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My father loved a tram ride. I vividly recall a Sunday morning in summer. Upon leaving All Saints church after mass, I saw my smiling father across the street, gabardine mac over his arm; I knew we were to take an excursion somewhere! From the church we walked up Oakfield and on to the tram stop. I waited impatiently, straining to hear some trace of the distant sound of our tram slowly climbing Breck Road. The first hints of the tram's imminent arrival came with the sound of it's motors, barely discernible at first, but growing louder with each second. Above our heads,the wires began to crackle, carrying the sound of the trolley toward us. Over the brow of the hill, I caught my first glimpse of the streamlined Green Goddess, and then it was upon us; standing at the stop;dwarfing everything around me, it's motors throbbing restlessly.


My father behind me, I boarded the tram, climbing stairs that wound their way up to the top deck, my old man urging me on. The top deck with its fog of pipe and cigarette smoke was the domain of the men. We took occupation of the seats at the front of the car. From here, through the large window, Dad and I had the road stretching out before us, with Dad giving me a running commentary on the sights and landmarks that whisked past us. The tram ride took about thirty minutes. From our perch we looked down as the shops of Breck Road were left behind. The journey then took us along Queens Road, and with a squeal the tram turned sharply right into Aubrey Street, the dark walls of its reservoir and water tower on our right, the screech of wheels; steel on steel as rails resisted the tram's forceful turn into the bend. When the tram paused at the top of Eastbourne Street our city in all its smoky glory was laid out for us to marvel at. Along Shaw Street and passing the huge bulk of the Collegiate buildings we knew that we were almost upon the city! Its streets were growing wider; its buildings becoming taller. At the bottom of London Road, our tram turned into Lime Street. Across that wide expanse, the splendour of St George's Hall stood before us, four huge lions guarding the approach to it's steps.


Excitement now took me over as the tram's journey neared its conclusion. From the top of James Street, beyond the Overhead Railway tracks a glimpse of the river could be seen. There it waited, for a little boy and his father to explore! In November 1955 the trams stopped running on Townsend Lane. That Monday evening My Mother and Auntie Marie took Nanna and myself in a taxi to the Empire theatre. I remember now, how odd it was to drive on Townsend Lane, up Breck Road and into the city without sighting a tram; the streets had changed for me forever. A night at the theatre was a treat for any child. To this day, I have not a clue as to who the star was that we went to see perform that night. I only recall the missing Green Goddesses.



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By daveyblue daveyblue


This story was added on 3rd January 2011

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