Those Trolley Buses

Tiger Tea Trolley Bus Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Upon exiting the Museum I was pleased to see that the fog had lifted and I could now see more than a meter in front of me. Unfortunately, it was still raining. So, once again I made a decision to capture an image that I had wanted to do for some time, that being the old Tiger Tea trolley bus at the Early Settlers Museum. I bundled everything into my car and drove off through as many puddles as I could.

Having arrived at the Early Settlers Museum via nearly slipping on the wet entrance floor, I then spent several minutes fumbling around to find my vaccine pass. When this was completed, I was just about to venture off to the exhibits when the lady on the front desk informed me she’d have to take my tripod.

‘I’m sorry?’ I replied
‘Your tripod, I’ll need to take it while you’re inside”
‘I’m sorry? Why is that?’ I replied again. 
‘I’ll need to take it’
‘It’s never been a problem before?’
‘Sir, it’s fairly busy this morning and it might get in the way of others trying to enjoy the exhibits.’ she explained.

Reluctantly, and nervously I handed my band item and went off to find the transport section. It wasn’t long before I noticed something rather odd. Here was I, having to hand in an item that would stay perfectly still and connected to me at all times, as it would ‘get in the way of others trying to enjoy the exhibits’, whereas parents were allowing children to freely run around the museum and climb all over objects that clear had signs on them saying, ‘please do not climb.’ For a moment I wondered if their policy of not allowing items that would ‘get in the way of others trying to enjoy the exhibits’ could be extended to families who couldn’t control their child. I made my way through the museum, admiring this newly created center for family chaos, until I found what I was looking for. Trolley Bus No 10, registration number DK3158. 

There are certain things you need to be my age or at least in Dunedin in the late 1970’s and early to mid 1980’s to appreciate about Dunedin. One is the Star Fountain that used to light up in the lower Octagon and another is the Trolley Bus service.

The trolley buses commenced operation in Dunedin in 1950, with the final route closing in July 1979, 42 years ago. At the time of their axing, Dunedin residents vigorously opposed their termination, but it happened anyway!  And so, just like the Star Fountain, the Dunedin’s Trolley buses are now a distant memory.

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The Experience of Seeing doesn’t follow set themes or ideas. Instead, it’s about seeing beauty in everyday objects and creating photographs that ask and answer the questions I have. It’s about taking a photograph in a way that reflects what I was thinking and seeing. That’s what these photograpgh’s are about, The Experience Of Seeing.

One thought on “Those Trolley Buses”

  1. I used to come to Dunedin in my school holiday’s and I was always taken to town (I stayed with Auntie Jess in Sawyets Bay)to have a ride on the trolley buses as we didn’t have them in Timaru. They were very exciting. The tripod incident is interesting I mean along with tripods who wants kids at the zmuesum

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