Today’s magic lantern slide is of The Briggate in Leeds, Yorkshire, and was taken by James Valentine, one of the UK’s finest Victorian photographers, probably in the 1890s. It is bustling with activity ….. pedestrians, horse and carts, horse pulled buses and trams, a policeman on point duty (traffic control) etc.
The history of trams in Leeds and in most cities and towns in the UK is interesting. It started in the Victorian era with privately operated horse trams which were then taken into public ‘municipal’ ownership and electrified in the early 1900s. Most were abandoned in the 1950s as, by that time, they were old, noisy, cold and uncomfortable and didn’t have the ‘reach’ into the constantly expanding suburbs that buses did. Then, over the last twenty or so years, modern, environmentally friendly trams have been reintroduced in most of our larger cities except, you’ve guessed it ….. Leeds! Hence, the greetings card in my new ‘Well that’s different!‘ Ebay shop