Walking by the tramway

By Laurie Stonehouse

This picture shows my Grandparents, Martin and Gladys Ladd out for a walk along the breakwater in the 1950's.  The old tramway track is clearly visible in the left of the photograph, the entire length of this line would have been removed in the mid 1960's.  Prior to the track being removed, it would have ran all the way from the end of the Breakwater to the old Victorian swing bridge.  The track covered quite some distance, plenty of old sleepers and tonnes of scrap metal! Where did it all end up?

Photo:Martin and Gladys Ladd on the Breakwater - c1957

Martin and Gladys Ladd on the Breakwater - c1957

Private collection of J K Stonehouse

This page was added by Laurie Stonehouse on 22/05/2009.
Comments about this page

No idea where rail track went, but there is a photo in the museum of a crane & train working from the light back to shore lifting it.

By Pete
On 22/05/2009

I think I'm right in saying that the rail tracks enabled a steam crane to travel up and down the breakwater when in need of repair, in order to assist with any heavy lifting required in this operation. I think you will also find that a small steam locomotive plus truck could be used in hauling any gear to or from location of work on breakwater, as it often needed these repairs due to constant wave actions pounding away etc .

By Chris Young
On 22/05/2009

I can remember this during the 50's and 60's.  Ah what memories these photos bring back!

By shirley clear
On 27/05/2009

As can been seen in the photo, the railway track was pinned down by steel clips held by bolts screwed directly into the concrete and in this case there were no wooden sleepers for disposal. As the track and fittings were the property of BR it was BR who would have disposed of it and as it had been subject to salt water attack over many years it was in poor condition and consequently it would simply have been sold off as scrap metal.

By Rich
On 27/05/2009

As a 16 year old fireman at Newhaven in the early 50s I went many times along the track right to the end of the breakwater on the terrier class engines ( Fenchurch ) servicing the needs of the light house keepers & the breakwater in all weathers.

By Dave Brady
On 20/08/2014

I remember the Fenchurch going along River Wall, past the mud hole (Sleepers Hole) and onto the breakwater. In those days (late 50's early 60's) the bucket dredger 'Foremost Prince' would be working in the harbour making it's distinctive noise. Happy days.

By Michael Douglas
On 27/09/2017

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.