This film is part of Free

Opening of the Electric Tramway into Elland

A cheer goes up from Elland locals as their first electric tram arrives, with a rousing speech, and the children, dressed as mini adults, get to see the event in their local cinema.

Non-Fiction 1914 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


At last modernity hits Elland, some 13 years after Leeds, as its residents turn out on a rainy day to witness the arrival of their first electric tram, with a rousing speech from the local council chairman and mill owner. Having cheered on the tram, a large group of children, in cloth caps and bonnets, then congregate outside the Picture House cinema, with a mixture of boisterousness and bewilderment, to view the proceedings all again from the silver screen.

Just up the road, Leeds was the first city in Europe to introduce an overhead electric service, in 1891. In 1899 Tramway No.7 opened, finally arriving from Birchencliffe in 1914. The speaker is Councillor Samuel Lumb, the Chairman of Elland Urban District Council and woollen manufacturer, getting three cheers for the Mayor of Huddersfield, to which it was heading. Lumb’s Perseverance Mill can also be seen in the background. This film would have been one of many local shorts to be shown at the Central Picture House on Coronation Street, which opened 14 months previously. This is, amazingly, structurally unchanged and still going thanks to its revival (now the Rex) by Charles Morris and Peter Berry, in 1988.