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Trams, omnibuses and The Avenue

This is an interesting piece from William Burns of ‘Southampton Sotonians and Friends’ on Corporation workers removing tram lines from The Avenue in the late 1940s. He says that omnibuses had replaced the antiquated tram system and there was no need for the old tracks other than the salvage of metal which had its price after the war.
More on this below!
Courtesy of:
The Avenue – Trams
“Hard graft & trusty steeds”
A working man might describe this scene on the Avenue as “Hard Graft” as it captures our Corporation workers removing the old tram lines in Southampton’s Avenue in the late 40’s.
Omnibuses had replaced the antiquated tram system and there was no need for the old tracks other than salvage of metal which had its price after the war.
When the Corporation took over the Southampton Tramways Company in 1898 they immediately began to electrify the system but this would take time, years in fact, to route all the overhead cables. So, to keep folk moving, horse drawn trams continued to operate in the areas not yet electrified and it was all thanks to our “trusty steeds”, trusty steeds which he had used for centuries to take some of the labour out of hard graft.
Electrification of the system was not completed until 1903, so the Corporation experimented with motor busses for a while in 1901, annoyingly they were not reliable back then and would often break down, so our trusty steeds were relied upon until the trams had gone all electric.
After the grafters had removed thousands of tons of rails the roads were resurfaced.