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“It’s Rough Going Beyond Shanter”

Date: 1975

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Giclée print approx 24” x 18”
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2 Its Rough Going Beyond Shanter SCAN

George's Notes

What of the men who took the workman’s single-decker (series 30) tram out in a howling February north-easter on the Bacup run, with a snowstorm funnelling down the Whitworth Valley? Bacup is the highest town in Lancashire at 830 ft above sea level. In England, only Alston, Buxton and Conset are higher. This, say, old-timers, was the one which sorted out the men from the lads, and the saying “It’s a bit rough going beyond Shanter” became almost a classic. The run from Rochdale town centre to Bacup was scheduled to take 50 minutes and the workman’s return fare Rochdale-Bacup-Rochdale was 4d. Seating accommodation was 34, six in each smoking compartment and 11 on each of two rows facing each other in the central compartment. An old friend of mine, with 40 years’ experience as conductor and motorman told me that on the Bury run, in the type shown, he has punched 120 tickets between Rochdale Centre and the Manchester Road end of Tweedale Street.

George Mainwaring

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