THEY may have trundled and clanked at a much slower pace than today's road speeds, but accidents still happened.

This spectacular tram crash occurred in Darwen in 1926 and killed one passenger - another died of his injuries the following day.

Seven others were hurt, including the driver and conductor of the number 11 corporation tram, which was making the first journey of the day between Hoddlesden and the town centre, when it crashed into a billiard hall in Bridge Street.

One theory was that lightning may have affected the overhead trolley wire, causing the tram to run out of control on the steep descent down Sudell Road and fail to take the sharp bend at the bottom.

A steam tramway service, run by the Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways Company, had first opened in 1881 and ran from the centre of Blackburn along Darwen Street and Bolton Road, then through Ewood, Earcroft and Hawkshaw, terminating at Whitehall.

The two corporations too the service over on the first day of 1899 and immediately began a programme of modernisation - with the first electric service running by the end of 1900.

Twelve months later an extension of the system created this Darwen to Hoddlesden service.