Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page



HISTORY OF THE LLAN- DUDNO ELECTRIC TRAMWAY We have now arrived at the period in the history of the Tramway when the Order asked for was favourably considered by the Light Railway Commissioners on May 19th, 1898. Below we give a report of the proceedings from the "Advertiser" of May 26th of that yeiar:- The adjourned inquiry into the desir- JabiJJity of granting the application of the Light Railway Company for permission to construct a tramway from Colwyn Bay to Llandudno, was resumed on Friday last, before Lord Jersey and Colonel Boughey, at Colwyn Bay. Mr Louis Coward (instructed by Mr Webb), ap- peared in support of the application on behalf of the promoters, Mr S. Moss, M.P. (instructed by Messrs Amphlett, Jones, and Porter) for the Colwyn Bay District Council and the Conway Town Coun-cil, Dr. Hewitt (instructed by Messrs Chamberlain and Johnson) for the Llandudno District Council, and Mr Bone on behalf of the Craigydon Land Com- pany, West Llandudno Building Estates, Victoria Palace Company, and a large number of the inhablitants of C'raigydon. Mr Marshall, Q.C1., and Mr Trevor Lloyd (instructed! by Messrs Vincent, Carter, and Douglas Jones) opposed the applica- tion on behalf of Lord Mostyn, and Mr. Vincent on behalf of Mr Joseph Broome and Mrs Barlow, two private landowners. Great interest was centred in this, the third application of the promoters, and the prevailing1 opinion was that, having come to terms with the local authorities, the application would be granted. Amongst, those present were Lord Mostyn, •Messrs Pickering (agent to the Mostyn Estate), G. A. Humphryes (local agent to the Mostyn Estate), J. O. Thomas, John Owen, F'. J. S,arson, Dickinson (engineer to the scheme), W. Webb (solicitor to the company), Wise- man (one of the, promoters), John Porter, W. H. Jones, George Bevan, Wiilliam Davies, El. P1. Stephenson, A. Conolly, Hugh Hughes, EL W. Johnson, B., ,S. Chamberlain, and many others. Mir Coward, in rising to support the application, said it was not his intention to go into the scheme, minutely.^ as that had been done at the previous inquiry, but he would deal with the scheme gener- ally. The application was from the Light Railway and General Construction Co., whose intention it was to construct the line, starting from Colwyn Bay, through the Princess Drive, Rhos, Penrhynsrlde, on into Mostyn Avenue, Mostyn Street, Extension, Mostyn Street, Gloddaeth Street, and from thence over ground known as the Warren, to Deganwy, the whole line being about eight and a half miles in length. It would pass through the Colwyn Bay district for 2:&- miles, Pen- 4 rhynside I-L, Llandudno 3-L, and into 4 4 Conway Borough for l-g- miles. Thet guage would be 3ft. 6in., and the generat- ing power, would be electricity. It was estimated that the total cost would be about £ 67,000. The Commissioners would no doubt remember that the inquiry was adjourned on February 21st last in order to give the company and the Llan- dudno District Council an opportunity of settling therir differences. There were about 650 houses in Colwyn Bay, and its rateable value was: £ 37,000; it had a resident population of 7,000, which was increased during the season to fifteen or eighteen thousand; Bhos-on-Sea had a resident population of 600, and Penrhyn- side 800. With regard to Llandudno, there were about 1,400 houses in the dis- trict its rateable value was about 273,000; a resident population of 9,000, which was increasd to about 28,000 in the summer. The rateable value of Deganwy was about £ 6,000, and its estimated popu- lation was 1,000 in winter and; 3,000 in the season; so the Commissioners would understand that the whole district which the line would traverse had a population of upwards of 50,000 persons. He was pleased to be able to tell them that they had arranged terms with the Llandudno District Council since the last inquiry, and now they had the support of the whole of the governing ha.dies interested. Lord Jersey: This is only an adjourned inquiry. Mr Coward: That is so, my lord. He was sorry that his clients had been unable to come to terms with Lord Mostyn, for whom he understood his friend, Mir Mar- shall, appeared, and there were also two other owners who objected—Mrs Broome and Mrs Barlow. Mr Broome had a wall surrounding his house about twelve feet high, so that for the life of him he could not understand how it would inconven- ience him, as it would only be possible to see the top of the cars from the upper portion of his residence, and in order to meet the views of Mrs Barlow, they had deviated the line from the front, and it would now pass the back of her premises. After this explanation, the Commissioners, would recognise that the promoters had met the views of all as far as possible, and although it had been found impossible to satisfy all, he