The Last Horse-Drawn Tram in Ireland

Details

Location

Ballinamore, Banbridge, County Dublin, County Leitrim, County Louth, Fintona, Howth, Lisburn, Moira, Mullan, Omeath, Portadown

Year

1954

Source

Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage

Format

Standard 8mm

black and white, colour

Length

21min 39sec

Silent

silent

Courtesy

A.H. Martin, British Film Institute

Rights Holder

A.H. Martin

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

As steam and horses give way to diesel and electric, witness the last horse drawn tram in Ireland.

Can you spot the gunpowder van in the bustling Belfast traffic? A. H. Martin captures the changing face of transport with enthusiastic detail. Jaunting cars that taxi passengers zip past. You can see the soft path of ash sprinkled on the tracks to protect the horse’s hooves. Glimpse the rusting shells of steam engines as diesel powered trains sprint across Northern Ireland. The last train to grace your screen starred alongside Sean Connery in The First Great Train Robbery.
 

Notes

The Fintona horse-drawn tram closed in 1957 after 104 years of service by horse’s all named Dick. There were so many people packed onto the final tram that Dick’s legs gave way. To spare the horse many passengers walked back to town. They reportedly sang, “Last tram to Fintona junction...if you miss this one you’ll never get another one" to the tune of Last Train to San Fernando. It was the second last horse-drawn tram in the UK. You can visit the tramcar in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
 

Credits

Filmed by A.H. Martin. 

Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project.

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