Friday, 28 July 2017

Tram jam, ........ waiting for the shift to end at Trafford Park

The caption is not over helpful.  Just “Car 929, AEI Trafford Park.”  

But I guess we will be sometime in the late 1930s or ‘40s.

The photograph perfectly captures that moment just after the end of the shift at AEI.

The long line of trams waits for the workforce which is just appearing through the factory gates.

This was the period when Trafford Park was still a major industrial centre.  In 1945 75,000 people worked there and produced everything from bricks to electric cables, and food.

All of which is well documented, so instead I concentrate on the detail.  The first of the workforce is out of the factory and hurrying to catch the first tram.  It is a scene captured countless times in photographs and news reels from the period.

What is missing are the hundreds of of people who any minute will appear on their bikes, reminding us that this was still the time when the cycle was a cheap alternative to the tram or bus.  And of course what we won't see in any great numbers are workers driving home in cars.

I had hoped that the products in the shop might give a clue to a date.  But Robin cigarettes were being marketed at the beginning of the last century and were still being produced in the 1950s, long after our line of trams had gone to scrap heap.

But the shop front in its way is also a comment on the period.  Look closely and almost all of the products being advertised are cigarettes or tobacco.

A timely reminder that this was still a time when smoking was common place and when the upstairs of the bus or tram would be blue from the tobacco smoke.

Much of which would be from the roll up which like the tram is almost a thing of the past.

Picture; from the collection of Alan Brown

1 comment:

  1. Looks like 3rd Avenue. It was still hectic leaving 'The Big House' in 1975 when I was there at GEC. Lots of buses, not many had cars, only bosses.