Tramcar 71, built by Brush in 1931, was a covered top double deck tram
seating 55. It was one of five trams numbered 69 to 73 built for Coventry
Tramways. Like tramcar 68, the thirty-one top deck seats were leather covered,
whilst the twenty-four on the lower deck were moquette.
These trams mainly operated from Priestley's Bridge depot on the Stoke
routes. As the Priestley's Bridge Depot site is next to the Coventry Canal, this
offers a clue as to how the tram reached Surrey. It's present resting place is within
reach of a canal.
Pictured here in 1995, Tramcar 71 is the best remaining example of a former
Coventry tramcar. Although without its top deck, it retains very much of its
former character and appearance. Unlike tramcars 32 and 68 already illustrated,
tramcar 71 has a four-bay body.
The body has been well preserved. The roof appears to have been felted
and, no doubt, its continued use in a working garden has ensured that it has
been kept in a good state of repair.
A visit in August 2001 showed that much still remains. It is quite
possible that tramcar 71 could be a candidate for proper restoration before
it starts to decompose - at present all verticals are 'true' and the lower
saloon is entire and self-supporting, but this won't last much longer.
Older trams have been successfully restored by small groups - for example
Liverpool 762, a 1930, English Electric double-deck bogie car now restored
and running again on Merseyside.
The opportunity was taken to photograph the interior of the body. Click the link
"Tramcar 71 - Interior" below.