Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Sunday Quickie

Got to toss off something quick and easy. San Francisco still has cable trams, that is public transport cars pulled along a road by a grip attaching under the road to cable. Sydney initially went for steam trams before electric trams but it did have one cable tram. Victor, Merle or Marcellous might confirm that Ocean Street is a steep street, too steep for steam trams, and so had a cable tram.

Melbourne totally went for cable trams before electric trams and had a huge system of cable trams. In this photo from the archives of the State Library is a terrific picture or painting, whatever, of a Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, cable tram. Past the tram is Junction Oval, former home of the St Kilda football club and possibly showing the Blackie Ironmonger Stadium.

In the distance is the South Melbourne Town Hall, perhaps back then called the Emerald Hill, as South Melbourne used to be known and might that the hills of the You Yangs in the distance? The church spire would be that of St Lukes in South Melbourne, still there.

Is the cable tram new to Fitzroy Street? Horses seemed to be alarmed by the tram and boys are chasing after the tram. I hope they are not attempting to tie a tin can to the cable to rattle and bounce along the road, as lads used to do. It must be a warm day as most are sitting in the open air grip car and not the saloon trailer. The conductor has clearly collected all the fares by moving hand over hand along the running board and is taking a moment's relaxation. Ít is just quite a lovely picture.


26 comments:

  1. A good find. We can learn so much from paintings. I expect those boys are trying to jump on for a free ride.

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    1. Marie, I think they are trying to jump but the conductor is looking in their direction. If they stay low, they may not be noticed.

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  2. Andrew what a pity I didn't live in times when the picture was made

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    1. Gosia, in many ways it would have been nice.

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  3. It is a delightful nostalgic painting. And Fun60 was probably right about the boys. Who may also have been proving that they were as fast as the tram.

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    1. EC, they probably were as fast as the tram.

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  4. That's a great picture! ah, the 'good old days', when traffic was light and people stayed home on Sundays, enabling kids to play and ride bikes on empty streets.

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    1. River, bring back quiet Sundays. Shops shut, nothing open and time for a nice drive in the country.

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  5. What great insight you have told when looking at this painting. I learnt so much from reading your post.

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    1. Thanks CM. It is a part of the world I have spent most of my life in.

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  6. I only just remember the trams in Sydney but remember my gran talking about different trams, she lived right in the city before she lived with us and often told us stories of the old days one of her neighbours was Darcy Duggan a well known crook at the time, she said he was a bad fellow but likeable.
    Merle............

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    1. Merle, I think you are the same age as I am then. Trams left Sydney in '61. Wow about Darcy Duggan. Wasn't he the bloke who broke out of the roof of the prison tram that travelled from Long Bay to the court in Darlinghurst.

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  7. I rode on street car in San Francisco and it was a blast. My son were in there early teens and I think they was mortify when us old folks start to sing "Rice Roni the San Francisco treat"...The closes city for me that had Tram as you speak is Spokane Washington I don't recall trolly cars but there left over clues of once being there...Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, trams can not be killed without leaving some trace. Ah yes, I asked how to say Spokane. Clang, clang goes the trolley....

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  8. That is an absolutely beautiful picture and trams of every sort fascinate me.

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    1. Cranky, while you former town had trams, I am not sure that your present one ever had them.

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  9. I remember the Double decker green coloured Hong Kong trams as early as the late 40's and the mid 60s.It has been said they were Shipped from Liverpool UK where I also remember them in the early 4o'. Newer trams still ply their trade on the Hong Kong island, buses are ued in the New Territories.

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    1. Vest, that could well be true. Even the newer HK double deck trams don't look so different to the older. I am not sure where exactly, but in the eighties we exported trams to HK.

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  10. That is a lovely painting. The only way to show all things once was to paint..

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    1. Margaret, you've go it. It was to only way to show things.

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  11. Reminds me of a painting of a steam locomotive, with cowboys near, horses rearing and wide eyed in fear. That painting had many details of life with the steam train in the old west.

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  12. Strayer, such engines must have been very alarming to horses. Even now at times dogs will go berserk as a tram passes them in the street.

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  13. It's a wonderful image Andrew, so worth enlarging to see the details.

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    1. Grace, I suppose it is a painting, and a pretty good one in my opinion.

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  14. The Ocean Street where I live used to have trams running on one small section but it was not a steep hill.

    There were some steep hills on the north shore on which trams ran generating at least one famous photograph of a tram which had run down the hill and straight into the harbour.

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    1. Victor, I have the hat trick, that is photos of all three trams that ended up in the harbour at Athol Wharf. Having been to Taronga Zoo when we last visited Sydney, I can understand how easily it could happen. I probably should have checked my facts on Ocean Street and not relied on memory.

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