More Memories from Glasgow in 1962
Derek Redmond and I had both made pilgrimages to Leeds (1959) and Sheffield (1960) to witness the final throes of those city's once proud tramway systems. Blackpool's unacknowledged last night of the tram service on Lytham Road to Squires Gate (and the summer season extension to South Pier on Station Road) in October 1961 were preambles to the demise of Glasgow's trams in September 1962, as well as the end of the tram service to Marton. Even in the final years trams still dominated Glasgow's commercial and retail centre; seemingly immovable icons of a tram system second only in size in the UK to that of London which had closed a decade previously.
Unlike Sheffield, Leeds or indeed Blackpool, Glasgow's trams bore their age with little concern for appearance. Scrapes, dents, bowed frames and nicotine stained upper decks being part of the timeless flavour of much loved Clydebank transport. Shipbuilding was still a vibrant employer in the Sixties, with a rush of cloth capped workers piling onto the streets in late afternoon rush hour marked by 'Extras' and 'Shipyard Specials' adding capacity on the east west routes. Even oddities like the city's only extant working single deck tram 1089 and the oddly remodelled Kilmarnock Bogie car 1100 were regularly added to the peak hour roster emerging from Hayburn Street and Partick Depot. Both of these cars fortunately destined to survive into preservation (unlike notable survivors in Blackpool's tram fleet after 1962);
Further survivors from earlier generations of Glasgow's trams could be found at the Permenant Way Yard off Barrland Street, where worn and somewhat tired examples stood untended around the detrius of track and material awaiting retrieval. Glasgow's trams also enjoyed if that is the right term - the prevalence of characters manning their charges. In particular fearsome conductors (and conductresses) whose demanding tones were nearly incomprehensible to anyone south of the border - albeit in a friendly manner to innocent youthful Sassenachs!
Random scenes from Glasgow - a thoroughly tram users city in the early 1960s (still). All photos by John Woodman
Open platforms - no high viz - sett covered roads with trams seemingly in never ending streams, no mobile phones, two channels on the telly, smoking allowed upstairs, extras on short workings.