the Closure of Plymouth Tramways
One reaching Milehouse the car was met by the Lord Mayor who reported that the trams had carried 800 million passengers and travelled over 70 million miles. An extract from Tramways of the West of England by P.W. Gentry.
Later Len moved to Pymouth where he lived in Desborough Road, close to his one time shed at Friary. There came a time when Len had to move from his home into a residential home in the Compton area.
In March 1973 I decided to pay our good friend a visit in Plymouth, I took our eldest son Kevin along with me - Kevin was only five at the time.
Not really knowing Plymouth we walked up to Mutley Plain and headed out towards the Compton area. (Never thought of catching a bus) We were walking up Tavistock Road when I noticed a road sign bearing the name Compton Road, or was it Lower Compton Road. I must admit that as a lifelong tram fan I had it in my mind that a long time ago this must have been a tram route. The Compton Tram Depot came to my mind having read of a depot of that name in Mr. P.W. Gentry's book 'Tramways of the West of England'.
It was but one hundred yards along Compton Road when we came across, 'joy oh joy' the tram depot there in all it's glory some 40 years after it had closed.
The depot had seen use as a base for some kind of transport firm and maybe housed lorries. I'm not one for trespassing and I wandered about fearing a shout of "Get out of here" or some such words.It wasn't until I got home I was able to put together what I had seen and remember that films took some time to be printed, not like the digital cameras of today! We couldn't have been at the depot for more than ten minutes as we had a call to pay on Len Baker. However I was more than chuffed to have seen that relic of from before WW2 still in existence after all those years.
I have drawn a rough sketch map of the depot using details from Mr. Gentrys book. It was interesting to note that looking at old maps none of these showed details of the four tracks within the depot plus a short siding outside or of the steep gradient leading up to the Overhaul shed. I very much regret that I didn't wander further into the overhaul works where I might have found traces of the traverser used to move the trams between various locations.
Trams operated route 1 - Theatre to Compton from 1915 to 1932. The final abandonment of the Plymouth Tramway system came on the 29th September 1945.
A look at the area of the depot using Google Earth shows that in the intervening years all traces of the 'Glory' which once occupied the site have been removed.
Recommended viewing There is an excellent section on the Tramways of Plymouth Courtesy of Wikipedia please click below to see this.
Tramways in Plymouth - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › Tramways_in_Plymouth
the Closure of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway