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.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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!