Trust News & Views...

Island at War 2019

posted 9 Sep 2019, 07:23 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT   [ updated 9 Sep 2019, 09:25 ]

and Blae visited Douglas Railway Station over the weekend of 17th & 18th August to take part in the annual Island at War event. The pair were beautifully presented by the stables staff. 

Throughout the weekend the Trammers wore purple poppies in remembrance of the eleven million horses, mules and donkeys that were killed during World War I and World War II. 

The Tramway played an important role as part of the war effort during World War I by providing transport for the Munitions Girls who were employed at Derby Castle. At least 80 horses were also requisitioned from the Tramway by the British Government at the outbreak of war in 1914, leaving the remaining horses to provide a skeleton service until 1918. 

The Tramway was closed for the duration of World War II. The Promenade hotels were used as internment camps for enemy aliens and barbed wire fences were put up along the centre of the road to keep the internees in, blocking the Tramway.

Crogga Valley Railway Charity Day

posted 4 Sep 2019, 09:11 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT

We were very pleased to be nominated as the benefitting charity for a recent Crogga Valley Railway open day near Santon. The event was fully sold out, with additional funds raised on the day from the sale of light refreshments and raffle tickets.

A total of £798.60 was raised for the Trust, a cheque was handed to DBTHT trustee Edward More by the Crogga Valley Railway managers Will Collins and Cade Williamson.    

New Cooler Rugs for Trammers

posted 8 Aug 2019, 02:30 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT

The Trust has recently provided a pair of cooler rugs to be used by Tramway horses when attending agricultural shows and events.

Whilst primarily for welfare purposes after exercising, the rugs are embrodiered to identify the heavy draught horses to the public as 'trammers', and the Trust's continuing support for promoting them as such at agricultural shows and events.  

Charles Guard joins Trust Board

posted 31 Jul 2019, 09:55 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT

We are very pleased to announce Mr Charles Guard has joined our charity as a trustee.

Charles is an author, broadcaster, film-maker, public speaker, talented musician and heritage conservationist. He was the chief officer of the Manx Heritage Foundation (now known as Culture Vannin) until his retirement in 2016.

Charles continues his passion for promoting the heritage, landscape and people of the Isle of Man, work for which he received a lifetime achievement award in 2018. He is a trustee of the Milntown Estate near Ramsey and a non-executive director of Manx Radio.

Tramway Visitor & Journey Guide

posted 4 Apr 2019, 08:51 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT   [ updated 4 Apr 2019, 09:03 ]

The Trust has published a Visitor & Journey Guide leaflet introducing briefly the history and heritage of the Tramway, the unique experience of riding original Victorian & Edwardian horse-drawn tramcars in an urban street environment, visiting the historic stables, and the renaissance the Tramway is currently undergoing since ownership and operation transferred in 2016 to the Isle of Man Government.

The leaflet also promotes a number of buildings of historical and architectual significance and other points of interest to been seen or explored during a journey around Douglas Bay.

The leaflet will be available from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, railway / tramway stations, visitor attractions and other sites across the Island.    

Sponsor-a-Trammer Scheme

posted 8 Feb 2019, 03:38 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT   [ updated 11 Feb 2019, 08:56 ]

The Trust has launched an online £12 sponsorship scheme to help support the upkeep, welfare and promotion of the Tramway's large team of Clydesdale and Shire draught horses. Sponsors receive an A5 colour 'Sponsor Card' for their sponsored Trammer which includes its photo and current profile information.

Sponsorship donations may assist with procuring a wide range of supplies and services for the Tram Horses including:
  • Fresh Vegetables, Feed & Dietary Supplements
  • Salt & Mineral Licks
  • Bedding
  • Grooming & Conditioning Products
  • Medicines, Veterinary & Dentistry Services
  • Education & Promotion Materials
  • Rugs, Harness, Collars & Tack
  • Shoes, Nails & Farrier Services
  • Transportation
Donations may also be used to support the continued participation of Trammers in traditional draught horse activities like attending Summer agricultural shows and Winter ploughing events.

For details, visit our Sponsor a Trammer page.  

Clare Bettison MHK joins Trust Board

posted 15 Dec 2018, 02:51 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT

Member NameWe are very pleased to announce Ms Clare Bettison has become a trustee of our charity.

Clare is a member of the House of Keys (the Isle of Man Parliament), representing the Douglas East constituency since 2016. She is a registered nurse with 10+ years' experience working in the UK and Manx national health services. She moved to the Island in 2007 after completing her nurse training in Hampshire.

Clare is involved with a number of local charities on the Island and is a passionate supporter of the horse tramway which is located within her constituency.

Renewed Interest In Upper Douglas Cable Tramway

posted 23 Nov 2018, 13:37 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT   [ updated 23 Nov 2018, 13:39 ]

The restoration and display of one of the original Upper Douglas Cable Tramway's cable pulley wheels near to the Sea Terminal has created a renewed interest in this long closed public transit system which last ran in 1929.  Throughout its existence, the Cable Tramway was both physically and financially linked to the operation and profitability of the Horse Tramway.

The Trust has added new information pages on its website which outline the history and operation of the Cable Tramway with a selection of historical photographs. The Trust is also helping to develop plans for guided walks along the tramway route in 2019, highlighting landmark buildings and lost features.

To view the new webpages, click here

Equine Breed Information Panels

posted 23 Apr 2018, 10:30 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT   [ updated 27 Apr 2018, 09:34 ]

The Trust has provided two breed information panels which are wall-mounted in the Upper Stables at Summer Hill Tramway Stables. The information panels will inform visitors about the Clydesdale and Shire Horse breeds, in particular their key characteristics, breed history, appearance, modern-day uses and vulnerability to breed loss in the UK.

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway currently has more than twenty pure-bred and cross-bred Clydesdale and Shire Horses. Modern-day working roles for heavy draught horses in the heritage transport, leisure, forestry and agricuture sectors not only helps to maintain health and fitness, it forms an important part of heavy draught breed conservation.   

Clydesdales remain on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (a UK charity) watchlist as a 'vulnerable' breed whilst Shires, although greater in number, are still considered an 'at risk' breed. There are only about 700 breedable Clydesdale mares left in the British Isles.

New Information Cards for Tram Horses

posted 31 Mar 2018, 04:10 by Douglas Bay Tramway HT   [ updated 10 Apr 2018, 08:58 ]

The Trust has produced a full set of Tram Horse information cards to mount on the stall doors in the Tramway Stables. Alongside a photograph of each horse, the new 'Trammer Cards' provide visitors with profile information including place and year of birth, breed, colour, markings and observations, as well as when each horse started pulling Tramcars.

The aim of the new 'Trammer Cards' is to help the public engage more with individual Tram Horses when visiting the stables.  Further information signage is planned over the coming months.

The Tramway Stables are open to the public when the Horse Tramway is operating.  Guided 'Meet the Trammers' tours are available on selected dates throughout the season.  See timetable and leaflets for more information or visit

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