tramways and industrial landscape
tramways in historic industrial areas (by Alan Murray-Rust)
The following fascinating photographs have been taken in the 70ies and 80ies by Alan Murray-Rust, who kindly gave me permission to publish them here. He writes:
I am a transport enthusiast. I enjoy taking pictures of machines which move, particularly machines which move on rails or use electric power, but there is a bit more to it than that.
My interest in railways goes back to my earliest childhood memories - the steam locomotive had a fascination that has never left me.
During my time at University, when steam traction on the railways was rapidly declining in the UK, I became more interested in urban transport - buses, trams and trolleybuses - travelling to many parts of the world in pursuit of this hobby, and always bringing back as many pictures as I could afford.
An essential feature of my photography has been to capture the surroundings of the vehicle, not simply the vehicle itself. Industrial Archaeology was also always an interest, one that has developed in recent years. It is no surprise that I have found myself looking more and more at the essential social and structural interaction between transport and the urban and industrial scene.
The Industrial Revolution stimulated the expansion of the railways, without which the great industrial expansion of the late nineteenth century could not have happened. Railways were the most effective means of bringing in the raw materials and shipping out the finished goods. Similarly, the enormous workforce required in the large industrial areas needed efficient transport to get to and from their workplace. Trams - and later buses - were able to provide this.
The result is that many of my pictures are taken in industrial surroundings. If the vehicles are the actors, the surroundings are the stage scenery. It needs the best of both to make a successful play. Sadly, in many cases neither actor nor scenery survives and photographs are the only visual evidence that remains.
Remarkably, I only came across Harald's website as recently as July 2003 when I was searching for a completely unrelated topic. His coverage of a particular building which had been a mystery to me for over 20 years led to an exchange of emails, then of photographs and finally a totally unexpected invitation to show some of my pictures on this website. I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Harald for the invitation, and particularly that he considers my photographs worth displaying alongside his own superb work.
© Alan Murray-Rust