Priestley's Bridge Depot

The tram depot was built on Stoney Stanton Road opposite Leicester Causeway. The land adjoined the site later developed as a bus garage at Harnall Lane East. The bus depot was vacated on 30 March 1986 when the new bus garage at Wheatley Street was opened. The building at Priestley's Bridge was demolished when the entire site, including the adjacent Harnall Lane bus depot was redeveloped for housing in the late 1980's. The site of the tram depot is now covered by new housing in an extension to Keppel Street. The depot yard forms the car park serving the MASJID-E-ZEENAT-UL-ISLAM Mosque. Some minor prefabricated buildings by the canal which probably date from the Second World War still remain.

Priestley's Bridge Depot This picture of Priestley's Bridge depot building was taken from Stoney Stanton Road. The picture was taken in the 1970's, by which time it had become well established in it's new role as a paint shop for the bus fleet. Careful inspection of the area above the doors will reveal the curved outlines of the tops of the six original doors providing access to the bays. These were subsequently bricked up when the new doors were fitted. The small building in the background to the left is the former tramway power station.

The power station was sited to the south of the depot building. The photographs below show the power station from the southern aspects. In the view to the left, taken in May 1976, the building is partly obscured by the Bristol RESL6G (516, KHP 516E) and the steam cleaning ramp from which it had probably recently descended.
In the view to the right, taken in December 1978, the western aspect is visible, as well as the rear of the former depot building. The two vehicles are Daimler CVG6's, 265 (VWK 265) in fleet colours and the ex-303 (303 RW), by then an anciliary vehicle.

South eastern view of 
       the power station South western view of
       the power station

Northern end of the
       power station This photograph from May 1977 shows, in the background, the northern end of the power station. To the nearside of the bus is the former depot building, into which the bus was about to go for repainting. The bus is 351 (CDU 351B), one of the ill-fated Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2's with Willowbrook bodies.

The entrance to the depot The tramcar entrance was opposite Leicester Causeway. It was just before Priestley's Bridge over the Coventry Canal from which the depot got it's name. It was a sharp turn into the yard followed by a slope down towards the depot building.

The entrance from the road was very tight as the track was sandwiched between the Coventry Canal and some buildings on Stoney Stanton Road. The view is very different today as shown in the picture below right, which dates from Autumn 1999. Only the pre-fabricated buildings behind the caravan remain from earlier times. Perhaps the tram tracks also still exist, buried beneath the grass?

Entrance to the depot The site of Priestley's
      Bridge Depot

The picture below left shows the Ordnance Road end of Priestley's Bridge. The painted circle is a sign which appears on several canal bridges and in other locations in Coventry. It indicates to wartime fire service personnel where to access water. It would also have assisted tram drivers as it would have shown up in the wartime blackout. It can be seen in full context in the picture below right. These photographs were taken in Autumn 1999.

Priestley's Bridge Priestley's Bridge

Priestley's Bridge A similar painted circle still exists at the City end of Priestley's Bridge. The entrance to the depot was behind the railings. The lamp-post which obscures the access for trams would have been a later addition!


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