This website began life in the autumn of 1999 as an exercise for an evening
class I was doing on website design.
I already had a collection of photographs which I had taken over many years
through my interest in trams and buses. It seemed appropriate that I should
do something with them and so the beginnings of this website took shape.
The early version of the site contained only a basic history, the map, a
shorter page on track and street furniture and just the material on tramcar
32. Since then a steady process of improvement and addition has taken place,
culminating in a major revamp of the site in March 2001.
The increasing amount of historial information included has meant that
Industrial Archaeology no longer makes up the majority of the content. As a
result, the website is now 'The History and Industrial Archaeology of
Coventry Tramways'. Industrial Archaeology will remain an important aspect
of the website and any new material that is uncovered will be included.
At an early stage, I decided to dedicate the website to Alf Owen. I made his
acquaintance in the late 1970's when I worked as a Schedules Compiler with
the West Midlands P T E at Harnall Lane. Alf had long-since retired, but
popped in occasionally to see his friends - to whom he was known as 'Nemo'.
When he learned of my interest in trams and buses, he spent many a happy
moment recounting his memories and experiences, from which I learned much.
Sadly, Alf Owen died in the early 1980's, long before such things as the
internet and websites. I hope he would have approved of this website.
The site is listed on a number of search engines and I registered the domain name
www.coventrytramways.co.uk with 'Just-the-Name' to reflect the more professional look.
I am always looking for new material on Coventry trams and tramways. I am
particularly keen to hear of new discoveries of trams, artifacts and street
furniture. The work under way on the Phoenix project in the city centre may
yet reveal more trackwork.
I would also be interested to hear of personal experiences of the Coventry
trams, either as a passenger or as a motorman or conductor. I would like to
include suitable reminiscences in the site. If you can help in any of these
quests, then please contact me - there is a link to my email address at the
foot of each page.
For those who are technically minded, this website has been hand-coded in
HTML 4.0 and has been tested on both Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and
Netscape Navigator 4.7. Both of these browsers are available on magazine
cover CD-ROM's in the UK as well as from the relevent developer's website as
The text thoughout this website is intended to display as Gill Sans, which
was the lettering used on the trams in the latter days of their operation
in Coventry. If you have either "Gill Sans" or "Gill Sans MT" installed on
your computer it should display correctly, otherwise your browser will use
it's default font which tends to be Times New Roman.
There is very much information already in the public domain. Some of it is
'hidden' amongst work relating to other tramways. Examples of this include
information on tickets which was documented in the Norwich section of a book
covering East Anglian Tramways, and also the New General Traction Company Ltd's change
of name recorded within a priceless work on Isle of Man Tramways. Both are
excellent examples of information being incovered in the most unexpected places.
It is impossible to undertake work such as this without referring to the
groundwork already done by other enthusiasts and historians. I am indebted to
the many commercial and amateur photographers, those people who have saved items
which are now held by the Council in their archives, and the various articles and
publications covering Coventry both in general and with specific
reference to it's transport. Over the years, there have been various
commemorative publications celebrating various anniversaries in the history
of Coventry's transport, to which reference has been made.
Specific mention must be made of articles in 'Tramway Review' about Coventry
trams by Mr F K Farrell, as far back as 1961, and by Mr F P Groves in 1995
and 2000. Mr Groves also kindly gave me information about livery and other
matters recently. He also jointly authored with Mr A S Denton two volumes of
the history of Coventry Transport, the first one of which covers the trams.
Thanks also to Arnold Chave, Richard Chapman and David Orchard for their help.
Other people are credited within the web-site.
Mr T R Whitehead - who was General Manager of Coventry Electric Tramways and
it's successor from 1896 to 1933 - had the foresight to save documentation
about Coventry Electric Tramways and City of Coventry Tramways, which his family
later donated to the City Council. This is now held in the archives. I have been
both inspired and educated by all this information and Alf Owen's enthusiasm,
I do hope you enjoy this website, which continues to evolve as a result.