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Historic travel magazine discovers the horse trams

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:03


The Douglas horse tram service is featured in the February issue of Discover Britain, Britain’s leading historic travel magazine.


Copy of RobertHelenIMG 0504 MediumThe writer with driver Robert Maddrell



Helen Ochyra wrote how she rode on the tram with driver Robert Maddrell, a man she described as ‘an integral part of the community’.


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The travel writer went on: ‘There is a real relationship between driver and horse, with Robert constantly winding the handle of the brake back and forth to control the speed of the tram.’



Mr Maddrell, who recently retired from the tramways service after 33 years, told Mrs Ochyra: ‘You’ve either got the knack or you haven’t. You know after a couple of weeks,’ prompting her to write: ‘One thing is certain, Robert certainly has.’


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Chair of the Regeneration and Community Advisory Committee Councillor Stephen Pitts said: ‘I’m delighted Mrs Ochyra enjoyed her time on the horse tram and wrote about the experience in such glowing terms. The horse tram service regularly attracts interest from the around the world - only last summer we were pleased to welcome a Dutch film crew. It’s very encouraging that this unique vintage transport system still has the power to delight after 138 years in operation.’