Latest News
Amphibic Design - Websites - Graphibic Design
Horse/Mule Drawn Tram in 1903


UPDATED: 21/06/2021

21 June 1887, Horse drawn trams used for first time.
21 June 1900, Ed Ling, doyen of Kimberley cricket, dies.


Edmund Ling, who died at “Broadway” house in Newton, Kimberley on 21 June 1900, was one of three brothers who arrived on the dry diggings (later Kimberley), exactly 29 years prior to the day of his death – on 21 June 1871.

The Ling family had come from the Pietermaritzburg region, and Edmund in particular, had struck it lucky on his claims in both the De Beers and the Kimberley mines. He had received a suitable shareholding upon the various amalgamations in the 1880s which culminated in the formation of De Beers Consolidated Mines in March 1888.

He thoroughly enjoyed sport and in particular cricket and shooting. He had been one of the finest shots in South Africa and had won many laurels.

But it was cricket he truly loved.

Before arriving on the diamond fields a mere month before the discovery of the famous Big Hole, he had played for the Richmond Cricket Club in Natal, his bowling being quite devastating and destroying many a team’s batting.

He arranged the first ever cricket match in Kimberley on 23 March 1872 when the Natalians (of whom he was a member) defeated the Port Elizabethans, and although in the twilight of his career, represented the Kimberley side in the 3rd Champion Bat tournament in 1884, but without distinction.

Edmund’s brother William was considered the “WG Grace” of South African cricket at the time, and William’s son, also William, represented South Africa in International cricket.

During the Griqua Uprising in 1878 he was appointed a Captain in the Griqualand West Light Infantry by Colonel Sir Owen Lanyon, and was personally thanked by Sir Charles Warren at the campaign end.

He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word.

His funeral was well attended.

Both his brothers William and Ben were in attendance at the funeral, as were his three married sisters.

Edmund, it is believed, had never married.

21 June 1887, Horse drawn trams used for first time.
21 June 1900, Ed Ling, the “W.G. Grace” of South African cricket, dies.


The Kimberley tramway network formed part of the public transport system in Kimberley for roughly 60 years until the late 1940s. Operations started with horse-drawn trams, on 21 June 1887. Mules replaced the horses in the early 1890s. For a few years starting in 1900 tram sets hauled by steam tram engines were also operated on some lines. The first day of public service for electric trams was 25 April 1905. The first electric trams were four single-deck cars purchased from the John Stephenson Car Company, of New York. More trams were purchased later from the J. G. Brill Company and the United Electric Car Company.

Lines were gradually electrified, but not until 1914 were the last mule trams taken out of use, upon conversion of the Kenilworth route to electric trams. The last day of service was 30 November 1947, with the closure of the Kenilworth route.

At 15h00 on 21 June 1887 the eight new Gibson Brothers tramcars, suitably decorated with flags and bunting, made the inaugural Kimberley-Beaconsfield journey with the invited guests and dignitaries. These included the Mayors of both Kimberley and Beaconsfield, and later at the Halfway House tram depot, the opening ceremony was performed amid toasts and speeches. It was announced that passenger tariff between Kimberley and Beaconsfield was to be reduced, from one shilling, as charged by the New Victoria Bus Company, to six pence.

Pictured is a horse/mule drawn tram on Dutoitspan Road in 1903.

Sources: Dr Oscar Sabbatini and Wikipedia.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt


Check Also


19 November 1871, Fr Hidien, Catholic priest who began the first two ...


18 November 1870, Klipdrift (Barkly West) declared the short-lived Diggers Republic. 18 ...

Website by amphibic.design