Is This Tramcar 6?
Tramcar 6 was one of five tramcars - the others being numbered 7 to 10 - rebodied
in 1904 with trailer bodies built by Falcon in 1899. This tramcar body lies in the
garden of private house in a Warwickshire village. The short answer is that it
is probably not tramcar 6, but there are a number of similarities which include
the general size and shape of the body: the two small slit vents above each side
window, the design of the ceiling and the small bulkhead window. A number of other
Coventry trams (11 - 20 and 37 - 41) also built by Falcon in the same general
period share several of these features but were built in five window rather than
four window style.
This is one end of the decaying body. Despite the condition, the general style
can still be appreciated. Just visible is the slight inward curve of the area
at the bottom of the bodywork known as the rocker panels.
Also apparent is the panelwork on the sliding door which is the entrance
to the passenger area. It is just possible to make out the roof which
also formed the floor of the open top deck. There would have been seating
for 28 people on the top deck with the same number accommodated inside away
from the worst of the weather.
The two photographs above and above right show the ceiling. Ventilation was provided
by means of opening glazed shutters in the curved panelling. These linked
to the external openings above the windows. Each window had two such openings.
Two of these long narrow openings are visible in the photograph on the right.
Further evidence of the attention to detail is given in this photograph of an
ornate cast iron bracket. There would have been one at each end of both lower
deck sides. They would have been purely decorative as any structural strength
would have come from the timber body framing.
The body of tramcar 6 was built by Falcon in 1899 for use as a trailer car. In 1904,
it was transferred from the trailer to tramcar 6. Tramcars 7 - 10, were similarly
rebodied. PSV Circle records indicate that tramcar 6 was withdrawn by 1925 and the
rest in 1929. Whilst 7 - 10 were apparently dismantled by the Corporation there is
no trace of what happened to tramcar 6. This tramcar body has been on this site since
at least the mid-1930's. It is presently used as a store shed. If this is tramcar 6, it
is the oldest Coventry tramcar still in existence. However, the body is slightly longer
than the recorded dimension for tramcars 6 - 10. It may be a former Leamington & Warwick
tramcar of similar design and vintage. It's inclusion in the website serves to illustrate
the typical aspects of Falcon design which also featured on Coventry tramcars of the
period by this manufacturer.