Grandad's Greenhouse Tram

My Grandfather had an allotment at City Road, Dundee. His greenhouse was an old Dundee tram. If memory serves me right, he acquired it from a farmer out in the direction of Auchterhouse who had been using it as a henhouse. He and my father and uncle transported it to City Road using a horse and cart where it was duly installed and produced large crops of tomatoes for many years.

I have fond memories from childhood of being allowed to pick small tomatoes the size of cherries to eat straight from the plants. They were often warm from the heat of the greenhouse and had a smell and flavour that no massed produced tomato ever tastes like nowadays. Further down the sloping site on his allotment were pea pods, raspberries and sometimes strawberries which my brother and I used to try to get to using 'commando' style tactics to avoid being seen. I still recall lying on my back between two rows of peas eating ripe juicy peas straight from the pod until my absence was noticed and the alarm went up and my grandfather chased me from my feasting. There was a friendly rivalry between the allotment holders as to whose crops or blooms were best.

I think the tramcar greenhouse was featured in a booklet by my old Morgan Academy Chemistry teacher, JJ Herd, who was a tramcar enthusiast.

My first Primary school in 1954 was Blackness Primary and I often caught the tram from the end of Kincardine Street where we stayed at the time, up Blackness Road to the 'Blackie'. If the tram was busy, the conductor would allow us to stand on the open platform clinging to the handrail as the tram swayed and rocked its way to or from school. No over protective health and safety rules in those halcyon days! Again, I recall them to have been noisy, with the wheels squealing in the rails on bends.

Submitted by Derek M