Tag: Tramway

National Tramway Museum at Crich

Yesterday we headed off to the National Tramway Museum, situated at Crich (aka Crich Tramway Village). Situated in Derbyshire, it was not too far away, but not really reachable by train from where I was.  The trams in Johannesburg were removed from service in August 1961 so I did not grow up with them, and the only experience I have had with trams has been in Hong Kong and Kimberley.  This was to be a new experience.
  
Unfortunately the weather was still gloomy and we had an intermittent drizzle for most of the afternoon. It did not make for good photography. The object on the hill in the photograph above is the Sherwood Forresters Memorial, unfortunately we did not get to that one, but maybe another day?
 
There were a number of trams running on that day, the track is quite a long one and has a number of passing loops and points in it. A token is used where trams have to use the single line. At any given time there are probably 3 trams somewhere moving in the system.
 
On the day we were there the following were seen in action:
Glasgow Corporation 812

Glasgow Corporation 812

Glasgow Corporation 1068

Glasgow Corporation 1068

Blackpool 167

Blackpool 167

Metropolitan Electric Tramways 331

Metropolitan Electric Tramways 331


The site has a number of very pretty buildings and artefacts that are museum pieces in themselves.
 
The Red Lion Pub was particularly impressive, as was this small building which may be associated with the trams, possibly a ticket office or a controller? 
  
There is also a quirky horse trough,
 
a period urinal,
 
and a traditional sweet shoppe.
And a Tardis

The tram shed houses a very large collection of trams from almost all eras, although the horse drawn vehicles are housed in an exhibition hall along with a large collection of other vehicles.

The Johannesburg vehicle is housed in the tramshed, and I missed seeing her originally. Unfortunately, given the nature of the space some trams you can only get poor images of. That was equally true at James Hall Museum of Transport where there are other Johannesburg trams on display. 

Exhibition hall

Exhibition hall

The vehicle is number 60 from 1905. And I believe she is still in a running condition.
The one machine that really caught my eye was the steeple cab locomotive, I have been wanting to see one of these for a long time, and this green example just made my day.

 

Technically she is not a tram, but a works vehicle, and there are quite a few odd overhead line maintenance vehicles housed in the shed.

The workshop was not open for visitors, but there is a viewing gallery where you can get a glimpse of the work performed by the volunteers to keep these machines running.

 

Like so many museums and heritage sites, the tramway is staffed by volunteers who keep the wheels turning and the public returning. It is a thankless task, but without them the trams and trains and planes will stop forever.

I traveled on two of the trams and they were comfortable rides too, not as bad as the bone jarring Brill tram I had been on in Kimberley. Tram technology kept apace with the times, but at the end of the day the diesel bus was the winner.  That is not to say that trams have died off completely, they are still used in a number of places, although they are more like “light rail” nowadays. 

One of the real gems at the village is the Bowes-Lyon Bridge. It is a very pretty structure, and while it does look old is surprisingly not that old. It is a good place to do some overhead photography from, but by the time I got to it the day was winding down, and my camera had died on me too.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed the outing, and of course any opportunity to dabble in this sort of history really has me standing right up front in the queue. The sad part is that when many cities decided to drop trams in favour of buses, large fleets were broken up, or ended up rotting away in some backwater. Occasionally the backwaters would yield a gem and these would be lovingly restored. Many of them are here at the Tramway Museum.
Random Images

There are just so many images that I can use here, but these are really a small selection.

And a great day was had by all. More images of the trams at the museum, as well as trams from Hong Kong and Johannesburg may be found at the gallery page of the Allatsea webpage.

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Updated: 31/12/2017 — 16:01

Cottesloe and Fordsburg. 08-11-2011

I had one objective in my mind during this trip and that was to photograph the Rand Revolt Plaque at Fordsburg Square after I first saw it in September 2011. Naturally I was also interested in the coaches that are now used as a restaurant, and I wanted to try get pics of some of the old buildings. However, I had a delivery to make in Northcliff so ended up going through Cottesloe first.    
There is a connection between Cottesloe and the Rand Revolt, and there is also the Oud Stryders Monument that is worth a visit. Unfortunately the area around there has been fenced so access is via a convoluted route, but I soon found what I was after. I never really understood the context of this structure, but I am sure it exists somewhere. It hadn’t changed much since my last visit in August 2007 though.  
Oudstryders. Unveiled 3 December 1938

Oudstryders. Unveiled 3 December 1938

The other interesting structure visible from this point is the Dutch Reformed Church that was built in 1935 as well as the old gasworks and a reasonably good view out towards Johannesburg.
 

Cottesloe Dutch Reformed Church


Then it was onwards to Fordsburg. I was very familiar with this area as a youngster, living a mere 6 blocks from it. I was also a regular visitor to the Oriental Plaza as it expanded. When I did my apprenticeship our training centre was a mere 2 blocks away across the railway lines, and we were forever messing around in that area. I have to admit it though, this is a beautiful church, something that we see often in the older suburbs, but not in the newer areas that have sprung up to the extreme north of the city. A lot of these churches have also lost their congregations as the demographics have changed around them.
Fordsburg Square became famous because of its role in The Rand Revolt of 1922. It was on this spot that the trenches were dug and soldiers faced military trained strikers in a mini war. At one point the trenches were outlined in bricks on the square, and the toilets still had bullet holes in them. Sadly the trenches were removed because of safety concerns and somebody patched the bullet holes!  However, if you are in the area, pop into the Pappa D’s Mediterranean Kitchen on the square and ask to speak to Dino. And while you are there you can get to admire the 2 ex SAR 3rd class coaches that have been modified into Diners.  
 
The toilets are on the edge of the square, while the 1922 plaque is next to the semaphore signal by the restaurant.
The 1922 era Gentlemens toilets on Fordsburg Square

The 1922 era Gentlemens toilets on Fordsburg Square

A quick walk around to photograph some of the older buildings  and it was time to split. Many of the buildings were very changed from when I was young, they seem familiar, but unfamiliar. I probably have my identification slightly confused too.

The 1922 Rand Revolt Plaque on Fordsburg Square

Corner of 7th Ave and Mint Road

Another oldie. (Cnr Main and Lilian)

Another oldie. (Cnr Main and Lilian)

Vastly refurbished former Sacks Hotel (Cnr Central and Main)

Vastly refurbished former Sacks Hotel (Cnr Central and Main)

Another oldie. Cnr Main and Central

Another oldie. Cnr Main and Central

I knew it as Brigadiers.

I knew it as Brigadiers.

I had done my photography and now it was time to leave for home. A last pause at the Oriental Plaza, although I skipped the samoosas for once. This structure doesn’t really change, it just seems to shuffle shops around, but I didn’t really stick around because time was not on my side, besides, I kept on being accosted by people insisting that I “come inside, we have a suit/shoes/shirt/trousers just for you.”
Oriental Plaza

Oriental Plaza

More images from Fordsburg and Mayfair are available on my gallery 

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Updated: 08/04/2019 — 19:14
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