At the turn of the 20th century, the growing residential population of North Perth needed dependable public transport to take them between the suburb and the city to work, shop and be entertained. The West Australian reported in 1906 that:
“During the past twelve months 137 new buildings have been erected. Most of them are neat, substantial residences, which have cost between £300 and £500; but the most notable addition to the architecture of the municipality is a row of three two storey shops in Fitzgerald Street, which cost about £3,000…The present year will also be marked by an extension of the tramway service. A start with this work is to be made in April, and by December the trams should be running as far as the intersection of Fitzgerald Street and Forrest Street.”
The number 20 Tram was indeed completed and terminated in front of the modern day North Perth Plaza shopping centre on Fitzgerald Street.
Extension to Angove Street
Around 1909, North Perth residents around Angove St began campaigning the Council for an extension to the tram routes further up Fitzgerald Street and into Angove Street. The extension of the line to the corner of Angove and Albert Streets was officially opened in March 1910 to a community celebration. Around 700 local children were given tram rides from North Perth to Nedlands and back throughout the day. At the end of the ride, they were treated with confectionery, pastries and other treats and given a souvenir card commemorating the opening day.
The West Australian Newspaper reported on page 3 of its 24 March 1910 edition:
“Whilst the young folk were away a number of ladies and gentlemen assembled in the State school grounds when the Mayor (Mr. R. A. Gamble) said that he was very pleased that the extensions had been completed. He recognised that the service would be of distinct advantage to North Perth, and, like the Government, the Council were looking out for settlers. He would have liked to see the extension … carried more westward…but they had to be satisfied at present with what they had. He hoped that in the near future the service would be extended to Charles street.”
There was a strong opinion among officials attending the opening that the population of the district would increase as a result of this extended public transport access, and this certainly seemed to come true. By 1911, there were 5,000 residents of the district and by 1921, North Perth Primary School located just behind the tram terminus, had become the state’s largest primary school.
The tram route was extended to Charles St in 1927 when it became known as no. 22 Tram.
Following the Great Depression and World War II, funding to maintain the trams were not as readily available and many people found catching the trams less affordable.
North Perth’s route 22 Tram was the last to run in the suburb on 1 February 1958. Marching girls marked the occasion, with a performance on Angove Street.
Assets and References
- PH02897 – Angove Street, North Perth with tram at Fitzgerald Street junction, 1924
- PH01773 – Marching girls celebrating the last day of the trams to North Perth
- PH01055 – Crowd celebrates the last tram in Angove Street, North Perth
- 136109PD: Tram No. 100 at Angove St. on loop or end of double track, 1958. Thompson, Micheal: Photographer. Sourced from the collections of the State Library of Western Australia and reproduced with the permission of the Library Board of Western Australia.
Battye, J. S. Cyclopedia of Western Australia The Cyclopedia Company, Perth, 1913, Fasc. Ed. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia, 1985, Vol. 1, pp. 554-555.