A few weeks ago, we carried on these pages a photograph of Museum Street, showing a bus overtaking an electric tram (photograph 1 today). We wrongly claimed in the caption to this photograph that the bus in the picture was 'one of York's 1915 electric buses...'

We should have known that we wouldn't be allowed to get away with that one. And sure enough, step forward York-based transport historian Derek Rayner. The bus in the photo wasn't an electric bus at all, Derek pointed out. "It has a petrol engine and dates not from 1915 but ...was purchased by the West Yorkshire Road Car Company Ltd in January 1928," he wrote. "It later became fleet number Y209 in the jointly-owned York-West Yorkshire fleet."

Well, we all make mistakes occasionally. And actually, we're glad we made that particular mistake, because it prompted Derek to send us four brilliant photos showing early forms of public transport in York. They show:

2. One of the horse-drawn trams which were in use in the city before York introduced electric trams in 1910. "Horse tram operation started in York on October 27, 1880," writes, Derek, who admits he got much of his information from Keith Jenkinson’s 1984 book York City Buses. "The initial route was to Fulford and then, by 1882, there were three routes, from Micklegate to the station, from the north end of Railway Street to the station and to the Mount. This image is believed to have been taken towards the end of the horse tram service, which finished on September 7, 1909. Although the location if the photograph is not known, it is possibly on The Mount.

3. An early electric bus being charged in 1916 at the Clifton terminus next to Clifton Green. On March 20, 1915, the York Corporation (Tramways Committee) registered four of these battery (accumulator) buses to run in the city, Derek writes. Made in America by the Edison Company of Detroit, the buses were painted blue and white, weighed almost four tons each, and had solid rubber tyres - which meant they had a top speed of 12mph. They operated between Clifton Green and Heworth - and the buildings which housed the accumulator charging stations at each end of the route can still be seen today.

4. Three of the early Edison electric buses lined up, possibly in front of the garage and depot at Foss Islands Road, although this is not certain. The Edison buses gave good service, Derek writes, but by 1919 they were past their best and were replaced by four trolleybuses supplied by Railless Ltd. These entered service on December 22, 1920, and ran from Parliament Street to Heworth.

5. Two local buses outside York station on what was obviously a wet day in the 1930s. On the left is the No 8 service to Burton (Stone) Lane via St Leonards, while on the right is the No 4 to Fulford via Nessgate.

Derek only sent us four photographs, so we finish our look back at early public transport in York with two photographs of electric trams from Explore York's wonderful Imagine York archive. These show:

6. An electric tram car - operating on service No 10 - travelling up Holgate Road in about 1910. The road had to be widened during the works to lay the tram line. The continuous hedge which had been on one side was replaced by a brick retaining wall - this can be seen on the right of the picture. The gradient of the hill was also reduced.

7. Trams on Queen Street passing into Station Road in 1934. York's electric trams were eventually phased out in 1935, a year or so after the York Tramways Company merged with the West Yorkshire Road Car Company.

Stephen Lewis