Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Hay and the Wye valley
  A fatal accident on the tramway  

The men running the tramroad would use horses to haul the loaded wagons up to the higher level of the 'wharf'.
Once the trams had been unloaded they were in the habit of letting them run down the slope to the main line on their own. This was very dangerous as there were footpaths in the area down to the riverside by the church.

  drawing by Rob DaiesDrawing by Rob Davies
  In September 1843 an old woman from Hay, Elizabeth Smith, was crossing the line near the church carrying a bag of potatoes when she was struck without warning by the wagons hurtling down the slope. She was killed instantly, and an inquest was held into her death.
At the inquest the coroner blamed the tram company for putting people in danger in such a reckless way.
Despite this tragic accident the tramway provided a valuable service for Hay for almost fifty years.
It was to come to an end with the opening of the steam operated Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway in 1864.
Some of the trackbeds of the pioneering Hay Tramway were used for the new railway, including the section at Hay.

The line of the old tram road below Hay church in 1999

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