This film is part of Free

A Century of Transport: From Horse Tram to Atlantean

The history of horse drawn and electric trams, trolley buses and motor buses carrying passengers around Ipswich.

School programme and Educational film 1980 18 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


In 1980, Ipswich celebrated a hundred years of public transport and David Cleveland made this film looking back at the various vehicles which once served the town through archive film and photographs. We're shown in succession the horse-drawn trams, electric trams, trolley buses and motor buses, culminating in the familiar Atlantean front-entrance double decker bus which enabled one-person operation and ended the role of the bus conductor.

Each new transport system required upheaval of the streets and left a legacy of specialist buildings and equipment for the industrial archaeologist to discover. In Ipswich the horse-drawn trams began in 1880, the electric trams in 1903, trolley buses known as trackless trams in 1923 with the final run on 23rd August 1963, and the diesel motor buses in 1950. Leyland introduced the Atlantean double decker in 1958. It was a matter of local pride that the trolley buses were manufactured in Ipswich at Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies and in nearby Leiston at Richard Garrett and Sons.