Memories of trams in the 1930s

Image shows the Aquarium terminus, with Tram #25 on the Ditchling Road Route 'D' and Brighton Corporation Trolleybus #5 on Route 48 [previously Tram Route 'L'] bound for Lewes Road.
Image from the picture gallery of John King, reproduced with permission from the David Bradley Online website.Tram and Trolley bus at the Aquarium

Compared to today’s standards traffic was minimal. There were a few motor delivery vans, a few privately owned cars, horse drawn carts for coal and milk, a good many cyclists – and the trams. An abiding childhood memory is of lying cosily in bed before drifting off to sleep listening to the trams in the Grove clanging up to the Bonchurch Road stop and changing gear as they took the rise in the hill towards the Junction, the noise gradually fading into the distance.

A great treat on summer evenings
A tram ride was a great treat especially on summer evenings when we were allowed to sit on the top deck in the open. The seats were like park chairs with moveable backs so that one could face backwards or forwards with the direction of the tram.. The conductor came around with his board of tickets and punch bell requesting “any more fares please”.

The tram route was to the bottom of the Grove where the line from the Lewes Road tramway terminus joined it. The ride took us past the Level, St. Peter’s Church, Valley Gardens, the Royal Pavilion, the War Memorial and Victoria Fountain to begin the return run at the rustic tram shelter opposite Royal York Buildings.

A story book come to life
To the great credit of the Town Corporation, Brighton has always been a civic showpiece, and to a child this journey was like a story book come to life especially after dusk with white lights twinkling in all the trees, the floodlights and fountains playing. On the return journey the Mazda Fountain at the bottom of North Street was a source of wonder with its continually changing colour and the water reaching great and even greater heights.

Comments about this page

  • Fascinating to hear about where I now live!

    By Sarah Osgood (07/10/2006)
  • Does anyone rememember the Parrack girls, Patricia, Janice and Angela, who lived in Whippingham Road?

    By Rebecca Downer (07/10/2006)
  • My older brother used to have a mate living on Elm Grove in the late 1940s. His name was Ronnie Gardner and he had some pigeons and any cat that used to get near them he would shoot with an air gun and bury them in his garden with their feet sticking out the ground.  I don’t think I would have liked him very much, as I have cats myself but things were very different then.

    By Patrick Collins(Catswhiskas) (07/10/2006)
  • Angela Parrack lives in Rieti in Italy. She also owns a place in Great Milton near Oxford.

    By Stephanie Stevenson (17/07/2007)
  • My grandmother used to live at 41, Bonchurch Road back in the 1960s. Her name was Beatrix lloyd, also Carrie Elwell who lived at number 61, who was my grandmother also, does anyone remember them, or have any old photos?

    By Graham Lloyd (29/08/2007)
  • Hi, my grandmother used to live in Bonchurch Road, her name was Rose Dunning.

    By Bridget (04/04/2008)
  • I lived at 92 Whippingham Road from 1940 to 1947 before moving to Jubilee Street, and then to Bevendean. Went to Hertford Road School, and then Stanmer Secondary School. I knew a Rodney Feist and David Dillaway who lived in Bonchurch Road. Anybody know where abouts they might be, I would love to hear.

    By Brian Batchelor (06/05/2009)
  • I use to live at 61 Bonchurch Road in Brighton with my mother and brother. In fact Graham Lloyd, whose grandmother lived above us, taught me to ride my first bike on his Raleigh Chopper.

    By Theresa Broad (22/10/2010)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.