Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
This old tram stop on Dandenong Road is a wonderful reminder of what Melbourne looked like in the colonial era. The city is famous for its trams (trolley cars, to some of my readers) and there are not many of the old, preserved tram shelters left. I know there is at least one more on St Kilda Road and I’m sure there are a few others dotted around the city.
A couple of years ago, when the tram shelters along Dandenong Road (Dandy Road, to Melburnians) were being renovated, I wondered if this one would be retained or whether it would come down to make way for the slimline, no-fuss, alloy and glass constructions that seem so unobtrusive.
To my relief, it remained where it was. As you can see in the photograph below, back in the days when carpentry was about as hi-tech as anyone wanted to get, good seating and an adequate roof was all-important. It is painted in the green and gold colours that represent this country and its sturdy construction offers protection not just from the elements, but also from the whipping breeze that is such a part of Melbourne.
Dandy Road runs four lanes in each direction, while the trams run up and down the wide median strip. In this shot (below) taken from the opposite footpath, you can actually see a silver/grey minimalist structure between the camera and my subject. That is one of the new tram shelters, where display advertising panels face the traffic.
This last shot is actually a close-up of the roofline of the old tram shelter. It wasn’t so much the terracotta colour that drew my attention, as the graceful curves. Against the light sky, the contrast was perfect.
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