hoped they would take into consideration that the promoters had the support of the local authorities, and re- commended the Board of Trade to grant, the Order applied for. Mr Moss said that he was in this posi- tion—that his clients, the Colwyn Bay Council, were dissatisfied with the terms of the agreement arrived at between the Llandiudno Council and the promoters with respect to the supply of electrical energy, and if some other arrangement was not m'ade, he felt he would be bound to oppose the application. Mr Coward I am surprised at what Mr Moss has now' stated. The terms with Colwyn Bay have been agreed upon, and signed by both parties. It cannot affect them,, whatever terms have been arranged with the Llandudno Council. I am sur- prised at this change of front. Mr Moss The "■raent between the Llandudno Counc i promoters has only been signed ( )ast two days, I and my clients h earned the I terms from the newspapers. Both Council have applied for Orders to construct, elec- tic lighting works, and! the Colwyn Bay Council axe of opinion they have the right to supply the generating power withlin their district. Lord Jersey asked Mr Coward to put in the agreement, which was done. Dr Hewitt said that the agreement with the Llandudno District Council allowed that body to supply the whole of the re- quired generating power if they could legally do it; but, of course, that, was a matter to !be settled in another place. If it were "ultra vires" for them to do it or not, it would not affect the agreement with the Colwyn Bay or any other Council. Mr Moss said the Council which he re- presented had not had the definite terms arrived at between the promoters and tho Llandudno Council, and when they asked for them, a copy of the, agreement, was refused. Mr Coward: Surely, if the Colwyn Bay Council have made an agreement wiih the promoters, and the latter body, are willing to keep to that agreement, Colwyn Bay has nothing, to complain of. I will call the clerk to the Llandudno District Coun- cil, who will produce the agreen: cut. Mr Conolly was then called, and: pro- duced the agreement between the pro- moters and the Llandudno Council, and read the clauses dealing with the matter in dispute. It stated that the latter body should, if legally entitled to do so, sup- ply the whole of the generating power, but if an injunction was obtained, by which they were unable to carry out this portion of the, contract, the Company should pay them a sum of 2500 per annum as a, way- leave. Lord Jersey said he should like to look at the Provisional Orders of the two Coun- cils giving powers to supply electricity. He could not understand how the agree- ment arrived at between the Llaadudno Council and the promotersaffeded that between Colwyn Bay and the same party, Mr Coward, to Mr Moss: Will you support the scheme now? Mr Mbss: I prefer to sit on the it-nce at present.—(Laughter.) It was. agreed, after a short consultation, that the, question be referred to the: Board of Trade for determination. Mr Moss Having been through the agreement, and on the understanding that the clause will go before the Board of Trade, I am now in a, position to support the scheme on behalf of Colwyn Bay. I also appear for Mr Horton, a considerable landowner at Rhos, to support the scheme. Mr Conolly was then examined by Mr Marshall: It was true that the Llandudno District Council opposed this scheme at the last inquiry, .and one of their objec- tions was that it was not required, and another, that if it were necessary they would go in for a scheme of their own. The Council had changed their opinion since that time, partly, he believed, be- cause they could not proceed any further with a Provisional Order which they pro- moted. The) Llandudno Urban District extended a little beyond Shop-y-Roe. No doubt the agreement by which the pro- moters pledged themselves to take the electric current from his Council, had a great deal to do in changing their opposi- tion to support. By Mr Vincent: The Council had pre- viously objected to the overhead system, but they had since been convinced that there was no really practical underground system'. Some of the members of the Council had stated that they thought this line would deteriorate the value of pro- perty. Re-examined by Mr Coward: T^he Llan- dudno Council decided to support the ap- plication by ten votes to four. Mr Dickinson, engineer to the scheme, then gave technical evidence. Witness was cross-examined at consider- able length by Mr Marshall: It was' in- tended to develop the whole district, and not any particular portion. In his opin- ion there was sufficient population to sup- port the line and make it pay. The figures were worked out some five years ago, when the scheme was mooted, and the pro- moters were satisfied at that time that there would be little to fear that it would not be a, financial success. Pressed as to figures, witness said that it was esti- mated that they would carry eight or ten persons on an average by each tram. In the summer there would probably be a, ten minutes' service, and in winter a. half-hour service. Their line would be eight miles in length. Mr Marshall said witness was not answer- ing his questions. What he wanted were official figures showing that the line could be made to pay. Witness: I am answering your ques- tions. I have given you figures, and if you want to arrive at a total, you can easily work it out. Mr Marshall: Whom is the line intend- ed to henefit Witness Everybody and anybody who likes to ride on the car.