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Imagine these going round the Inner Circle. Here is one the latest trams to hit the track in Prague. Seen at their No. 8 terminus. Note the green Temple of Convenience provided exclusively for tram drivers for which they are issued with a key. Shows some Communist ideas were useful.
If you refer to the 'photo of Car 843 as the third 'photo then the answer is along these lines. It was the last tramcar built for Birmingham and presumably would have been the precursor for any new trams built. The newer upper deck styling brought it up to date in appearance and it had, as far as I recall, lightweight bodywork compared to its predecessors. It often seems to have been used as a 'Special' for many purposes as I have seen a few 'photos of this car on such a duty: especially around route closure dates.
Open balcony tramcars: yes, indeed, those of us old enough to have travelled on them will remember the thrill and excitement to be out there. I wont go into detail what childish antics we all must have done at one time, or another, when looking out over the balcony rail. :excitement: The greatest disapointment was, of course, if some other lucky individuals had got there beforehand. But, as many will remember, there were always plenty more trams following: they seemed to run just a few minutes apart.
My experience of these cars was on the Rednal route - no prizes for guessing my destination as The Lickeys. layful:
Some of my observations of the world at large are that visitors to the UK don't come to see new stuff...towers...glass; they come expecting to see history and older buildings. They have the other modernity in spades...everywhere and hate the impersonal nature of it all I suspect. When we visited back home in previous years, we enjoyed the un-contrived aged buildings...corners that were not square...old and used and human places. This would have been prior to rampant graffiti art. After being away for many years, back then, we were overcome with the comfort and, yes, everyday patina of years of use. Oh to step back in time and have the old tram system back again. These old cars would be prized the world over now and people would come just for the experience of riding on them.
Rupert, how right you are, I became a tourist guide for Birmingham in the late 70s and I soon became aware that people from other countries were not at all interested in anything that had been built after the 50s. Without a doubt they were all far more interested in what had been demolished and why it suffered that fate. The canals were a great point of interest as was the River Rea and I could not tell you how many times I took people out to Wasely hills and then through the City showng them where the Rea had forged its course years ago, then out to Gravelly where it meets a big brother. The Council House and Town Hall, Accident Hospital and The General Hospital, a walk around the Edmund St area as well as St Pauls Square were alway very popular as well. The vast majority of these visitors did ask about the trams and to a lesser degree about the trolley buses. To be precise, everything that was old was of interest to these people and some even wrote to the City Council telling them just that. I would love to come back in fifty years time to see all the junk that has been built in recent years.