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historian
07-19-2007, 11:26 PM
The scene of my current WIP. Would appreciate any info you could offer.

1. I understand railway carriages had each pair of facing seats enclosed and accessed by a door from the central aisle. Is this correct?

2. Did tram seats face forward or were they a bench along each side?

3. Were there arrangements to entertain troops on leave (like WWII canteens) besides the pubs? Run by churches or?

Thanks in advance.

historian

ideagirl
07-20-2007, 01:24 AM
The scene of my current WIP. Would appreciate any info you could offer. 1. I understand railway carriages had each pair of facing seats enclosed and accessed by a door from the central aisle. Is this correct?
2. Did tram seats face forward or were they a bench along each side?
3. Were there arrangements to entertain troops on leave (like WWII canteens) besides the pubs? Run by churches or?


I doubt railway carriages were ever absolutely uniform, at least not once trains became widespread, but I can tell you that as recently as the early 1990s I rode in old-fashioned railway carriages in northern England--apparently they saw no reason to change the old-fashioned design, since it worked! I rode in these two kinds: (1) the kind you describe, and (2) the kind where there's a door at every set of seats (i.e., there are two pairs of seats facing each other, and you can enter/exit right there, through an exterior door located between the pairs of seats. In (2), you can also enter/exit from the ends of the carriage if you want, but obviously using the door that's right at your seat is more convenient.

As for trams, "Yorkshire" seems like too broad a category--I think only cities had trams, so you'll want to research Yorkshire cities, like Leeds or Hull, and see what sort they had. An email to the local public library (I mean "local" to Leeds or Hull) might yield lots of good information.

You also may want to google "trainspotters yorkshire." Trainspotting is a strange English hobby that involves knowing everything there is to know about trains; if you can find, say, a website of Yorkshire trainspotters, an email to them might turn up someone who knows the answers to your questions.

waylander
07-20-2007, 12:32 PM
It would depend on what class of carriage you were travelling in.
I suspect that only first class had the compartments you describe (similar to the HP Hogwarts Express).

PastMidnight
07-20-2007, 04:10 PM
The YMCA had recreation centres set up, often near railway stations, to provide traveling soldiers with a cup of tea, something to eat, something to read, and material to write home. I've also come across mentions of groups of women setting up at the local station with coffee and sandwiches.

My WIP takes place during the first World War and I've found the Great War Forum (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/) to be of immense help.[/URL]

I can also recommend some great books on the British home front during the first World War, if you need more info.

Don't know about Yorkshire, but I found some photos of early trams in Edinburgh during my research: [URL="http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/0_edin_t/0_edinburgh_transport_-_first_and_last_trams.htm"]Trams in Edinburgh (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/) In the pictures, they appear to have side-by-side seats, like a modern bus.

Have you checked with the National Railway Museum for answers to your train questions?

historian
07-21-2007, 12:25 AM
Thanks so much for your replies and the links. That is a great help.

historian

Evaine
07-21-2007, 03:20 PM
Not sure about Yorkshire trams, but I remember my mum talking about Manchester trams. When the tram reached the end of the route, instead of turning the whole carriage around to go back, they just moved the back of the bench seats from one side to the other, so the seats were facing the other way.
The brass fittings were so highly polished that you could tell if the conductor of the tram had leaned on the rail because he would get a yellow mark across the back of his uniform (and be fined by the boss! They were supposed to stand straight, and not lean on anything!)

pdr
07-22-2007, 06:38 AM
Yorkshire then had three distinct areas, broadly speaking the ridings covered the three areas.

The West Riding was heavily industrial, mainly the woolen industry, but lots of brewers and engineering, as well as coal mining. The North riding was the beautiful Dales and Moors agricultural area and the East riding was the moor and coast.

So whereabouts are you in Yorkshire as in 1915 each area had distinct language and cultural differences?

Trams were city only and I think only the West Riding although Hull may have had them. Although you need to check on trolley buses as they were used but I'm not sure if they were 1915 or later.

The Leeds trams I've ridden in had a driver's cab at each end and so the the drivers turned round not the seats.

As far as the trains go in 1915 only first and second class carriages were compartment carriages. 3rd class, which a Tommy would travel in, were one unit with bench seats.

Do check out the Railway museum site for more details.

historian
07-23-2007, 06:05 PM
You guys are the best. I think my googling skills need improving. I hadn't turned up any of the sites you have given me.

pdr my MC travels from Liverpool to Barnsley and later from Barnsley to Bramley and also to Scarborough.

The story is based on letters my aunt wrote when she went to England from Canada to look after her grandfather. Unfortunately she copied the letters into a notebook when she came home and I think edited them heavily. There is almost nothing personal in the copies. In her late teens she must have had some adventures which I am free to invent. There is a great deal of factual stuff, prices, descriptions of seeing dirigibles and ariplanes doing loop the loops over the ocean, blackouts etc. I also have the bill of sale of the auction of the household so I know exactly what was in it.

Thanks all for your help.

historian

ALLWritety
07-23-2007, 07:42 PM
I'm from Sheffield and Barnsley is just next to Sheffy. I know Sheffy had trams. As for the design dunno but i think what the others have said rings true for Sheffy too.

Are you looking for any more info about Barnsley? I could ask my friends and family back home?

Kev.

historian
07-24-2007, 01:22 AM
Thanks KC potatohead but I think I have enough info for now. If I run into problems, with your permission, I'll be in touch.

historian

tony1911
07-26-2007, 10:04 PM
Hello, Historian,

I realize I'm a bit late with this, but I see your mc will be in Scarborough. Will you be including any details about the German Grand Fleet's bombardment in December 1914? I wrote an article about this for a postcard collector magazine, and I'd be more than happy to send a copy.

As to trams, I remember the Leeds trams, and York had trams for a while too, only getting rid of them after WWI.

pdr
07-26-2007, 11:42 PM
PM me if you need details of Scarborough. I remember holidays near there as a small child.

If you want details of the West Riding and the wool trade which is Barnsley - the rag and rough cloth trade - and Bramley. Details like the cobbled streets, the rag and bone men, the coal cart going to houses, the milkmen, the girls in clogs clattering off to the mills at 6am, do PM.

historian
07-28-2007, 01:12 AM
Tony 911: She doesn't get to England until late fall 1915 but the letters tell of a fisherman at Scarborough telling her of the bombardment in August, 1916. I presume the same one. She tells of riding trams in Leeds.

pdr wrote: If you want details of the West Riding and the wool trade which is Barnsley - the rag and rough cloth trade - and Bramley. Details like the cobbled streets, the rag and bone men, the coal cart going to houses, the milkmen, the girls in clogs clattering off to the mills at 6am, do PM.

This is wonderful stuff, pdr. Thanks so much. A cousin worked in the mills but I didn't know what kind. Letters constantly moan about the coal dust talks of rinsing curtains 8 times before the water was clear. Thinks she should have soaped them twice.

I will take up your offer of PMing. Thanks so much

historian