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Birmingham Trams

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
Going back a few 'forum years' see following ... :)
My gran told of me of an accident involving the cow catchers on the Lichfield Rd a tram from city approaching the stop before Victoria Rd.
Katie Damper who own the shop in Sandy lane near Vine Street running for tram fell in front of the tram and was rolled on to the front cow catcher.
She was rescued by the tram driver and conductor and passers by she got up and walked away with a few bruises.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
'Cowcatchers' - a device invented in Britain in the early days of railways - but rarely used due to railways being fenced. It soon found favour in North America and other countries. Its is a deflecting plough, whereas the fitment on Birmingham's old tramcars, knows as lifeguards, has a scoop effect. That explains why the lady in post 641 walked away bruised.
 

robroy

master brummie
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
Hi David, thank you very much for your reply, which I'm afraid I've only just noticed! I have bought a copy of your book from eBay and am very pleased to see the article about Driver Gilks and the photographs. Thank you for the suggestion, it's a great book.

I'm not sure if that is Fred Gilks in the picture on the bottom left of p.120 (from the John Whybrow collection), the man in the photo looks a little older than Fred would have been at the time. However, I think I may have spotted him in a very similar picture I found on the British Tramway Company Uniforms and Insignia website, which I've attached here. What do you think? Regards, Roy
 

Attachments

David Harvey

master brummie
Hi David, thank you very much for your reply, which I'm afraid I've only just noticed! I have bought a copy of your book from eBay and am very pleased to see the article about Driver Gilks and the photographs. Thank you for the suggestion, it's a great book.

I'm not sure if that is Fred Gilks in the picture on the bottom left of p.120 (from the John Whybrow collection), the man in the photo looks a little older than Fred would have been at the time. However, I think I may have spotted him in a very similar picture I found on the British Tramway Company Uniforms and Insignia website, which I've attached here. What do you think? Regards, Roy
 

David Harvey

master brummie
When I wrote the book, I did a considerable amount of research and via BBC radio I was contacted by Fred Gilkes' son, who I think was called Maurice. He was in his 80s but he went through the life history of his father, who sadly didn't have a very long retirement though he was allowed to leave CBT on a full pension despite being over a year too young. He didn't want to convert to buses. I sent Maurice a copy of the photograph which you copied and confirmed that it was his father who despite the moustache and the drawn countenance, was in fact his father who he said was about 17 years old. He did say that Fred had worked on the B Central Nechells horse tram route and also conducted on the CBT steam trams. They were withdrawn on 30 September 1906 and remembers finding a bundle of letters which he would send to his then fiancee in the morning which she would get the same afternoon. One of of these said something like, "I can't see you tonight as the horse dropped down dead between the shafts this morning".
I hope that is enough conclusive proof for you.
Kind regards,
David
 

robroy

master brummie
Dear David,
Thank you for your reply. However, I wasn't aware of the BBC radio involvement.
He had six sons:Colin, Brian, Walter, and Sidney, and two that did not survive infancy.
Fred retired at 62, to allow him to nurse his sick wife Elizabeth, but he would have preferred to carry on driving.Fred died in 1981, at 91 years of age; giving him nearly 30 years of active retirement.
As far as I am aware Fred had no involvement with horse trams, and started his career at 16 on steam trams, moving on to electric trams, and finally trolley buses. So, I believe the photo of Fred/post 644 to be my grandfather at 17 years of age.
I trust you don't think I am being pedantic, but my grandfather's life is important to me.

Kind Regards,Roy Gilks.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Anyone want them? let me know Cheers John Crump Parker, Colorado USA
John. I appreciate that your are offering to send these but I had them so I don't need them. If I remember correctly that was the newspaper supplement when they showed the back of a Midland Red house drawn bus in Tennant Street garage and said it was a tram.
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
John. I appreciate that your are offering to send these but I had them so I don't need them. If I remember correctly that was the newspaper supplement when they showed the back of a Midland Red house drawn bus in Tennant Street garage and said it was a tram.
Any idea when they were issued?
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Birmingham Trams.jpg

This is a pen & ink drawing that was given to my new wife and I as a part of our wedding gift almost 51 years ago. It was given by my Aunt Dorothy (Daisey) who was born at 16 Alfred St, Aston. She lived on Trinity Rd and was married at the church (forgot the name) on the corner of Trinity & Birchfield Rd. Her wedding reception was at the Crown & Cushion at Birchfield & wellington (I think) Rds.
It is a wonderful picture.........
 

Radiorails

master brummie
As many here will know car 395 is the one at the Think Tank, formerly in Newhall Street, when I last saw it.
The drawing would be based on how the car might have looked between 1911 and 1915 - when route number boxes replaced the large destination boards.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
This is a pen & ink drawing that was given to my new wife and I as a part of our wedding gift almost 51 years ago. It was given by my Aunt Dorothy (Daisey) who was born at 16 Alfred St, Aston. She lived on Trinity Rd and was married at the church (forgot the name) on the corner of Trinity & Birchfield Rd. Her wedding reception was at the Crown & Cushion at Birchfield & wellington (I think) Rds.
It is a wonderful picture.........
Many thanks for sharing that with us. As someone who has known the Hagley Road, all my life (so far) I was particularly interested in seeing this tram's destination board.


As many here will know car 395 is the one at the Think Tank, formerly in Newhall Street, when I last saw it.
The drawing would be based on how the car might have looked between 1911 and 1915 - when route number boxes replaced the large destination boards.
Alan, Radiorails, Thanks for that clarification. I did wonder why there was no route number as I am used to seeing the route number box on the front and the destination on the sides as shown in most of the photos
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Many thanks for sharing that with us. As someone who has known the Hagley Road, all my life (so far) I was particularly interested in seeing this tram's destination board.




Alan, Radiorails, Thanks for that clarification. I did wonder why there was no route number as I am used to seeing the route number box on the front and the destination on the sides as shown in most of the photos
The Forum is truly a great place to share information!
 

Lloyd

master brummie
'''''and a Midland Red 'chara' in the background returning from one of those trips to the Cotswolds or the Malverns ah happy days and now being as you are in lockdown Old Mohawk you can colour it!!!!
Bob
The 'chara' is heading out of Birmingham - more likely on an express service to Cheltenham, Bristol and/or the south west.
 
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