It was on this Friday that the long-delayed Board of Trade inspection of Peterborough's new tram system took place - officialdom always takes its time, you know. Two trams left the depot for the Market Place to pick up the official parties. When everyone - including the inspectors - was on board the first car, the driver set off with a fearful jerk, throwing virtually all the officials off their feet! One wonders whether this was a case of nerves, carelessness or intent - we'll never know that. However, the driver reversed the car, made a fresh start and moved off in an extremely smooth manner. The second car followed on, carrying several members of the council and members of the press. Despite this faulty start, the trams passed the test with flying colours. The Peterborough tram service was formally approved and trams from Long Causeway to Walton and Dogsthorpe were able to start carrying passengers. At this time, the Peterborough Electric Traction Co. had twelve open-topped trams for the service. Why, you may ask, were the trams open top? It was because roofed trams would have been too high to pass under the Rhubarb Bridge! (Mitchell, Neil, Streets of Peterborough, 2007; Peterborough Advertiser)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.