From 1870 to February 1961 trams rattled on three routes through Randwick: the Coogee line, the Clovelly line and the cross-country Bronte line. Through reservations, around smoke stacks, between elegant terraces, 18 of us trundled behind Grahame on a three hour trek through the suburb on a glorious Sunday afternoon.
As with the Watson's Bay Tram walking tour, without a knowledgeable guide, it would have been well nigh impossible to discover that trams had for 80 years been the life-blood of this area, changing it from an exclusive, isolated upper class village which the eccentric Simeon Pearse (1821 - 1886) had modelled on Randwick in Gloustershire UK, into a densely populated suburb of Sydney teeming with the dreaded hoi-polloi. And why choose Randwick? It was the site of the largest public race-course in Sydney and the biggest beneficiary of public gambling, then as now, is government.
Grahame Spindler is an Education Officer at State Parliament House in Macquarie Street and the author of numerous slim volumes of walking tours all over Sydney. The image below shows an autumn jog northwards along a old tram embankment close to the location of the Dive Platform opposite the entrance to Randwick Racecourse and the last stop before the Tram Workshops in King Street. One of the older images (above) shows trams waiting along the Moore Park sidings ready to service the upwards of 70,000 Sydneysiders in the Easter exodus from the Autumn Racing Carnival and the Royal Easter Show. This was achieved efficiently by 480 trams servicing 6 platforms.
Next: The Doncaster Avenue Loop