Wires Above South East London (Heathfield)

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By Robert J Harley. A journey from Woolwich to Gravesend by tram and trolleybus. This book covers the period 1871-1959 when overhead wires were in place above the streets of north Kent and south east London. It tells the story of tram and trolleybus operations in the area and uses archive black & white photographs, including some rare street views, to illustrate the story.

Wires Above South East London examines the route from Woolwich to Gravesend in detail and describes how the tram and trolleybus routes were operated. The heyday of electric traction is recalled, when Beresford Square in Woolwich was the scene of a seemingly endless procession of trams and trolleybuses, threading their way past market stalls and Saturday morning shoppers. The decline of the system and subsequent removal of the overhead wires is also discussed.

Trams and trolleybuses used on the routes are well covered. A detailed appendix lists and describes every early vehicle type and every later individual tram/trolleybus with introduction to service, overhaul and withdrawal/scrapping details.

Much of the original manuscript for this book was based on research carried out in the 1960s. It includes material from the London Transport Archive and the local history libraries of Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and Dartford.

Wires Above South East London will allow the reader to relive a golden era for urban public transport, when the streets of south east London and north Kent were served by electric trams and trolleybuses. 112 pages. Hardback.

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