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The tramcar – all aboard for the Stockade!

The tramcar

In 1898, a beautifully-finished horse-drawn tramcar, designed by a warder and made by prisoners under his supervision, was brought into service. The tram operated for some thirty years and enabled visitors on the island to complete their journey in comfort.

It is said that when passengers in the tramcar—whether prisoners coming to take up or resume residence on the island, or visitors—completed their trip from the jetty, along the causeway to the Stockade, the usual cry from the prisoner-driver at the top was ‘All change here! End of the line!’

For over 27 years, the tramcar was hauled by the one horse which, it was claimed, ‘stepped out like a two-year-old when he had a distinguished visitor in tow’. This was Toby, the cabhorse, one of St Helena’s oldest ‘prisoners’. It seemed that ‘everyone had a good word for Toby—the horse that refused to grow old’.

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