Saturday, 2 April 2016

A tramway reappears.

A short walk from the site of the future Mackeson Square, a building has been demolished. It used to be called the Old Tram Shed and one could see a railway track running into it from the street. I knew it as a teashop. I believe it latterly became an Indian restaurant.

Demolition of the Tram Shed has revealed this brickwork guilloche.
It has now gone and in doing so has revealed its ancestry. It was indeed the old tram shed and the brick building in front of which it stood was the offices and stables for the Folkestone, Hythe and Sandgate tramway. In the nineteenth century railway race to the Continent, the South Eastern Railway was hoping to run its tracks into the port of Folkestone to link with the packet boats sailing to Boulogne. They built the line as far as the Sandgate station but there they were baulked by the refusal of Lord Radnor to allow their tracks to run through his land. A solution was sought by building a tramway along the seafront from Hythe, through Sandgate to the bottom of Sandgate Hill, Folkestone.

The Tram Shed stood at right angles to the left of this building, giving the trams direct access to Red Lion Square.

Underneath the, now residential, building you can see the former stables for the horses which drew the tramcars.

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