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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Corporation Tramways - Decline and Closure

In July 1920 three new trams were delivered but by the early  1920's it was becoming obvious that the system required much  attention. It was run down by more than 20 years of  continuous use and hampered by lack of materials during the  war. Looking for alternatives to major investment, the Council  accepted a demonstration of an early trolley bus in April 1922,  which used the tramway's overhead wires for electricity supply.  The demonstration aroused no enthusiasm and shortly  afterwards the commencement of repairs on some of the most  badly worn sections of track was approved. Through the 1920s  the tracks and cars were patched up and repaired and, when  the original 1897 cars were found to be beyond repair, second  hand vehicles were purchased. In 1934 the East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd. offered to provide bus  services in the Borough. Initially the offer was rejected by the  Corporation who toyed with the idea of providing their own bus  service. By the end of the year, however, the Council had  entered into talks with East Kent. It was agreed that East Kent  would replace the tram services with bus services and that the  Corporation would receive three-quarters of the profits from  these services. Many of the tramway employees were taken on  by East Kent. The Dover Corporation Tramways finally ceased to operate on  the night of 31st December 1936. The last tram was driven by  the Mayor, arriving at Maxton depot at 11:30pm where an East  Kent bus was waiting to take the Mayor and other dignitaries  back to the Town Hall. The bus service started at 5:28am the  next morning from Buckland. The old trams were scrapped and  the tracks either taken up or tarmaced over.
Back to Tramways Index Back Demonstration run of a trolley bus in April 1922. Car No.13 (built in 1898) taken some time after being reconditioned in 1926.  This car was withdrawn from regular service in 1930. Tram No.2 at River Terminus. This is not the original No.2 but one of the five purchased from West Hartlepool in 1927 and given the numbers of old trams which had already been scrapped. The Last Car - 31st December 1936.