles Pond (a small lake) and "The Crumbles", is described (wikipedia) as
"a shingle beach between Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay" and this link

The Crumbles:: OS grid TQ6402 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square! (http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/321962)

describes as follows "Martello Tower 64 used to sit in splendid isolation on the acres of 'the Crumbles' shingle banks" - but that martello seems a lot further north than I think the line actually ran (also there seems to be a marina in the way as well)

26th Jan 2013, 15:58
The marina is 'new' - that is to say, it was just about finished when my father died in 1997 and my connections with Eastbourne were severed. But sitting in front of the stove here (and listening to the gale outside) I was thinking and can remember that the tramway/electric line did run between Princes Park and the sea. I have marked with pink arrows what I think was the route from the Park on the left.....


G&T ice n slice
26th Jan 2013, 17:04
Yep, that's what I recall, pretty much - I think the northern (eastern maybe better) end was exactly where you show it - that grey oblong building.

but looks to me like the Southern (or western) end is obscured because there have been just so many changes.

Eastbourne is where aged 10 (and 7 months) I found out what the British idea of and "indoor heated swimming pool" was.......

I've never been so cold in my life!

Milo Minderbinder
26th Jan 2013, 17:23
Brighton tramways Brighton Tram 53 Society - BCT History (http://www.brightontram53.org.uk/history1.html)

west lakes
26th Jan 2013, 17:32
Any use?

Trams at Princes Park Eastbourne - YouTube

26th Jan 2013, 19:59
Yes, brilliant, and I can see I was right about the track location. Takes me back......

Lon More
26th Jan 2013, 21:07
Look a bit like the ones at Seaton in Devon. Wonder if they went there after?

Next week on BBC2 at 7pm till 7.30. (follows M Portillo's travels)

Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th
WELSH RAILWAYS. 'Full steam ahead'.
The story of the rebuilt 'Welsh Highland Railway'

Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th
WELSH RAILWAYS. 'Beating Beeching'
The story of the Llangollen Railway'

First shown on BBC Wales so some may have seen them.

west lakes
26th Jan 2013, 21:10
Wonder if they went there after?

I think some of them did

Milo Minderbinder
26th Jan 2013, 21:13
looks like the Seaton Tramway is the same one transplanted

History of The Seaton Tram (http://www.tram.co.uk/p/history)

Lon More
26th Jan 2013, 21:20
Thanks, only went there once, about 30 years ago.
I'd rather go to Crich. First got interested in that back in the mid 1960s. Our Scoutmaster was one of the early members and "volunteered" our services clearing rubbish etc. on a regular basis.

Old 'Un
26th Jan 2013, 23:24
The tramway was part of the Col, Stephens' Empire.

There were Ford T's and Shefflex railcars at one time there.

Well, well. Half a world away and what do we find?

Pleasant Point Museum and Railway (http://www.pleasantpointrail.org.nz/Model-T-Ford-Railcar)

Sorry, can't post picture - copyright and all that.

Le vieux

Krystal n chips
27th Jan 2013, 03:25

Got to agree re Crich....a great day out in fact.:ok:

Welcome | Crich Tramway Village (http://www.tramway.co.uk/)

And, while we are on the subject, lets not forget this one.

Great Orme Tramway (http://www.greatormetramway.co.uk/)

The above also has the added attraction of an award winning Fish n Chip shop adjacent to the town centre terminus and whose products I can vouch for....:)

As for Llangollen, full credit for their efforts and extension to Corwen, it's a really beautiful line and scenery.....now, all they have to do is sort out the car parking in Llangollen and a certain set of traffic lights on the A5 and all would be perfect !

Lon More
27th Jan 2013, 05:58
Here you go, Old 'Un
RM4 Model T Ford Railcar - YouTube

Milo Minderbinder
27th Jan 2013, 12:48
a little known UK experiment
based on a Leyland chassis, not a model T but just as unusual

The NER Petrol Rail Motor Bus (http://www.lner.info/locos/IC/ner_petrol_bus.shtml)

Lon More
27th Jan 2013, 14:00
A convertible road/rail bus


and a modern version


west lakes
27th Jan 2013, 14:45
A Leyland National Bus based prototype

British Leyland Railbus RB004 (1), Telford Steam Railway:: OS grid SJ6707 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square! (http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2056861)

Lon More
27th Jan 2013, 17:41
During WW2 an armoured train ran regularly over the RH&D


FWIW you can still see the remains of the 1920s sound mirrors (a precursor of radar) on the marshes near Dungeness

27th Jan 2013, 19:14
I've just returned from my sisters who had been going over some old family stuff. One of the gems she came up with was some old cine film which she has shoved onto a DVD.

Yip, there I am with mum and dad on the tram in Eastbourne circa 1963. I remember it well. We often went there because my mum's parents retired to Eastbourne. I always 'accidentally' trod on the bell button on the floor as I went to the stairs (always had to ride on top)!!

So when I found myself near Seaton a few years back the family had no chance! To their chagrin I told them we were off to ride on and look at trams.

I'm pleased to say they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and I still remain grateful to the naughty aviator who buzzed us by the River Axe and then did a loop-the-loop before heading off.


13th Feb 2013, 08:12
Bluebell railway to reopen on March 23rd (http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk).

The Bluebell railway be running the first passenger carrying trains in and out of East Grinstead Station since 1958 on Saturday, March 23, to mark the end of a remarkable feat of fundraising and engineering. The work to restore the line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead has taken nearly 40 years and cost 4 million, raised through grants and fundraising.

The first train will be drawn by the E4 Class Locomotive number B473.

The service will run daily every 45 minutes for the first 3 weeks, before temporarily closing for 15 weekdays between Kingscote and East Grinstead to allow further clearance of embankments.

The Bluebell railway is one of four heritage railways in Sussex and by far the longest. The other lines include the quarter mile track at Amberley, the one mile Volk's Railway along Brighton seafront and the one mile Lavender line (http://www.lavender-line.co.uk) near Uckfield.

Campaigners would like to see the old Uckfield to Lewes line reinstated along with it's historic links to Brighton and the capital. However the scale of the project far exceeds that of the Bluebell railway with the reinstating of the Lewes to Uckfield section alone costing estimated to cost more than 140 million.

Brighton and Hove City Council have now included the reinstatement of the Lewes to Uckfield line in it's City Plan.