Exeter tram and band

Exeter Corporation Tramways, a band in 1905.

This postcard, from an unknown local publisher, dates from 1905, the year when the electric trams first ran. Our copy was posted on 20th October 1905 from Exeter to an address in nearby Bovey Tracey. It shows a military band going to the Sports (Ground?). The photograph is most likely on the occasion of the New Zealand 'All Blacks' Rugby Union team's first tour outside Australasia, when for their very first game they played Devon on 16th September 1905 at Exeter's County Ground (quite near the Dunsford Road tram terminus), winning 55-4.

The Exeter horse tramways had been taken over by the Corporation in 1904 and electrified, service commencing on 4th April 1905. The 3ft 6in gauge system has previously been described in connection with another view, see Postcard.

The tram in the picture is one of the initial batch of 12 open-top cars built by the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works Ltd. of Preston for the opening of the electric tramway. They had 20 seats on the lower deck and 22 on the upper. They had Brill 21E four-wheel trucks each with two Dick Kerr 6A 25-horsepower motors operated by Dick Kerr DB1 Form E controllers. The livery was dark green and cream (a lighter green from 1925). Most of these trams remained in service until the closure of the tramway in 1931.

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