—(Laughter and applause.) Mr Marshall, to the audience: Y oUi will have an opportunity of making a speech afterwards, if you want to do so. To witness I did no -uppose that the people were going: to ride under the car- Your remark may be funny, but it will not help your case. help your case. Witness: I simply answered your ques- tion. We want to convey visitors over the whole of the line. It has been esti- mated that we shall average about ten- pence per mile per journey along the route, and the cost will be about six- pence; therefore, we expect to make a profit of fourpenoe per mile. By Mr Coward The company expected to make a profit of £7,000 a year. Mr Bone said he appeared to support the scheme on behalf of three companies at Llandudno. The first, the Craigydon Land Co., were the owners of about forty- five acres of land, valued at between £ 50,000 and £ 60,000. The residents of Craigydon were almost unanimously in favour of the scheme, and had signed the petition which he then presented in sup- t port of the application. The second, was the Victoria, Palace Company, who were the owners of two and a half acres of land of considerable value; and the third, the West Llandudno Building: Estates, Ltd., which had property in that increasingly populous district at the West End of Gloddaeth Street. The whole property was valued at E90,000, and connected with these companies were some of the best business men in Llandudno, who had a material stake in the town and were greatly interested in its development.- (Applause.) T'his, Alr Coward stated, was the case for promoters. It was evident at this stage of the in- quiry, that an attempt was being made to arrive at terms with Lord Mostyn in order that he should withdraw his opposition to the scheme. The inquiry was suspended for a time, and a consultation ensued be- tween illr Coward and Mr Webb as re- presentatives of the promoters, and Lord Mostyn, Mr Marshall, Q.C., and Mr Pickering on behalf of the Mostyn Estate. After a time Mr Marshall returned, and addressing the Commissioners, said he was pleased to be able to inform them that terms had been agreed upon between Lord Mostyn and the promoters, and conse- quently the opposition of his lordship, would be withdrawn. He wished to add that t,he action of Lord Mostyn was quite intelligible in this movement in opposing the scheme up to the present time, as on the occasion of the last inquiry, his lord- ship was in the same boat as the Llandud- no District Council. His lordship much, regretted that until this stage of the in- quiry, he had felt it incumbent upon him to oppose, because he was naturally anx- ious to do what. he could for the Council and the inhabitants of Llandudno gener- ally.-(Lioud, applause.) The terms of settlement were not an- nounced in Court. Mr Vincent said that as terms of settle- ment had been 'arrived at between Lord Mostyn and the Promoters, he should withdraw the opposition of Mr Joseph Broome and Mrs Barlow. Mr Cross, Rhos, appeared to give evi- dence against the scheme, which, he stat- ed, if carried out, would greatly depre- ciate the value of his house and other property along the line of route, and would also destroy that quietude which had induced many persons from the busy towns take up their residence there. He also opposed the scheme on public grounds as he did not think there, was the slightest possibility of its being a financial success. Mr Marshall said he had also been in- structed. to oppose on behalf of a large number of the: residents of Colwyn Bay. After the arrangement with Lord Mostyn he had spoken to his clients with the ob- ject of hearing if it was their intention of withdrawing their opposition, but they had decided not to do, so. He believed the majority of the largest ratepayers were against the scheme, which, they consider- ed, would help to make the, place like Blackpool. A petition ha,d been signed by five hundred ratepayers against the scheme. Mir John Porter said he was, a member of the Colwyn Bay District Council,, and the owner of the Pwllycrochan Hotel. Only five out out of the nine memjbers of the Council supported the scheme, which, in his opinion, would help to Blackpoolize Colwyn Bay and make it like Douglas