The day tramcars arrived in Brighouse

Huddersfield to Brighouse tram arriving with Mayor Alderman G.F.Sugden JP at the controls - March 1923
Huddersfield to Brighouse tram arriving with Mayor Alderman G.F.Sugden JP at the controls - March 1923

Another big day in the town centre - the date is March 12 1923 and it is the first tramcar to journey from Huddersfield to Brighouse.

The Mayor Alderman George Frederick Sugden took over the controls at the Fixby boundary through Rastrick and into the town centre.

This new route was long overdue and in some respects was too late - the world of local passenger transport had moved on. Conventional buses were becoming more popular.

The tram service that started back in 1904 linking Halifax to Brighouse and then in the same year Brighouse to Bailiff Bridge was almost coming to life. And the next generation of public transport was just around the corner.

A bus route was opened from Huddersfield to Bailiffe Bridge and the Yorkshire Woollen District Transport started running buses from Brighouse to Elland, Brighouse to Morley and Brighouse to Dewsbury.

The Calder Bus Company, based at Bailiff Bridge, started a service running from Thornton Square to Bradford with other services being started by the Hebble, Halifax Corporation, Huddersfield Corporation and a number of others.

In 1928 things were really chaotic in Brighouse when no fewer than seventeen vehicles were assembled in Thornton Square at one time and there was a constant change of vehicles from morning to night.

In 1929 the Calder Bus company closed being under so much pressure from the competition. It was also the same year the Brighouse to Bailiff Bridge tram service was closed down, soon followed by the Halifax to Brighouse tram service closing in May of 1931.

Returning to the celebratory gathering of that first tram from Huddersfield to Brighouse, with so much money tied up in the service Huddersfield Corporation could not afford to close it until June 1940 and replaced it with trolley buses, a new service which last until 1955.

With the closure of the tram routes the next form of transport to come under the spotlight for closure were the railway stations but there lies a story for another time.