Development of Public Transport in Perth

Perth Civic Trust will be hosting a talk on the Development of Public Transport in Perth on Wednesday 21st of August 2024, from 7.30pm at The Soutar Theatre, A K Bell Library, York Place, Perth.

The evening will be open to PCT Members and to the general public on a first come, first served basis with booking via Eventbrite. There will be a £3.00 charge for Members, £6.00 for Non-Members.

Transport expert, author and publisher of a wide range books on a variety of vehicles, Allan T Condie will take us on a journey on how both Perth and Public Transport developed to meet the needs of an expanding and more mobile population, from foot and pedal power, to horse drawn buses and trams, electrification and the introduction of the internal combustion engine and how these transport systems were operated from the 1860’s until the 1970’s.

As well as the vehicles and systems, there will be a glimpse “out the window” at how Perth was developing along some of the routes that may well still be familiar today.

The City and Royal Burgh of Perth was once described as ‘lying between two Inches’ and where ‘the people live by dying’. As a
crossing point on the River Tay the town grew in importance from the middle ages to a major agricultural and industrial centre by
the end of the nineteenth century.

As well as being an important railway town, other manufacturing interests in Perth covered linen weaving, glassware, dry
cleaning, carpet manufacture, a thriving port despite being 22 miles from the sea, and the headquarters of General Accident, the
worldwide insurance company. Lack of public transport from the residential suburb of Cherrybank to New Scone, a village to the
north east of Perth had expanded as a dormitory suburb of Perth in the late nineteenth century, brought about the operation of
horse buses between Scone and Perth in the 1860s. A Horse tramway opened in September 1895 between Scone and Rose
Crescent on the Glasgow Road.

Other extensions ran from the Cross to the residential area of Craigie, opened in 1897 and Cherrybank later the same year. The
Cherrybank to Scone service was to remain the most prominent of all Perth’s City routes until Scotmap wiped it away in the
1980s. The system was electrified after takeover by the Corporation in 1903, the first electric cars running in 1905 with the extension to Dunkeld Road being completed for electric traction. The trams were replaced by Corporation buses, the last car running on 19th January 1929.

Between the wars slum clearance housing was built at Friarton, Muirton, and Hunter Crescent, and these estates featured in the
bus services provided. Post-war development at Letham, Darnhall, and Moncrieffe necessitated alterations to existing services
and creation of new ones.

The deficit left by the trams continued to be a burden to the Council and in 1933 negotiations were commenced with regard to
the takeover of the Corporation’s bus services by Alexanders. There were a number of precedents for this action; Perth was now
the only Burgh outside the ‘big four’ cities to operate its own buses. The matter occupied the Council and its transport committee
for some time and the final proposals were put to a full meeting of the Town Council in April 1934. There had been considerable
correspondence in the “Perthshire Advertiser” and the “Dundee Courier” regarding the takeover. Some 4288 ratepayers signed a
petition against the sale, and a protest took place outside the City Chambers on the night of the crucial vote on 29th May 1934.
Scuffles occurred and the police drew their batons – however the resolution was passed and that was that!

The presentation will look at Perth from the Horse Tramway days into the 1970s showing not only the vehicles operated but
views of Perth’s streets in these earlier times reminding us of businesses, buildings and other features that are now past history.

Photographic Memories of Perth on June 5th 2024

Held in Willows, 14 St John’s Place, Perth PH1 5SZ at 6.30pm on 5th June 2024

Perth Civic Trust hosted an evening of photographic memories of Perth City on Wednesday 5th June 2024, between 6.30 and 8.30pm at Willows, St John’s Place, Perth. The evening was free of charge with refreshments available to purchase throughout the evening. We would like to thank Willows for allowing us to use their restaurant premises.

The event was informal with interaction to share memories being encouraged between those attending. Some of the images submitted, along with those from public and private collections were displayed on a screen or available as prints to be examined around the venue.

Printable flyer:

Event photo gallery

Some of the images shown on the night

The Perthshire Advertiser published a double-page spread on the the event on 18th June 2024.

AGM 2023 on October 28th 2023



1. Welcome to all Members and visitors to the meeting.
2. To note Apologies, as received (e.g. by reply to this email)
3. To note the Minute of the 2022 AGM.
4. To receive the Chairman’s Report and update of the Forward Plan.
5. To receive the Financial Report of Perth Civic Trust for the year to 31 March 2023.
6. The Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary were appointed in 2022 and have a further year to serve.
7. To receive nominations and appoint members of the Executive Committee of Perth Civic Trust.
8. To receive a recommendation and agree the subscription for the year beginning 1 April 2024.
9. To consider any other competent business.
There were two short presentations. Roben Antoniewicz spoke about our plans for new blue plaques and Mike Bell on how to find the plaques on our web site, how they are grouped and what further developments are being proposed.
Jill McGrath, CEO for the YMCA presented “New Life for Old Church”, an illustrated update on the progress of the conversion of the former St Andrew’s Church in Atholl Street to form the new Y Centre for the YMCA.

You can read the Minutes and view the three presentations by Roben Antoniewicz, Mike Bell and Jill McGrath below. These may take some time to appear as they are large files. Some browsers may not display the files at all but download links are provided. They are large downloads, please be patient.

Minutes (pdf)

Blue plaques proposals by Roben Antoniewicz (pdf)

Plaque documentation project by Mike Bell (pptx)

New Life for Old Church by Jill McGrath (pptx)

YMCA Centre progress video (mp4)

AGM 2023 gallery


Proposed Map of Historic Perth – An Update

Saturday 13th May 2023 at 10.30am

Our new lecture series of 2023 started with a talk in the Soutar Theatre at the A K Bell Library.

After an introduction by our Chairman Willie Wilson, we were given an update on a very exciting project that is being taken forward by the Perth Society of Natural Science in conjunction with the Historic Towns Trust, together with members of Perth Civic Trust to provide a map of Historic Perth with buildings and locations of particular interest highlighted upon it. It is the intention that this will subsequently be accompanied by a more detailed atlas produced from the information gathered initially to produce the map, which is the current focus.

Copies of previous maps produced by the Historic Towns Trust were on display at the meeting. John Jessop from Perthshire Society of Natural Science and John Moore from the Historic Towns Trust provided background on the project and updated us on current progress.

AGM 2022 on September 24th, 2022

This was held at 11.00am on 24th September 2022 in the Threshold Hall of St John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Princes St, Perth PH2 8LJ.


  1. Welcome to all Members to the meeting
  2. To note the Apologies as received
  3. To note the outcome of the meeting held on 9 November 2019 and activities since
  4. To receive the Co Chair’s Report
  5. To receive the Financial Report of the Perth Civic Trust for the year to 31 March 2022 and 2021
  6. To receive nominations and appoint the Chairman of the Perth Civic Trust for two years
  7. To receive nominations and appoint the Security of the Perth Civic Trust for two years
  8. To receive nominations and appoint the Treasurer of the Perth Civic Trust
  9. To receive nominations and appoint members of the Executive Committee of Perth Civic Trust
  10. To receive a recommendation and agree the subscription for the year beginning 1 April 2023
  11. To consider any other competent business

Following the meeting there was a discussion on the current progress with the Plagues and the ongoing discussions with PSNS, Culture Perth & Kinross and the Glovers Incorporation of Perth.

Helen Smout Chief Executive of Culture Perth & Kinross provided an illustrated update of progress with the development of Perth City Hall to form the major exhibition and the plans for Perth Museum.

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