Gang of workmen laid the tracks for light railway

London Road, Waterlooville, 1902
London Road, Waterlooville, 1902
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This is London Road, Waterlooville in 1902, where a gang of workmen laying tracks for the Portsmouth and Horndean Light Railway are pictured outside the Wellington Inn.

The foreman stands in the centre with his Albert watch and chain tucked into his waistcoat.

Waterlooville 1902 - the first cars destined for the Portsmouth and Horndean Light Railway

Waterlooville 1902 - the first cars destined for the Portsmouth and Horndean Light Railway

The Wellington’s landlord was Mr HE Sly and the entrance to the public bar was on the left while the door on the right led to the bottle and jug, which many of the workers would have used while they were building the railway. A jug of beer no doubt came as welcome relief from the digging.

To the left and right are the horse-drawn buses that the light railway would have replaced, at least in part.

The second picture here was taken the same year in Waterlooville.

The first nine cars for the railway were delivered by train to Cosham station, off-loaded and then towed in threes to the Cowplain depot using a traction engine which pulled them along the newly-laid track.

Once at Cowplain, local craftsmen undertook all the interior decor, fittings and seating.

This picture shows the convoy as it stopped for a break in London Road, conveniently adjacent to Marshall’s photographic studio.

The vehicles were ordered from the British Electric Car Company and each could seat 54.

They were painted in green and cream and the tramway proved so popular that within a month another five cars were ordered.