Some blog posts are inconsequential or frivolous, but this one is serious.

For 140 years horse trams have been clip-clopping up and down Douglas front.  They are unique.  No-one else in the world has such a survival - even the stables are original and the only working tramway stables left in the world.  And you can't find transport which is much more 'green'.  They've taken visitors and luggage to hotels, kiddies for rides, passengers from the MER at Derby Castle to the shops in town.

Now they can't.

Despite a Tynwald resolution that they should continue the full length of the promenade, the track still starts at Derby Castle but has been truncated at the bottom of Broadway (about half-way along).  At one stroke, the horse trams have stopped being a useful connexion between distant points - travelling from the north of the island we used them all the time - and become merely a plaything.

The powers-that-be seem reluctant to put in place what Tynwald voted for, so the junior partner of Loaghtan Books will present a Petition for Redress to Tynwald Hill tomorrow (5 July).  The petition does not, as you might think, ask that the horse trams be reinstated to their full length.  The petition points out the constitutional risks of NOT reinstating the horse trams and asks that:

'Tynwald shall avoid setting the precedent of permitting unelected persons and/or individual Members to overturn or unreasonably delay any decision made by the democratically-elected government of the Isle of Man, by reinstating the Horse Tram to run along the whole length (i.e. from Derby Castle to the Sea Terminal) of the Promenades at Douglas.'

Watch this space.

The Horse’s reply


‘Promenade’ is French for ‘walkway’

Four legs or two unsaid,

But, impatient, hurried, stressed, alone

You prefer your car instead.


What happened to Manx friendliness?

What price is traa dy liooar?

After fourteen decades service

Don’t you want me anymore?


What about your children’s children?

And the tourists who have fun?

Will they be pleased you stopped the trams?

Will they still want to come?


You complain I slow the traffic.

But the problem’s lots of cars –

And visitors who ride with me

Spend cash in shops and bars.


If you make the horses homeless

Tourists may stay away,

As tram-less, boring, car-filled towns

They can get in the UK.


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