For the first quarter of the twentieth century, trams constituted the main workhorses of the public road transport system before Birmingham Corporation buses eventually replaced them completely. 1868 brought the formation of the General Omnibus Co. which ran a fleet of horse buses from High Street to various suburbs. The remaining years of that century are marked by an intricate mesh of private companies and the Corporation owning, leasing and managing transport systems. The first horse tram in the city plodded into service in 1872, operating between Hockley Brook and Dudley Port. In 1882 mechanical power, in the form of the steam tram, pioneered a course between the Old Square in the town centre, and Aston, and quite some time elapsed before the steam tram faced competition from the cable car. By 1904 the Corporation decided to take matters into its own hands and operate its own trams and buses. Overhead electric wiring appeared along steam tram routes and 1907 brought the demise of the beasts, replaced by nearly 200 trams.
Following closely the 1937 routes depicted in Volume I and including the fares structure, as well as the social and sporting activities of tramways personnel, this book is illustrated with a wealth of fascinating archive postcards and ephemera depicting tramways operation of the era and placing an emphasis on the tram in its social and historical context. A must for all Birmingham transport and local historians!