Born south of the Thames in 1938, initially working in London and then being relocated to Manchester in 1970 for business reasons, why an interest in the city’s trams?

For a small boy being brought up during the Second World War and the postwar austerity years, public transport was the only means of getting about. Few families owned motor cars, and for those that did, petrol rationing restricted the number and lengths of journeys. Travelling on buses and trains was therefore a frequent occurrence, and it is not surprising that these experiences created a lasting interest.

When a work colleague suggested that it would be interesting to construct a model layout incorporating Manchester’s trams, this required considerable research into books and photographs to understand the many aspects of the development and operation of the tramway systems. Once the challenges of construction were overcome and the layout was complete (see photograph below), interest waned.

Knowledge gained from research inspired me to consider the possibility of recreating in pictures the evolution of the system from the 1870’s to its demise in 1949. (Pictures do not take up inordinate space or accumulate dust)

I hope I have captured in the pictures the spirit of the tramcars in their appropriate environs of the time, and that you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as I have had the pleasure in drawing them.


Richard Pink 2009