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Birmingham Trams

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
I have just found my archives another Tram accident it involved the first tram from Lozells to Gravelly Hill at 0600 on Friday 12 Nov 1915.
A number 5 tram, came down Victoria Road and failed to turn into Lichfield road it jump the track and ended up going into Dr Gould's on the corner of Sandy Lane.
One male was killed and 25 passengers injured the tram was fully loaded and a miracle that more passengers didn't have any injuries.
The tram ended up on it's side after crashing into a tramway standard before hitting the building and going over.
The driver was badly injured and was said to have lost control on the steep incline when the the magnets failed on breaking.
The Caretaker at the Doctors was in bed at the time her window smashed as the trolley pole come through but she was un- injured.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
Hi, where we used to live in Mary st balsall heath, the trams used to hurtle down Mary st, it was quite a steep hill, in those days we kids used to play in the road. One day one of the kids we used to play with, Mary Ellis who lived in hallam st, was hit by a tram, numbers 35/37 I think they where, she was seriously injured but the ‘cow catcher’ on the front saved her life.
Baz
Not Birmingham, but a cow catcher on a tram. Did anyone remember seeing one?D99E0A50-8908-45E1-B2E1-EFCE400947FE.jpeg
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Cannot remember seeing cow catchers, on double decker trams, but may be wrong, they did have a sort of side cages I think. paul
 

Lloyd

master brummie
The 'life guard' under a tram platform was sometimes miscalled a 'Cow Catcher' Here's one under a restored Lowestoft tram, and one on a modern continental tram. Anything hitting the bar or gate at the front causes the 'scoop' to drop and save whatever is underneath from going under the wheels.

Lowestoft tram lifeguard.jpg

tram Lifeguard.jpg
 

Radiorails

master brummie
The safety rails fitted to British trams were usually called lifeguards - well that was what they were expected to do.
1572824392481.png
This photo shows them well. The tram is bound from Navigation Street to Cannon Hill.

Our post crossed it seems Lloyd. Either way they both illustrate it all quite well I guess.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Going back a few 'forum years' see following ... :)
Hi, where we used to live in Mary st balsall heath, the trams used to hurtle down Mary st, it was quite a steep hill, in those days we kids used to play in the road. One day one of the kids we used to play with, Mary Ellis who lived in hallam st, was hit by a tram, numbers 35/37 I think they where, she was seriously injured but the ‘cow catcher’ on the front saved her life.
Baz
On a slightly different tack, perhaps one of our more tramway-knowledgeable members can help me with this query.......

Many years ago, my late mother told the story that life guards (she referred to them as cowcatchers) were first fitted to Birmingham trams as a result of an accident to one of her ancestors in the early years of the 20th Century. Most likely it is just another family legend, but on the other hand it should have resulted in a record somewhere (even in a local newspaper) if true.

The only reference that might be a possible connection was this one on the Nottingham Corporation Tramways page of Wiki:-

"The existing iron guards fitted to 32 cars were replaced by Tideswell's patent life guards." It's relevant because the same article mentions a visit by NCT members to inspect Birmingham trams. The date referred to is 1905.

Can anyone throw any light on Tideswell, life guards or the alleged accident please?

Maurice :cool:
 

David Harvey

knowlegable brummie
Hi,
My grandfather Fred Gilks, worked for the BCT from 1911 to 1951: first driving trams, and then trolley buses. He was asked if he would postpone retirement so that he could drive the very last trolley bus on the Coventry Road route in July 1951. He was delighted to be asked, and I have looked on the forum for photos of the occasion, but being new to this might not have looked in the right place.If there are any I would love to see them.

Roy Gilks.
Dear Roy,
If you look in my book Birmingham trolleybuses 1922-1951 you will find a photo of Fred Gilks driving the last trolleybus FOK 90 in Coventry Road, but a much earlier photo of him as a young man as a steam tram conductor, c.1905
 

devonjim

master brummie
Came across this picture on Facebook I wondered about the colour of the tram, can any BCT buff explain?
Screenshot (245).png
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Already discussed. Probably taken from this site by a F/Book user.
 
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oldMohawk

master brummie
It's in the Electric Trams thread
As a child I was often taken on the No 6 Perry Barr trams getting on at the terminus in Birchfield Road but don't remember seeing one like in this pic. It was probably something connected with WW2 and I vaguely remember grey painted utility buses but no grey trams. The No 6 route was closed in 1949 so the date could be just after WW2.
 

carolina

master brummie
Can I just confirm that the photo in question I posted on a FB group of which I am admin; and would also confirm that I would never take copies from your site without permission. This was given to me by my brother some time ago. Regards Carol
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
It never bothers me if anyone makes a copy of any photo I have posted on the BHF and then uploads it to another site.
:)
 

David Harvey

knowlegable brummie
The grey tram is 345 working on a 6 service to Perry Barr a service usually worked by one of the Aston bodied cars such as the distant car 20. 345 was repainted sometime between January 1942 and March 1943 with new fleet number and legal lettering being painted over the unlined-out grey livery. had been a Washwood Heath tram and moved to Miller Street in April 1941. It was never repainted into fleet livery and was transferred to Rosebery Street on the day before the closure of the Ladywood 33 route on 30 August 1947 and was used as the penultimate tram on that route, (the last was car 319). 345 was broken up by George Cohen in Moseley Road depot during January 1948.
 

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
The grey painting of buses & trams (no trolley buses was painted grey) in the last moths of 1941 paint could not be obtained it was done to preserve the original paint work. It was only necessary for a short time later it was applied to only 301-400 class cars.
Because they couldn't be seen in foggy weather the fenders were painted white, the buses were paint in the depots and the trams paint in works none had advertising displayed.
After the 1945-46 those trams in battleship were returned to 1932 livery with black fenders.
I remember seeing one going through the island by Central Fire Station it looked like some thing out Sci-Fi like one of those transformer model it looked really depressing and horrible.
 
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