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Trams & Recollections: Sunderland Trams in the 1950s, Paperback / softback Book

Trams & Recollections: Sunderland Trams in the 1950s Paperback / softback

Part of the Recollections series


In this 85th volume: We travel back to the streets of Sunderland in the 1950sSunderland's trams had an appeal to tram enthusiasts that was as great as any other British system.

Possibly it was the fact that many were second-hand from other systems, or was it their (almost unique) pantographs in their later years?

Like many others, David Clarke was fascinated by trams from an early age.

He can remember looking out of the first-floor front window of his house (they lived above a shop where his father was manager) and noticing not the few motor cars, which were all black, or the trade vans, or even the fairly ordinary shops and houses, but the brightly coloured red and cream trams that seemed to pass by every few minutes.

This was North London, not Sunderland, but the effect would have been the same anywhere.

Trams were the conspicuous things, and they were beautiful to behold.

When he was just short of two years old they were taken away and trolleybuses substituted, and he can remember asking his mother what had happened to them.

The trolleys somehow did not command the presence that the trams had held.

His first visit to Sunderland was in February 1953. he spent the day riding the trams and securing a few photographs of them. The memory of that first ride to Seaburn (Sealane) in the glorious midday sunshine will stick forever. And those elegant centre-entrance cars! He later discovered similar trams in Blackpool and Aberdeen, but these were his first experience of something quite modern.

The reason (or excuse) for producing this new book of Sunderland tram photographs is the recent discovery of the excellent collection of the late Peter Mitchell.

Peter was a friend of David who lived close by in North London and they occasionally met up at David's home or went on public transport visits together.

Peter was working and could afford a good camera; David was on pocket money and had a cheap box camera.

So it is Peter's superb pictures, and some views by Clarence Carter, that are presented here, together with 11 of Richard Wiseman's excellent photographs, which he has kindly allowed to be to used. This book is not a intended to be a definitive history of the trams or the system, this book is just sheer nostalgia. It is hoped that it will have appeal not only to tram enthusiasts but also to locals (and ex-locals) of Sunderland who remember the trams, and the streets they ran in, before the great Motor Car Age arrived.




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