This film is part of Free

Last of the `Lawnswoods'

A trip across Leeds in March 1956 on board the 194 tram, advertising Hemmingway Ales, passing the local traffic, the Civic Hall and other notable landmarks.

Non-Fiction 1956 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


With trams making something of a comeback, Leeds, in that portentous year of 1956, provides some tips on just how it can be done. Local filmmakers extraordinaire, Betty and Cyril Ramsden, were on hand to capture the last tram to Lawnswood, providing an opportunity to look back at this clean, economical and efficient mode of transport that, of course, had to go.

Betty and Cyril Ramsden, prominent members of Leeds Cine Club, began making their large collection of films in 1945 and continued into the mid-1960s. Their film collection was made the subject of a BBC/Open University television programme, Nation on Film (2006). Cyril had a dental practice on the Otley Road in Headingley, with Betty as secretary, from where they most probably took some of this film. This may have been the last tram to Lawnswood, but it wasn’t the last tram to run in Leeds, which took its final journey on 7th November 1959. The last city in Britain to run trams was Glasgow, finishing in 1962, though Blackpool held onto a commercial route.