The survival of Adelaide and Suburban Tramway Company horse tram 18
When horse trams were replaced by electrics, Mr William Neate purchased horse tram 18 as a playroom for his children, relocating it to the back yard of his home on Walkerville Terrace, Walkerville.
After the death of her parents, Miss E.L. Neate stayed in the family home and converted the horse tram to a fern house.
Subsequently the house was acquired by the SA Housing Trust as part of the site for the new multistorey Highways Department (more recently Department of Transport) building at Walkerville.
The Housing Trust foreman sent to clear the site fortunately decided not to bulldoze the horse tram. Instead he took it to the Trust’s Torrensville depot where, with no particular authority, the staff there supervised by Mr Don McLaren rebuilt it.
The State government, finding itself in the possession of a horse tram, made it available to the National Trust of SA for display with their horse drawn vehicles collection in the former Maylands horse tram depot.
After this was closed it went into storage until 1971 when it came to the tramway Museum at St. Kilda.
In 1976, the St.Kilda Tramway Museum arranged for it to go to the Marleston TAFE College to be repainted in authentic colours as a course work project.
As part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the horse tram system, on 11 June 1978 it conveyed Premier Don Dunstan into Victoria Square. The following year it ran at Glenelg to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Glenelg electric tramway.
In 1989 it featured on an Australia Post stamp issue. Also, it was moved to the National Trust’s horse drawn vehicles collection to be displayed at Sepplesfield. Later it went into store at Port Adelaide.
In 2002 horse tram 18 returned to the St. Kilda Museum where it remains on display.
Being stripped for rebuilding, Housing Trust Depot, Torrensville. Don McLaren
Restorers after the car was successfully loaded. The top deck canopy had to be removed to clear overhead wires. Don McLaren