Selsey Tramway Project
March 2021 – Ongoing
The ‘Selsey Tram Way’ project aims to enhance the heritage of a ‘train’ which ran between Chichester and Selsey from 1897 until 1935.
The Selsey Tramway was the brainchild of Colonel Stephens. It opened in 1897, having taken just 4 months to build, and was named The Hundred of Manhood & Selsey Tramway until 1924, when it became known as the West Sussex Railway. The tramway also had a number of alternative ‘nicknames’ – the Blackberry Line, the Sidlesham Snail, the Hedgerow Train and the Clickety-click, which illustrate its quirky reputation.
There were 11 stations along the route – Chichester, Hunston, Hoe Farm Halt, Chalder (Farm), Mill Pond Halt, Sidlesham, Ferry Farm, Golf Club Halt, Selsey Bridge Halt, Selsey Town and Selsey Beach. The line crossed roads at Stockbridge, Hunston, Sidlesham and Ferry Farm. It crossed the Chichester Canal at Hunston, as well as Broad Rife adjacent to Ferry Pool.
The line closed in 1935 due to a combination of its own unreliability and the competition of the Southdown Bus Company.
In 1997, the 100th anniversary of the tramway's first train journey, a walking guide was published and signs were added existing footpath signs which closely follow the original track route, to commemorate the tramway. In 2008, MWHG updated this walking guide, called ‘Walk The Selsey Tram Way’.
This project is led by Dr Bill Martin and a team of volunteers with a passion for local history. This project will keep the story of the tramway alive for both the local community and visitors to the area with the creation of new signage, walking guides, information boards and artefact restoration.
‘Walk The Selsey Tram Way’ Guide
The original 2008 version of the walking guide will be re-written and designed. New directions will be included, which will be based on feedback from volunteers who will trial the guide prior to publication. This guide will be available on our Walks and Trails page. A map will also be created to accompany the guide.
Interactive Map of the Route
A mobile phone and tablet friendly version of the routes of both the Tram Way and the walking trail has been created. This interactive map is currently available to view here.
Tramway Route Improvements
Directional signage will be updated along the walking route and information boards installed at points of interest, including the sites of the 11 stations. Walkers will be able to access the interactive map and additional information using weblinks on the signage and QR codes on the information boards. Where possible, artefacts will be restored, for example making the platform at Chalder Station more visible.
Select a a blog post to read the latest updates from this project.
PARTNERSHIPS & FUNDING
Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG)
Funded by your donations, distributed through MWHG.
You can support our work by making a donation. Our donations are secured by PayPal (but you do not need a PayPal account to donate).
If you would like to learn more about this project please contact us by completing the form on our contact page.
Visit The Colonel Stephens Railway Museum at The Kent & East Sussex Railway in Tenterden, Kent.
The Selsey Tramway Volumes One & Two (Laurie A Cooksey) 2006 Wild Swan Publications ISBN 1-905184-15-8
Branch Line to Selsey (Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith) 1983 Middleton Press ISBN 0 906520 04 5
The Selsey Tram (David Bathurst) 1992 Phillimore ISBN 0 85033 839 5
The Hundred of Manhood and Selsey Tramways (Edward Griffiths) 1948, reprinted 1968 Langham, Herald Press, Farnham
Rail History - The Selsey Tramway
Selsey Tramway Restoration Group
Recreating Britain’s Lost Routes