This film is part of Free

Reading: Vincent's Garage being built and trams

The redevelopment of Reading features in this fascinating film from the 1930s. There's also a visual treat for fans of trams and traffic-free town centres.

Amateur film 1938 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


Reading Station is the backdrop to the action in this film from 1938. In it we see a large-scale redevelopment taking place under the watchful eye of Mr L J Pollard who supervises the construction of Vincents Garage. Pile-drivers and men work side-by-side without a hi-viz jacket or hard-hat in sight. Finally, the film ends with scenes showing a number of open-topped electric trams in their last year of service on Reading's roads.

Reading Corporation Tramways began operating in 1901 and lasted until the switchover to trolleybuses in 1939. They acquired the previous horse-drawn trams that plied through Reading and under a modernisation plan, ran the first electric trams in the town in 1903. The original fleet of open-topped electric trams were supplied by Dick, Kerr and Co and remained in service until their withdrawal in 1939. The trams seen in this film are part of that original fleet and were recorded running in their last year of operation.