Nostalgia: Backtrack to time when trams were city’s pride

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THEY may not be finished yet but already Edinburgh’s trams have a less than encouraging reputation.

However, Edinburgh’s trams used to be something that the whole city could be proud of.

Ron Stevenson, 79, of Craig- lockhart, remembers being thrilled when he visited the Capital as a child and was able to get a first-hand look at the city’s trams.

“It was fascinating,” he said. “At the time there was a great deal of civic pride in the trams and each city in Scotland had their own particular set up.

“I grew up in Dundee and the trams there used overhead lines, like you see with trains, but Edinburgh’s system was very different.

“I remember wondering what the big pole on top was, as, of course, it was a trolley-pull system, but I’d never seen one like that.

“The trams in the Capital used to have the livery of the city and they were maroon – most of the cities used different colours, and I remember Sheffield chose to paint theirs all-white to try and counter the image of the place being a dirty city.”

Ron, who has since created a huge collection of hand-crafted model trams from all across the UK – many of which will be on show in the Capital this weekend – also remembered that the Edinburgh tram used to have some very striking decoration.

“Perhaps one of the most special aspects of the Edinburgh trams was that they used to fly lots of different coloured flags and banners along the wires at the top of the vehicles.

“This was to promote the different parts of the city and its festivals, and it was always very colourful.