Author: George Hobbs
Format: Paperback, 140 pages
Status: Available to order
The Manx Electric Railway runs for 18 miles from Douglas to Ramsey. Using photographs this book examines the past and present state of this railway.
The Manx Electric Railway may look as though it is set in a time warp, but that is not so. Like most things it has had to adapt to survive. Some things have long gone. The huge iron shelter at Derby Castle was used by passengers for horse and electric trams, but was removed in 1980. The experimental building which was Summerland was lost to Britain’s worst peace-time fire in 1973. The White City amusement park was
closed in 1985 and its rides demolished; houses stand on the site now. The Garwick Glen station has since the 1950s vanished almost without trace under the encroaching trees. Photographs of them all, and of what replaced them, are included in the book. Wherever possible the photographer has tried to match the location exactly. Occasionally an exact match has not been possible.
In the past, photographers and, it has to be said, the tramway itself, took a much more relaxed attitude towards railway property. Nowadays trespassing is frowned on and rightly so. Even so, the changes are sometimes startling. Memories are short and people often forget how things were, even though they might once have seen them every day. The old photographs in the book are reminders of what was familiar while their modern counterparts show how much – or how little – has changed. Through all the vicissitudes – political, social, economic and ecological – the old trams trundle up and down doing the job they were built for. Long may it be so.