South Shields Local History Group

Under Construction

Omnibus – Horse Drawn


In the summer of 1887 the South Shields Tramways and Carriage Co Ltd introduced a horse omnibus service from the Market Place to Westoe which was very successful.  

Another service was introduced from the Market Place to Wellington Street which at that time was a very affluent part of the town.  A service from the Market to Mile End Road and Stanhope Road was not a success and was withdrawn.

In 1897 the Westoe Service was extended to Harton and the three daily services were increased to a twenty minute service.  The company owned between seven and fourteen horse omnibuses.

First horse omnibus to Harton in 1897 (STH0001831 South Tyneside Libraries)

The Corporation gave notice in 1905 that the lease would be terminated on the 1st February 1906.  On 31 January, 2.53 miles of tram route and 3.25 miles of bus route were abandoned.  The eleven remaining buses were sold at auction in South Shields.

The reason for the closure was that it had been decided to upgrade the town transport system and modernise it with a standard gauge electric tramway.  Work began in June 1905 on roads not operated on by the narrow gauge horse trams, and the closure of the old system allowed them to complete the new infrastructure.

Written by Les Snaith from
The Tramways of Jarrow and South Shields by George Hearse
British Newspaper Archives

South Tyneside Libraries

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