Ipswich Transport Museum
Preserving the transport heritage of Ipswich since 1965, and now supported by the Friends of the Ipswich Transport Museum. The Ipswich Transport Museum is a Registered Charity No. 276626 and an Accredited Museum, number RD890.
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Starbuck Horse Tram
Starbuck Horse Tram Starbuck Horse Tram updated
Date:1880
Gauge:4ft 0in
Registration:-
Acquired by the Museum:2003
Current State:undergoing restoration

This horse tram was No.7 in the small fleet operated by Cambridge Street Tramways, which commenced operation within a fortnight of Ipswich in October 1880. Both undertakings purchased similar trams from The Starbuck Car & Wagon Co. of Birkenhead but unlike Ipswich, where electric trams replaced the horse trams in 1903, the Cambridge system was never electrified. The horse trams thus continued in service until replaced by buses in February 1914, when they were sold at auction for further use as garden sheds, etc., No.7 ending up as a workshop extension to a bungalow in Ely.

The tram had been purchased by Cambridge as an extra car in 1894. Pulled by a single horse it had seating for 23 passengers on reversible seats on the upper deck and 18 passengers on longitudinal seats in the lower saloon. However, during preliminary investigations prior to restoration, it was found not only to have been a second-hand purchase by Cambridge but also to have been built as a single-decker. Careful removal of the external paint revealed advertisements for two Cambridge companies on the lower side panels, then two different styles of the Cambridge livery on the upper panels but underneath this paint was a crest of the City of Bradford. In the absence of detailed records it seems that in 1885 the Bradford & Shelf Company had purchased the tram as a trailer for the steam trams. It is likely that the upper deck would have been added around 1890 to increase seating capacity. Further investigation has revealed it to also be a second-hand purchase by Bradford, as the original operator from 1880 - 4 has been confirmed as the Bath Tramways Co.

Museum volunteers are restoring the tram, believed to be the last surviving East Anglian example, to final Cambridge condition, with the original panels being preserved separately to show its lineage.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has provided major funding for this project.

Heritage Lottery Fund