Seaton Tramway celebrates 50th anniversary

Seaton Tramway recently hosted a special event on August 28 allowing visitors to see all 13 trams in action to celebrate 50 years of the tramway.

Heritage trams 14, 16 & 19 that ran on the streets of London, Bournemouth & Exeter respectively enjoyed the 6-mile round trip. Scale replica trams like their Blackpool Boat tram No 4 and their London Metropolitan car 2 also made their way through the Axe Valley.

The entire fleet of trams were in operation on August 28 as the tramway celebrated their anniversary. Seaton Tramway has made its home in Seaton for half a century, starting with the acquisition of the closed railway line in 1969

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The first tram, No 8, departed Riverside Depot on August 28, 1970. Only going as far as Bobsworth Bridge, its name coming from the cost of a trip – one shilling.

Seaton Tramway would see the track extend all the way to Colyton over the following 10 years, with its first passenger service arriving in Colyton in 1980. Tram No 8 made that trip once again on August 28 and plenty of photos were taken capturing history in the making.

In June, Seaton Tramway held their very first ‘Tramathon Live’ in which went live for a week on Facebook showing viewers behind the scenes and ending the week going live for a full 24 hours as they operated a continual journey non-stop between their Seaton & Colyton Stations. All to raise money to help secure the future of the tramway. The appeal has since raised over £31,000.

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Josh Castree, Marketing Manager, Seaton Tramway said: “The pandemic and resulting lockdown has created unprecedented and difficult times across the industries the tramway shares, with Heritage Railways and Tourism & leisure.

“Railways & tramways like ours survive because of the amazing support we get from our visitors and passengers through donations and ticket sales.

“In a time where people our rightly self-isolating, charities’ futures can be put at risk. But we saw amazing support through our online Tramathon and thank each and every person who donated, big or small. It was great to see so many people engaging across the world, from London to America to Australia.”

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Seaton Tramway is now open daily from 10am, running trams every 20 minutes. They have received the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ Mark and the AA Covid Safety Mark for the installation of new Health & Safety procedure, keeping staff and visitors safe during their visit.

Their full list of new procedures can be found on their website www.tram.co.uk. The full celebrations for its 50th year will now be held in 2021 and will include shows from Brotherhood of Man & Edwin Starr Band.

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Shannon Butcher

Let off some steam...