Exeter's trams 1885-1931 with Dr Julia Neville

In the early 1880s local gentry and the High Street shopkeepers united to veto tram services running along the High Street. Trams from St David’s Station detoured around New North Street to London Inn Square. Twenty years later one of the chief advocates for the new electric tramcars and for the extension of the track through the High Street down into St Thomas was the industrialist and major local employer Henry Willey. The cheap early morning workmen’s tickets helped businesses to recruit the staff they needed. After the First World War the ready availability of trams boosted trade in the High Street shops and cafes. Julia Neville’s talk explores all these changes and concludes with the demise of the tram service in 1931 when the rise in motor traffic forced the city to make the switch from electric trams to motor buses. 

Image: ‘Cover of ornamental box presented to the Mayor and Corporation of Exeter to commemorate the introduction of electric tramways in 1905.’

Event Information

Dates and Times

  • 17 July 2024 2.30 – 3.30pm


Standard £10 / Friends £8


Meeting Room A

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