in Isle of Mian, by bringing thousands of trippers into the town. There was also the objection of having another line of rail between the town and the sea. Cross-examined by Mr Coward: He was one of the miinorityof the District Council opposed to the scheme. He be- lieved it would attract an undesirable class of people to Colwyn Bay, which would have the effect of keeping away the better class of people who now visited the town, because it was quiet. The rea- son the people he had objected to should not have an opportunity of viewing the beauties of the neighbourhood was, as he had before stated, that it would injure the place. The Princess Drive, through which the proposed line would run, was not suit- able for the purpose, and if the line was constructed it would be a source of dan- ger to children and others. They passed under an arch to the railway, but there would be no bridge or arch over the light railway line. Of course, other traffic: passed that way now, but he considered a tram would be more dangerous than any other vehicles. Mr Wm. Davies was the next witness called and stated that he was a, member of the Colwyn Bay District Council. He was one of the minority who voted against the scheme, and some of the majority now wished they had not voted for the project in view of the strong feeling in the town. Many vistitors had told him that if the line was made they would not come to Colwyn Bay ,ag;ain.-(Laughter. )He presented a petition signed by five hundred rate- payers against the scheme. Mr Coward: Mr Davies, I believe you are a member of the Colwyn Bay District Council, are you not? Mr Davies I am. Mr Coward: Where you make your opinions felt very forcibly, not always confining yourself to language? Witness after some hesitation Yes. Mr Coward: I believe youi issued the following circular to the ratepayers (read- ing, from a circular) "Do not believe them when they tell you; it is to be a, tram; it is to be a railway carrying goods, stones, and all other objectionable matter," etc., as shewn by their Bill." And you asked them to support nothing but a "respect- able tramway?" Witness.: Yes. Mr Coward How many of these circu- lars did you have printed? Witness, hesitatingly Two thousand, —I mean two or three hundred. Mr Coward You say you obtained the information from the Promoters' Bill. Did you not know that it also contained this proviso. "With the consent of the District Council?" Mr Marshall interposing He took the words from the Bill. Mr Coward: And left out the most im- portant sentence. Mr Coward So you first sent out the circulars, and then asked for signatures to the petition? If it is to be, a "respectable tramway" would you, support it? Witness Yes. (Long and loud laugh- ter.) Albert Rawley also opposed the scheme, believing it would be injurious to the town. By Mr Coward He assisted the last witness in sending out the circulars and getting signatures to the, petition, but he had nothing whatever to do with its com- position. The Rev. J. H. Astley, Trinity House School, strongly opposed the scheme as being detrimental to the best interest of Colwyn Bay. He was the principal at the above school, but he was also a, Clerk in Holy Orders, and assisted at the services at the parish church. It would be par- ticularly detrimental to the town, as the line would go along Princess Drive, which was a, road much frequented by in- valids. Colwyn Bay was a, quiet place as essentially opposed to Llandudno, in which town there were plenty of amuse- ments. When the people of Colwyn Bay wanted amusements they went to Llan- dudno, which was a place of varieties.— (Laughter.) Cross-examined by Mr Coward He did not think it would be any advantage to shorten the distance between Colwyn Bay and Llandiudno by 2 miles. In his opin- 1 2 ion the present means' of communication were quite sufficient. He disagreed with the evidence given by the Rev. W. Ven- ,ables Williams at the last inquiry, that the line would be a great advantage to the town. His favourite amusement was a "quiet fish."—(Loud laughter.) Mr Coward, in summing up the opposi- tion to the scheme, said it was purely sentimental. The parties had come to an agreement with all the local authorities, and had! arranged terms with Lord :M¡os- tvn. Therefore he asked the Commis- sioners to report favourably to the Board of Trade, as the project could not fail to be of immense advantage to the whole dis- trict.—(Loud applause.) Lord Jersey said he believed it was the third time they had listened to evidence relating to the scheme, and the whole question had been very fully discussed. The Commissioners were of opinion that they would: foe justified in recommending the Board of Trade to grant the order.— (Applause.) They intend, visiting Prin- cess Drive, although they did not appre- hend any real difficulty. ( To be Continued).




[No title]



[No title]