The Ditchling Road Tram Shelter

Many SRRA members will be familiar with the Victorian tram shelter that stands at the junction of Ditchling Road and Upper Hollingdean Road. It is one of only about four left in the City, and is over 100 years old.

About 15 years ago, the Council was planning to remove this shelter and put it in a museum. Several local people objected to this, and formed a group to lobby for its retention as a working shelter. The group managed to save the shelter, and carried out several repairs to it, some of which were eventually funded by the Council, who then undertook to maintain it.

Since then there have been ups and downs but it clings on to life. However, the electric lighting, which was working in the mid-1990s, was never restored, and the cleaning it receives is fairly minimal. People tend to leave rubbish in it because there is no bin nearby. It would also be good to have a noticeboard so that some information could be provided about its history, and this could perhaps also be used for community notices.

I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who feels, as I do, that this shelter is worth preserving as a piece of living history, and should therefore be properly looked after. If there were several of us lobbying the Council, they might take more notice. Perhaps we could form a sort of “watching brief” rota so that the shelter is checked regularly and any defects reported.

If you would like to help, please contact me, Jim Grozier