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I remember the Lorain trams. I’ve seen horses lying dead through them, electrocuted. It would electrocute you if you put one foot on the box and touched the line with your other foot. If this happened to a horse it would be killed instantly. The trams were noisy, humming and clattering as they went along. When the copper drag went over a box it would make a blue flash and go bang bang. If the weather was bad in the winter and it snowed, several trams could get stuck because of the hard going. They could cross one box then not reach the next.  

A Lorain tram safely negotiates Victoria Street. Courtesy of Eardley Lewis.
Sometimes when a tram got stuck, a horse was needed to pull it along or some blokes would get off the tram and push.When the snow was bad the trams couldn’t get up Victoria Street and so you used to have to get out and walk. There were similar problems in Darlington Street and Snow Hill, but Victoria Street was the worst. The trams ran more often than the modern buses, about every 5 minutes. If you missed one you knew you didn’t have to wait long for the next one to come. The trams didn’t go far, only to Tettenhall, Bilston or Penn Fields. 

I used the trams to go to work at Marstons, it cost 3 ha’pence return. The conductor would punch your ticket and sometimes after it had been in your waistcoat pocket for a long time, the print would rub off, and the conductor would still take the ticket. The trams had lath seats, curved at the front for your legs, with a gap of 1.5 inches between the laths. They were draughty, the tram was open at the front and the back. The driver had a window in front of him, but it was open at the sides. There were a lot of problems with the trams but the trolley buses were more reliable.

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