FOR many Glaswegians, the trams were, love them or hate them, just a part of everyday life in the city.

From the fierce clippies and the risk of getting your bike wheel caught in the tramlines, to the noise of the cars and the grand Coronation trams, these legendary transports live long in the memories of many of our readers.

Glasgow Times: A Glasgow Tram in 1951. Pic: Newsquest

Times Past regular contributor Dan Harris is no exception.

“Glasgow Trams were part of my life from birth in 1931,” he explains.

“I lived on the top floor of a tenement in Garscube Road. This was a main road, so noisy trams passed below our front room all day every day.

“I went to Oakbank Primary school and a policeman was on duty to save us from taking risks crossing the road.

Glasgow Times: Trams in Glasgow. Pic: Newsquest

“After school we played games involving running across the road between trams and first to touch the shop window opposite was the winner.”

Dan adds: “Once, during one of those games, one of the boys tripped on the edge of the pavement and went right through the window. We accused him of cheating….”

A novelty, says Dan, was the ‘Coronation’ Tram, introduced in 1937, the year of King George VI’s Coronation.

Glasgow Times: Dan Harris

“They weren’t used for every route, “ he says. “My first memory of being on one was coming back from the Empire Exhibition in 1938. I was quite impressed.

“However, the older trams were more fun, especially if you were travelling with a number of youngsters from the same area.

“The favourite seats were those at the top of the stairs, especially the front ones on the long run to Milngavie, where we spent the day in the countryside, loaded with sandwiches and bottles of ‘ginger’.”

Dan was cyclist, and remembers the tramlines being fraught with danger for Glaswegians on bikes.

“The problems were mainly at the junctions, where a number of lines criss-crossed,” he explains.

“Places like Bridegton Cross or the Round Toll where there could be six trams all converging at the one time. Try cycling across that at peak periods. I wonder how many cyclists experienced the trauma of getting their wheels stuck in the tram lines in certain areas of the city?. The one I recall was under the Firth and Forth Canal bridge on Possil Road just up from the Round Toll.

Lots of us got thrown off our bicycles because we wobbled on the cobbled road into the track groove. My wife Marion suffered the same experience when she was about 14.”

One of Dan’s favourite memories concerns a ‘gallus Glesga conductress’.

“I had recently returned home to Glasgow, after four years evacuation to Canada during the war,” he smiles.

“I was 13, and spoke with a Canadian accent. I boarded the tram – it must have been the first time by myself since coming home, and the conductress shouted, ‘fares’ as she walked down the aisle.

“I asked for a ‘three haypenny half, please’ and she looked at me. She asked me to repeat it, so I said it again. Her response was ‘kin yoo no speak bliddy inglish? Whit bliddy planet are u affy?”

Realising she didn’t understand the Canadian accent, I said, ‘could I have a one-and-a-half-pence ticket, please,’ which prompted the furious response, ‘listen, smart a**e, don’t come the Kelvinside wi’ me son, or you’ll be aff this air caur afore it stoaps..”

Dan smiles: “So I got up and left because by this time, I was at my stop. I still think of her affectionately.”

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