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.
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.
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.
Brennan and Ray Loxton at the same location.
Times have sure changed