Edinburgh Transport

The Last Tram

Conductors and Drivers

   Edinburgh's Last Tram  -  1956  -  zoom-in

16 November 1956


Conductor and Drivers


The conductor on the last tram was Andrew Birrell.

It was reported that he "did a roaring trade in the sale of sets of last tram tickets."


The driver of the last tram was James Kay.  He was presented with a suitably inscribed watch.

Wallets were presented to two other drivers:

-  William Moffat , the driver of the decorated tram.

-  James Pryde, the driver of the last No 28 tram.

These three drivers, together, had 123 years' service with the tramway.

Edinburgh Evening News  17 November 1956


Request for Photo

James Simpson who e-mailed me on 4 January 2006 with this message:

William Moffat, Driver

"I am trying to locate a picture of my great uncle William Moffat who drove the decorated tram on the 16 Nov 1956. I have seen a picture of him in a book but have been unable to trace it.

I thought your website might have the picture but it does not appear in it. Any information would be useful."

James Simpson,  January 4, 2006

If you know of the picture that James refers to, please e-mail me so that I can pass on your comments to him.    Thank you.   -  Peter Stubbs

Thank you to Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland for his quick response. On  5 January 2006, Phil wrote:


With regard you your correspondent's query on the last tram, there are three photos in 'Edinburgh since 1900' (Plates 203 to 205 - pages unnumbered) published by Archive Publications Limited in association with Scotsman Publications                    ISBN 0-948946-16-4, 1987

Whether his relative is actually in those photos, I don't know, although there are one or two Transport employees shown.

There are also 3 photos on the 'Scotsman' photo gallery website (enter 'last tram' into the search box) but again no obvious photo of the driver:

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland:  January 5, 2006

I have a copy of the book mentioned above.

-  Photo 203 shows a man in uniform (driver?) standing beside the decorated tram.  This may well be the photo that James is looking for.

-  Photo 204 shows a conductor serving a customer with a tram ticket.

-  Photo 205 is a night scene with horse drawn tram and other trams.

Peter Stubbs:  January 5, 2006


Jan 8, 2006

James Simpson e-mailed me today to say that he now has a copy of this book and believes that the man in photo 203 is in fact his Uncle William.

Peter Stubbs:  January 8, 2006


Jan 26, 2006

Thank you to Donald Grant for sending a further message about the photograph discussed above.

Donald wrote:

"The photo that James Simpson is looking for, of his uncle William Moffatt, the driver of the decorated tram on the last day, is published in 'A Nostalgic Look At Edinburgh Trams Since 1950' by Graham H.E. Twidale, published by Silver Link Publishing Limited.

This book has been out of print  for several years.  Its ISBN number is 0-947971-37-8.  The photo itself is from the LRT archive.

I can confirm that the photo in the book that I have is of William Moffatt. He is named in the text. It sounds like the same photo as in Phil's book. It was taken at Shrubhill depot and William is standing to the left of the tram."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  January 26, 2006

NOTE:  I don't know whether the name is 'Moffat' or 'Moffatt'  I have seen it written both ways.



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