This category contains 9 posts

A six-pack of vintage British buses

Vintage British Coach

A vintage British Coach

I love collecting photos of vintage vehicles, especially when I have the opportunity to research where and when the photos were taken.  I’ve uploaded half a dozen photos to a new Vintage British Buses set on Flickr. While I can date these bus and coach photos to the early 60’s I have no idea where in the British Isles they were taken.

These half dozen photos are postcard size (3.5″ x 5.5″) and are printed on a similar thickness of card stock.  The backs are blank although I have many more photos to add that contained detailed information on the vehicle, including date and sometimes location.  Stay tuned for those.

If you know anything about these vehicles please add a comment.

Train Orders – April 6, 1910

First Ticket & Train Orders

G. Whitehouse Train Orders

On April 6, 1910 a train engineer named G. Whitehouse began his life as an engine driver in Regina, Saskatchewan. 102 years later, while rummaging through a box of bits and bobs, I found a small envelope with the words “First Train Ticket & Train Orders I got April 6th, 1910. G. Whitehouse” written upon it. Tucked inside were four pieces of paper saved from his first day on the job. Now if this isn’t ephemera I don’t know what is.

Hastily scrawled on these scraps of paper are the instructions for G. Whitehouse and his Fireman, H. Norris. Three pieces were issued by the Canadian Pacific Railway (view the third CPR orders) while the fourth set of orders were from the Canadian Northern Railway. The paper used for three of the orders is as thin as tissue paper and it’s a wonder it has survived all these years.

While I haven’t deciphered all of the writing I enjoy them for what they are: a momento from a railwayman’s first day on the job more than a century ago. I know nothing about G. Whitehouse but I suspect he must have loved his life on the rails.

Bustling Boar Lane, Leeds

Boar Lane in Leeds

A nice real photo postcard

Today’s blog post features a real photo postcard of Boar Lane in Leeds. Although the card was posted on Aug 19, 1948 I suspect the photo was taken before the Second World War.

The postcard was written by a young rail/bus/tram enthusiast to his parents in Manchester. He was a man on a mission:

“On express to Grimsby. Got Auntie up early. Thoroughly enjoyed Whitby yesterday. We are late into Grimsby. Just about to board G.8.1 Tram. Visiting depot. Have wasted exposures.

In Cleethorpes bus. Have finished with Trams. Just passing Docks Station. The fare from Grimsby to Immingham is 1/11. Not like most tramways but they have to have railway fares. Will get into Leeds at 10.20 by special train.”

A Streetcar named Desire

Streetcar 235 on Douglas Street

Streetcar #235 on Douglas Street

This 6″ x 8″ photograph of Streetcar #235 is easily my favourite find in the past few weeks.  The detail in this image, captured by photographer Gus Maves, is truly wonderful.

In the photo this BC Electric Railway streetcar, plying route #6, pauses on Douglas Street to pick up passengers in front of the Hudson’s Bay Department Store. Car #235 was built in 1911 and remained in service until Victoria’s streetcar era ended in 1948.

The Hudson’s Bay Company, incorporated in 1670, is the oldest company in North America.  This particular HBC Department store remained in this location for well over 80 years and only recently moved a few blocks closer to the centre of town.  This fine old 1920’s building is now “The Hudson“, a high-end condo development.

I’ve also pinned this photo in Streetview on Historypin.

Trans-Canada Airlines

Trans Canada Airlines

Trans Canada Airlines Ticket stub

Trans-Canada Airlines took to the air on September 1, 1937 with a flight from Vancouver to Seattle.  Canadian National Railways (CNR) was behind the venture and it was Canada’s only national airline until their competitor, Canadian Pacific Railways (CPR) launched Canadian Pacific Airlines.  In 1965 Trans-Canada Airlines changed their name to Air Canada.

TCA began flying out of Victoria in 1943 and the ticket featured in this post was for a flight to Seattle on May 2, 1953.  It cost $8.40 that year, at a time when a labourer on the west coast earned about $12 per day.  That same job might pull in $12-15 per hour now but a one-way flight to Seattle will set you back over $250!

I’m also featuring a TCA Christmas Card from the same year which celebrates fifty years of flight.  I’ve included scans of the front and back of this card too.

Trans Canada Airlines Christmas Card

TCA 1953 Christmas card


1928 Triangle Tours brochure

Triangle Tours 1928

1928 Triangle Tours

Today I’m featuring a 1928 4-panel Triangle Tours brochure.  The Victoria tourism market was — and still is — highly competitive and so companies fought tooth and nail for business. All potential punters arrived by steamer and Triangle Tours took advantage of the famous Triangle route between Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle. Many visitors only had a brief layover and so all companies offered a city tour that guaranteed to have you back in time for your outgoing journey.

Similar to Veteran’s Tours, Triangle Tours offered several itineraries including a deluxe city, mountain and sea tour that included a drive over the Malahat, a ferry ride across Saanich Inlet and a visit to both Butchart Gardens and the Dominon Observatory.

By 1928 Triangle Tours was operated by C&C Taxi Service.  In the mid-1940’s C&C launched White Line Tours although I’m not clear if this was a new venture or a rebranding of Triangle Tours.  When the Victoria airport opened in the early 1940’s C&C won the bus contract and expanded their fleet.  C&C Taxi is still in business today as Bluebird Cabs.

For more scans of this brochure check out my 1928 Triangle Tours set on Flickr.

Aberdeen & Penrhyn Bay Trams

Aberdeen Car 129 at Castle Street

Aberdeen Car 129 at Castle Street

I picked up some wonderful photographs of British trams this weekend, two of which I’m featuring in this post.  The photos were captured by tram and bus enthusiasts in the 1930’s, 40’s and early 50’s.  Most are of excellent quality and include handwritten details on the back.

The first photograph is of Aberdeen Corporation car #129 at the Castle Street terminus.  This picture was taken on September 5, 1935 by E.C. Haywood from Carlton, Nottingham.  On the back he noted that the car had air brakes and S.K.F. roller bearings, and that route #4 ran from Castle Street to Hazlehead via Queen’s Road.  This Streetview image shows how the turning circle is today a pedestrian area.

Llandudno car 12 at Penrhyn Bay

Llandudno car 12 at Penrhyn Bay

The second photo is of Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway car #12 picking up a passenger along Penrhyn Bay.  Shot by E.C. Haywood on May 31, 1946 he wrote the following details on the back:

Showing the eastbound track out of use for about 1/3 of a mile, as it had been since the storm (which affected the whole of the N. Wales coast) the previous autumn. Rocks and stones cover this track lower down. Compare with photograph (A) and note how much nearer the bank-edge is now, and also the rearrangement of the overhead lines.

This Streetview image reveals that the home in the background with the unique arch detail is not only still standing but remains unobstructed.

Veterans’ Tours & Sightseeing

Veterans Sightseeing & Transportation Business Card

Angus E Chilton's business card

Many soldiers returning to Canada after the First World War had very little time to re-adjust to civilian life.  Some returned to family farms or former employers while others chose to start their own business.

The 1921 Victoria City Directory reveals that more than a few put their Veteran status to good use.  This included the Veteran Auto Painting Works, Veteran Electric Co., Veteran Plumbing Co., Veterans New and Second-hand Store, Veterans Painting Co., Veterans Products Co. Ltd. and the Veterans Sightseeing & Transportation Co. Ltd..

Veterans Sightseeing & Transportation opened for business at 740 Yates Street in 1921, under the management of C M Roberts. By 1922, a former motor driver and veteran, Angus Everet Chilton was managing the business and it is his card that I’m featuring here.

Veterans Tours

Veterans' Tours brochure

By 1923 they had moved their office one door down to 742 Yates Street and were under the management of H L Sangster, who would run the business for more than 20 years.

The brochure featured here dates from 1925 or 1926 and promotes the company’s many special excursions. In addition to a 2-hour city tour they offered The Famous Land and Water Trip that included a drive over the Malahat Mountain, a ride on the Mill Bay Ferry and a visit to both Butchart Gardens and the Dominion Observatory.

In 1928 a second company, Blue Line Tours was opened and managed by Sangster until 1946 when Blue Line Transit (as it was by then known) was acquired by BCER.

For more scans of both items check out my Veteran’s Sightseeing & Transportation set on Flickr.

H.C. Beck’s 1946 Underground Map

1946 London Underground map

H.C. Beck's 1946 Underground map

Henry “Harry” Beck‘s much-loved London Underground map debuted in January 1933 and was an instant hit with commuters.  His clean, simple and elegant diagram cut London’s complex network of transportation links down to size.  Geography was out, straight lines and regularly spaced tube stations were in.  London Transport originally rejected this design classic but Beck persevered and won the day.

He would continue to refine and adapt his diagram over the next 27 years. The variation illustrated here is  “Diagram of Lines” No. 1 issued in 1946. According to Ken Garland‘s excellent book, Mr Beck’s Underground Map, this variation contained three significant changes:

“the abandonment of self-colours for the station name in favour of black printing (previously introduced for the quad royal poster of 1937 but not on card folders); the abolition of the futile and disruptive practice of duplicating and triplicating many station names; and the restoration of ‘Lines to be electrified’ and ‘Lines under construction’ on the Central and Northern Lines, indicated by broken lines and dotted lines respectively”.

Tucked away next to this 5.75″ x 9″ fold-out card was a similar size London’s Museums brochure which I’ve included with all my scans on Flickr.

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July 2020

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