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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Ian Stewart RIP

Following on illness from early this year Ian Stewart passed away on the 15th of June. Ian's prolific work in colour renderings of tramcars to an exact detail is most evident in the two definitive books on the Glasgow system for which he was responsible with others, in editing and publishing through the Scottish Tramway and Transport Society - STTS. Both are authoritive testimony to the city's transport heritage.

His work and role in support of the STTS with its eminent pursuit of recording Scotland's diverse tramway history over the years is evident in profuse articles and drawings published in the Society's material. Ian contributed to the founding title of Rigby Road Publishing with highly detailed illustrations, always to his very high standard, of Blackpool tramcars.

The STTS have long contributed financially and in kind to the Tramway Museum Society and the development of the National Tramway Museum at Crich from its formative years. This continues on to the present day and is most evident through the preservation of several Glasgow's trams as an important part of the Museum collection and exhibits. As someone who made several pilgrimages to Glasgow in my youth to gain firsthand knowledge of the 'caurs' and the city itself - I am in awe of the efforts of Scottish enthusiasts (aided it must be said by English supporters) to ensure a core of representative working examples were secured for future generations to marvel at.

Glasgow itself is host to an impressive transport exhibition appropriately on the banks of the River Clyde where further preserved 'caurs' of the city's once great tram system are on display. This Glasgow collection has seen two transitions; firstly occupying the former Paint Shop building at Coplawhill Works; and then at Kelvingrove, until a major purpose built venue was developed near Partick. In all of these phases Ian and his fellow members of the STTS filled a consistent supportive role in the upkeep and conservation of notable tramcar exhibits alongside official entities.

Ian's memory will live on through these endeavours and most evidently his portfolio of drawings which so well endowed publications over the years. Just two marvellous examples of his exemplary attention to detail below : Glasgow's prototype development of the 1920s, ahead of the Kilmarnock 'Bogie' cars of which 1115 and modified 1100 survive at the Crich Museum.

And some twenty years further, on Blackpool's experimental 'Vambac' rail coach 208 which resulted in relaying of the Marton tramway and similar upgrade to twelve 'Sun Saloons' (silent running trams) to operate the all-street service from the early 1950s. In The Memory Of Ian Stewart.


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