Tag: Tram

Tram Etiquette Quiz

Can you behave properly on the tram? Here’s your chance to find out!

The tram has been running through Beeston for well over 2 years now, and whilst there are still a small number of boycotters, a lot of people use the tram regularly for work, pleasure, or to get to QMC to have an item surgically removed from their person.

The tram is certainly a democratic means of transport, with doctors, dentists and architects rubbing shoulders and sharing seats with tax inspectors, students, pensioners, and schoolkids. This heady social mix can lead to some polite and not-so-polite behaviour, so where do you fit on the tram etiquette scale?

On the platform

1) