Friday, 16 July 2010

Aberdeen's World-Famous Tramway Rosettes

{Trainspotter mode = on}

This is one of Aberdeen's world-famous (within the vintage-tram-loving community, anyway) Tramway Rosettes. This one is visible on the wall of the City of God Church on Holburn St (formerly Holburn Central Parish Church).

The rosettes held the cross-street wires in place, which in turn supported the naked live wire which supplied power to the trams.

Some were made locally by Wm McKinnon foundry (among others), they're about 15kg in weight and there's a variety of decorative designs (hence - 'rosette').

The one in the picture above is a 3-way example and has a 'guard rosette' above, which was used to prevent domestic-supply electricity cables from coming into contact with the tram overhead wires. Which would have caused explosions.

There is (or used to be) an Aberdeen Tramway Rosette Appreciation Society (no, really). The society was instrumental in the preservation in situ of these artifacts, and worked worldwide, making a nuisance of itself from Sydney to San Fransisco to preserve the heritage of similar items.

I can't find any pages for the appreciation society online, but the council have lots of info and appear to have logged the rosettes on Holburn St, Gt Western Rd and west Union St. Maybe they haven't got around to King St, Crown St, Alford Place and Fonthill Road yet. There are dozens of these artifacts around the city.

This one's on Alford Place.

Here's what Holburn St used to be like when these things were operating.
(Pic from Aberdeen City Council)
Who is Minty?

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