Looking Back



Something to consider on the day of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral. Margaret Thatcher, who died on 8th April, age 87 was well known for her dislike of public transport, but here we see her together with Chris Patten, the last Governor, during a visit to Hong Kong in 1993. She is on board tram 128 at Shau Kei Wan Road adjacent to Hoi An Street (where trams leave from Sai Wan Ho Depot today) on 14th May, possibly the only time she travelled by tram in the street after she became Britain’s first and so far only female Prime Minister. Baroness Thatcher signed the agreement in 1984 which covered the return of the colony to the Chinese in 1997, but incorporated the “One Country, Two Systems” principle which allows the capitalist system, including companies like the tramway, to continue to do business unchanged for 50 years. Still in service today, tour car 128 was rebuilt and renumbered in 1987 from car 59 of 1954, thus making it the oldest tram in service in the current fleet. (Photo courtesy Information Services Department, HKSAR Government)

John Prentice
Chairman, Tramway & Light Railway Society

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