Horse Car 107 was bought by the Leeds Tramway Company in 1898.  The Company was busy expanding and electrifying its system but due to three factors it needed to buy new horse cars.

 Here a car of the same batch as 107 waits at the Chapeltown terminus. It has three horses pulling it in what is known as a Unicorn arrangement.  

The new cars were bought because:-

a) The existing car fleet was getting old and needed replacing.

b) Due to capacity constraints industry could not supply enough electric cars and the associated equipment quickly enough.

c) Three routes to South Leeds (Dewsbury Road, Beeston Road and Elland Road) all passed over a railway bridge that couldn't take the weight of heavier electric cars until it was rebuilt. This was not due to happen until 1901.

Therefore the company bought two batches of 10 double decker horse cars from G F Milnes and company of Cleveland Street, Birkenhead. 

The car ran until 1901 when the new bridge was opened to road traffic and the electric cars were able to run.  It was then carefully converted to a static mess hut for the council Highways Department.  All the upper deck seats, stairs, end platforms, brakes and wheels were removed and the doors were made to hinge rather than slide.  The work was done by craftsmen at Kirkstall Road works and was done to a high standard.

In the 1920's the carbody was declared redundant by the Highways Department and was given to a council employee for use as a summerhouse.  It was then moved to a garden in Nixon Avenue in the East End Park area of Leeds.



The car was then used as a summerhouse and at one point the owner's nephew and his wife lived in the car.  ;till the 1970's.  It was fitted out with a stove and given several coats of paint to keep it weatherproof. Its final coat was British Rail corporate blue. The house then changed hands and the Wilson family became the owners.  Their sons used the car as a home for their collection of pet mice.

 The car body was seen by Alex Brown, a member of the Leeds Transport Historical Society, and was identified as the last remaining Leeds Horse Car.  The Society negotiated with the Wilsons who generously donated the car to the Society.

In April 1977 the car was moved from the garden, loaded onto a Ford Transit and moved to a new home in East Leeds for safe storage.

Here it is seen being driven up York Road. Although this was a tram route in electric days, horse trams never ran this far.  The driver of the Transit commented, many years later, that "the steering seemed a little light".


 The car was then placed in a well ventilated garage, and there it stayed for another 28 years.

 Follow the story by reading about The Restoration Project.