Deposited Plan No. 1229
Manchester Road: Tramway Car Shed and Central Depot
|Deposited Plan Number:||1229|
|Date:||27 August 1883|
|Property Name / Number:||no data|
|Grid Reference:||SE 1428 1623|
|Building Project:||Tramway Car Shed and Central Depot|
|Type:||Commercial / Transport|
|Applicant:||The Hallidie Patent Cable Tramway Corporation Limited|
|Applicant Address:||no data|
|Architect:||Ben Stocks (Architect)|
|Architect Address:||no data|
|Status of Project:|
|Contractor Address:||no data|
|Work Commenced:||no data|
|Work Completed:||no data|
|Subsequent Alterations / History:||Not built, though work on excavating the site was begun. Proposed site now a Lidl supermarket.|
|English Heritage Listing:||no data|
|Location of Archives:||Kirklees West Yorkshire Archives|
|Buildings of Huddersfield ID:||1210|
The unexecuted plans allowed for the building of a large shed (100 feet x 44 feet) to house tram cars, a boiler house with its chimney to provide power to the continuous cable system, ticket and management offices and accommodation (for the resident engineer?). At street level, the elevation of the building to Manchester Road was to have been only 30 feet wide, half of which was taken up by the double doors to the car shed, and the other half with the window and entrance to the ticket office, and the lobby to the accommodation at first floor level. Only the front part of the building had an upper floor and this housed the living accommodation and manager's office. At first floor level, the elevation was to have had four well-proportioned sash windows and decorative string courses, typical of Stocks's work at this period. There was a basement under the whole site. The construction of the building necessitated the excavation of the rising ground behind Manchester Road. This unused site was later to be occupied by the Grand Picture House, the listed faience façade of which has been preserved in the structure which currently (2009) houses the Lidl Supermarket.
Huddersfield Corporation obtained powers to construct a number of tramways by an 1880 Act of Parliament. Construction, under the direction of the Borough Surveyor, R.S. Dugdale, began in 1881. The Corporation was less successful in its attempts to find an operator to take on the running of the services, and obtained the necessary powers in the 1882 Huddersfield Improvement Act to operate the system themselves, becoming the first British municipal tramways operator.
In January 1883, an agreement was entered into between the Corporation and the Hallidie Cable Company, enabling the latter to lease and operate the Moldgreen and Paddock routes with cable cars. Plans were prepared for the depot on which work began, but the scheme was abandoned in the autumn of 1883.
Andrew Smith Hallidie (1836-1900) was born in London but came from a Scottish engineering family.His father had been granted patents for making wire ropes. In 1852, he went with his father to America, and remained in California, when his father returned to Britain in 1853. At one of the mines where he worked, he introduced the use of wire ropes to haul loaded trucks. These lasted longer than the hemp ropes which they replaced. Hallidie moved to San Francisco, where he began to manufacture wire rope and developed new stronger cables. He became well-known for the construction of suspension bridges and built a number of rope-ways in the mining districts of California, and completed plans for a system by which street cars could be propelled by underground cables. A trial of the system in San Francisco proved successful and soon cable railroads had spread to Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago, St Louis, Philadelphia and New York.
In 1883, a company was floated in Britain to grant licences for leasing, working and constructing tramways in the United Kingdom on Hallidie's system, by which tramcars were propelled by means of an endless wire rope moved by a fixed steam engine.
Halifax and Huddersfield were two of the towns which looked to introduce Hallidie's system, but the Board of Trade refused the operating licences. The schemes were abandoned.
- Roy Brook, 'The Tramways of Huddersfield' (Huddersfield, 1959)
- The Times, 29 January, 1883, page 7.
- Leeds Mercury, 23 April 1883; 22 June 1883; 2 August 1884; 22 August 1884; 4 September 1885.
- Edgar Myron Kahn, 'Andrew Smith Hallidie', California History Society Quarterly, June 1940.
For the Grand Picture House, see:
- Stanley Chadwick, 'The Mighty Screen' (Huddersfield, 1953)
- Deposited Plans 11860 (8 May 1919); 49389 (January 1960)