Monday, 18 January 2010

Then & Now - Trams in Darlinghurst

A tram heading into the city from Bondi, turning from Burton Street into Bourke Street with the Caritas Mental Hospital behind.
Dating this photograph simply involved tracing when “Diamond Horseshoes” was showing at the old Tivoli Theatre in George St, City. “Diamond Horseshoes” played at the Tiv throughout 1959. It was preceded in December 1958 by a season from Winifred Atwell, and followed, in October 1959, by the “Pleasures of Paris”. I can call it the “Tiv” because I have been regaled since childhood of tales from my father’s mad dashes down there each time a new show headlined in the ‘30s, especially if it was Roy Rene and his alter ego Mo McCackie.

Ah, 1959, those were the days. I was 11 years of age, living in the country, learning how to shear sheep rather than chat up boyz. Being an egg-head (aka a geek), I knew that “Martello Towers” won the Australian Derby in Easter of that year at Royal Randwick; I knew that the mighty red’n’whites, St George, won their 6th straight Rugby League premiership by trouncing Manly by 20-0 in the Grand Final in September. Even worse, I knew that Bob Heffron succeeded J.J. Cahill as the Premier of NSW and that Harry Jensen was the Lord Mayor of Sydney. Facts matter to an eleven year old!

Note how the wall that held the Tivoli advert is now converted to apartments with windows
This tram route stopped in 1960. The 389 bus route still follows much of the old tram route from Elizabeth Street to the North Bondi terminus. However, there is still evidence of trams along the way: exposed track, sidings cut back to allow trams a more gradual climb up a hill, the Cutler Footway behind St Vincent’s Hospital, a tram siding near Gurner Street , and many rounded corners to enable trams easier passage round corners.

What a difference 50 years makes!

NB: I know the old photo is time-stamped 4:57pm. But the shadows put the lie to this. That tram is heading west into the city, yet the shadows are being cast by a rising sun.

A 389 bus turning from Bourke St into Burton St, Darlinghurst with the Caritas Mental Hospital diagonally ahead

Part of the Sundays in my City community.

31 comments:

Thérèse said...

Interesting facts between then and now.
To answer your question: yes both were taken on a sheet of glass.

Marla said...

Wonderful post. So nostalgic. Well done.

Dina said...

Nice detective work to tell this interesting history. But it's the 389 bus that makes me "homesick."

Julie said...

Dina, I think the 389 bus route is one of the most scenic in Sydney!

brattcat said...

What an interesting trek you've taken us on, back through time, with a little, inquisitive Julie, and then forward again to the present with our wise, Holmesian guide.

Jørgen Carlsen said...

Is Harry Jensen, Lord Mayor, from Denmark or is his ancestors? The name is very Danish.
Funny when the sun goes up and down in the wrong side!

Ann said...

I'm going to enjoy this series.

J Bar said...

I'm not old enough to remember any trams running in Sydney so this is all very interesting to me.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Rinkly Rimes said...

I always love these before and after type photographs. We have an ancient shot of our road (before Merewether became a sought-after suburb) up on a wall. I often glance at it.
However you did rather ruin my day by drawing attention to the fact that in 1959 I was 28!!!!!

Chief said...

what a great look into Australia! I would love to come visit!

Julie said...

Jim, Steady boy or I'll get the grey army onto you.

Ann, I've decided to post T&N on either Mondays or Tuesday rather than sliced across the week. Need to be more inclusive.

Brenda, I went to the old Teachers' college in Bar Beach. Is that any where near you?

cara said...

Brisbane and London used to have trams too. A common theme seems to be the nostalgia people have about them. People loved them so why did they get rid of them? (London has rebuilt a tram system in recent years and it works well).

I wonder if the old photo is actually a photo of a photo, the newer one having the time imprinted onto it?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Great catch on the shadows!

Thanks for the info on your City-- old and new!

Cheers!

Shelle said...

wow i had no idea there were that many trams around the city....i thought they were just in town. never noticed the leftover evidence. it's amazing how much more attention to detail comes from looking thru a lens. i truly wish i'd had a camera all these years.

funny all that ozzie history...no one knows about it but us ozzies.

Eva Gallant said...

Great photos and interesting commentary!

Thanks for paying me a visit!

Pat and Bruce Caspersonn said...

Ahhh Julie, the sight of that "R1" type tram in serious action makes my old heart beat faster. "R1" was the very latest model, with the single middle door. The "R" type had two middle doors. Both were the corridor type.
I'll have to switch off now or start crying!!

Ocean Girl said...

I love Then and Now! Thank you for sharing such interesting facts.

And dripping wet is beautiful!

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

I find it amazing you could remember and be aware of things like this at the age of eleven. It's fascinating to sit down and think of events from childhood.

Sometimes progress has a lot to answer for.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Nancy C said...

I also love before and after pictures. You can see the "bones" of the city, and hopefully, the pictures remain charming.

You so perfectly capture the mind of a youngster!

Melani said...

Beautiful pics! I have never been to Australia, but my parents went when the olympics were held over there. They had many wonderful pics! I look forward to more!

Unknown Mami said...

I'm really impressed by your "shadow work". Great post!

Olivier said...

très bonne idée cet avant/après. J'avoue que je préfère la version avant

Julie said...

Yes, I also prefer the before version, Olivier. Actually, I think I would like to merge the two. I like the trees of the apres but the tram of the avant.

Sonya said...

I love photos like these..you can see the difference..both good and bad. I just LOVE the big trees in the photos. You take beautiful photos. Have a wonderful week:)

Erin said...

Tivoli...I Love It!!! Great historical tour!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Ohh you started knowing detail a long way back ... I haven't noticed any of those things about the evidence of past trams (nor am I likely to ever do so). I knoew nothing about anything much at age 11. I remember Winnie Atwell records though ... she could beat up a storm on the piano.

Julian Davis said...

Interesting post. Great job Julie!!
Sydney Harbour Attractions

diane said...

You knew a lot at age 11 and a good memory to remeber it now. I was 17 in 59. The year I left school. I remember the trams in Sydney but not that particular one.Great post showing before and after.

Gena @ Thinking Aloud said...

Hi Julie,
lovely post, funnily enough I did a post htis week on the trams in Lisbon ... what a coincidence ...
Gena @ Thinking Aloud
a photoblog
South Africa
Link to post : http://tobethinkingaloud.blogspot.com/2010/01/red-tram.html

jspinella2000 said...

Great blog post! I have been studying this tram route for some time now and recreating it in a train simulator called Railworks.

Joseph
Tram Paintings

rallentanda said...

The 389 is my favourite bus route,worthy of a poem.