A Conductor's Tale

In 1955, having just left school and starting a college course, I was employed as a temporary tram conductor during the summer of that year. It was one of the happiest summers I ever experience and I have many happy memories.

I worked mostly on the Ninewells-Maryfield route but also spent a few weeks on Blackness-Downfield line. I remember starting on the Perth Road route with a driver who told me he had been on the trams for 35 years and never had an accident. Then in the next few weeks we had 2 accidents!

The driver on the Blackness route used to let me drive the tram from Balgay Road to the terminus and back if we were not busy. The loop at Kelso Street was particularly difficult but I became an expert.

Then I was on a 'stourie' tram up Dens Road which rolled off the line at Downfield terminus as we were having a nap. We returned 90 minutes late that day after having to wait to get back on. 'Stourie' trams took jute workers home just after midday for lunch (or 'denner') then came back down before 1pm to take them back to work.

I had many happy experiences on the trams and we students earned good money that year by doing extra shifts and working long hours. Unfortunately, the next summer the unions stopped students working as conductors over the summer.

Submitted by S Fairweather