Monday, 8 September 2014

Old Tram Stop

In 1907, the Napier Borough Council approved a joint electricity and tramway scheme.  A year later these were included in a proposed loan of £100,000.  

In 1911, the Council obtained its loan and within years it was installed.  This electric tram system linked Ahuriri to downtown Napier.  It also provided a branch line to the railway station.

Before the construction began, a petition was signed by residents who lived in some of the streets in town.  They asked for an extension.  This extension was debated by councillors for almost a decade.  It finally won approval in 1919 and was opened in 1921.  The service was later extended down Browning Street to McGrath Street.  The extension didnt go as far as the residents wanted.

The trams showed a modest profit until the 1920s when, in addition to the unsuccessful Hastings Street extension, they suffered from private motor-bus competition.
It took 13 minutes, according to the timetable, to get from town to Ahuriri over Napier hill.  
The service ended after the earthquake of 1931.
The wooden tram shelter that can be seen below remains as a reminder of this early mode of transport in Napier.
The building has been painted with figures dressed in fashions that one would have worn in the day.  
The murals are by Brenda Morrell.