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Document two

Memories of Dartford's trams and trolleybuses

My earliest association with Dartford was in the late summer of 1932 travelling on a tram with my father and sister to visit my grandparents who had a general store in Elm Road, Stone. The trams were very old in 1932, noisy, rickety, continually banging and bouncing around as they passed over points or joints in the tram rails. The trams ran from Woolwich through Welling, Bexleyheath and Dartford terminating at Horns Cross. The seating was shaped perforated varnished plywood or hard padded and was most uncomfortable. After three or four journeys when either my sister or both of us were sick, our visits to grandparents on Sundays were made by Southern Railway electric trains to Dartford thence by bus to Stone.

The trams were discontinued after November 1935 and replaced by a fleet of new trolleybuses. These trolleybuses used a tin pick-up from overhead wires for power and were able to pull into kerbside stops as they did not use tracks. The trolleybus was very smooth, quiet and was rather fast. They terminated and turned round in Market Street, Dartford. The route numbers of trolleybuses were in the 600 series - 696 being Dartford to Woolwich.

In the 1930s the London transport bus, tram and trolleybus had a special ticket called 'Shilling All Day' (5p), half fare for children. This was a special rover ticket which permitted travel anywhere on the network for the whole day. The fare from Welling to Dartford was 3d adult single.

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