Johnny's Pages
Old S.A.R. Shunter's Memories

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Memories I well remember from the 1950's during my teen years, and those days were much more relaxed times

Flashback in time

Times have sure changed

A Drop-centre Tram passing the still existing old buildings on the north side of the "Maid & Magpie" Junction. 
The tram is on its way to St Peters in 1958.

Older residents of Adelaide seeing the new M.A.N. buses showing the sign "8 MARDEN / VIA SIXTH AVENUE" may be reminded of the St Peters trams which for thirty years showed the sign "ST PETERS VIA SIXTH AVENUE". Yet why did the trams show that sign when the trams on most other lines showed only the ultimate destination (e.g. "PROSPECT") without a "VIA"? 

The answer lies in the history set out below.
The City to Marden bus service, Route 8, is the Authority's shortest radial bus route. 
It operates via King William Street, North Terrace, Payneham and Harrow Roads, Sixth Avenue (St Peters), and Addison Avenue to Broad Street, Marden, returning via Grivell Road, Caleb Street, Addison Avenue and the above route.
The history of the service is tied closely to that of the Route 9 (Payneham Road) services, which will be covered in the next issue. Here we will deal mainly with the "St Peters" services, i.e. those operating north of Payneham Road. The first such service was a branch of the Adelaide and Suburban Tramway Company's East Adelaide line, opened on 19th December, 1882, just over one hundred years ago. Horse trams ran from King William Street, City, along the Company's Kensington line (via Rundle Street, Rundle Road and Rundle Street, Kent Town) to Kent Terrace (now known as Fullarton Road) then via Kent Terrace and Payneham Road to Nelson Street, Stepney. At that point some trams turned south along Nelson Street and east along Magill Road to Maylands Depot, while other trams turned north and ran along Walkerville Road (now Stephen Terrace) to Fifth Avenue, terminating at the top of the hill in St Peters ("East Adelaide"). A turntable was situated on a block of land at the northeast corner of Walkerville Road at Fifth Avenue. Walkerville Road trams ran through to the City only during peak periods; at other times they operated as a feeder to the Nelson Street cars.

In December 1883, a new company, the Adelaide Payneham and Paradise Tramway Company Limited, commenced its City Payneham line, running from the Adelaide Railway Station, via North Terrace and Payneham Road to Payneham. 
On 13th November, 1889 this same company commenced the real predecessor of the existing Route 8, a branch of the Payneham horse tram service, from the Maid and Magpie Junction via Baliol Street, Rugby Street, Harrow Road and Fourth Avenue (not Sixth Avenue!) to a point just east of Walkerville Road (crossing the Walkerville Road line). A connecting line along Fourth Avenue and Winchester Street allowed trams to proceed to and from the Depot on Payneham Road. As with the Walkerville Road line, a through service to the City operated only during peak periods. Fourth Avenue trams (generally a small single decked one horse car) met City-Payneham Paradise trams at the Maid and Magpie at other times.

It is believed that in 1887, Whittaker commenced a horse bus service between the Southern Cross Hotel and "East Adelaide" via Harrow Road. This service was still operating in 1907. Other horse bus services are recorded as operating in 1906 between the City and Eighth Avenue, and between the City and Hackney via Harrow Road.

February 1907 saw the takeover of the horse tram services by the new Municipal Tramways Trust. Thus, all tram services in the St Peters area were thenceforth provided by one organisation. The M.T.T. commenced conversion from horse to electric power, the Payneham electric tram line opening in May 1909. The Fourth Avenue service was maintained as a feeder service by horse trams and horse buses until 1911. It is not known when the Walkerville Road line was closed, but this was probably just prior to the opening of the Payneham electric tram line.

On 23rd July, 1911 electric trams operated to St Peters from the City (ex Glen Osmond) via King William Street, North Terrace, Payneham and Harrow Roads and Fourth Avenue to Walkerville Road.

By 1924 it had become apparent that the line along Fourth Avenue did not satisfactorily serve the whole of St Peters. 
In May, 1924 therefore, the St Peters electric tram line (by now known as Route 7) was re-routed via Harrow Road and Sixth Avenue to Lambert Road, St Peters. The change in route resulted in the destination sign "ST PETERS VIA SIXTH AVENUE" appearing on trams until the mid 1950's.

The St Peters tram line, short as it was, was one of the last few tram lines to be replaced by a diesel bus service. From March, 1958 buses replaced trams on Sundays, following the tram route to Lambert Road, then extending along the present bus route to Broad Street, now the Marden Terminus. On 20th July, 1958 St Peters trams stopped completely and the replacement St Peters buses commenced operating around a new City terminal loop via North Terrace, King William Street, Grenfell Street, Pulteney Street and North Terrace. This loop route was selected after a ballot of passengers, a somewhat rare event in those days. 
In 1959 this loop was discontinued, St Peters buses being rerouted via North Terrace and King William Street in both directions through the City to Kingswood, which they continued to do until 1982, when the service (by now numbered "8") was re-named "MARDEN", separated from the Payneharn Road services, and through-linked to Route 600, St Marys.

Since commencement of electric tram operation in 1911, the St Peters service has been through-linked with a variety of services, too numerous to mention (more than any other route!). The initial 1911 link was with Glen Osmond, which occurred at several other periods in the service's history! From time to time the service was also linked for relatively lengthy periods (particularly 1959 to 1982) with the Kingswood tram and bus services. The 1982 linking with St Marys was the first linking of a former M.T.T. service with a former private bus service since the major transfer of private services to the Government in 1974.

The then M.T.T. Traffic Operations Superintendent Ed Hall (later S.T.A. Traffic Manager - Bus) with Conductor Larry Brennan and Motorman Ray Loxton, at the St Peters tram terminus at Sixth Avenue / Lambert Road. Ray is now Timetables Clerk in the Adelaide Railway Station Building.

Larry Brennan and Ray Loxton at the same location.

Times have sure changed

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