AMONG the dusty items we're self isolated with in the Memories attic is a booklet with a filthy front and a badly torn cover, but oh, what treasures lie inside it. It was produced by the Imperial Tramways Company shortly after it had opened its Middlesbrough, Stockton and Thornaby tram system on July 16, 1898. It ran 11 miles from Norton through Stockton and Thornaby and onto Middlesbrough to terminate at North Ormesby.

The North Eastern Gazette, based in Middlesbrough, said the tramway was "a great Tees-side revolution". It said: "The new undertaking means a great deal more than a wonderful mechanical device directing the movements of many wheels, or the achievement of a great scientific triumph, presaging at the close of the 19th Century still greater changes and marvels in the 20th."

It looked forward to the benefits the tram would bring. "The people of the different places will be more closely knit together, and the enlarged intimacy cannot fail to exert a stimulating and bracing influence."

But the tram system wasn't really a great success. It was taken under the control of the local councils in 1921, and from 1926 buses began to replace it. The last tram ran on June 9, 1934, and now all that is left of the network is a tatty book with some amazing pictures in it.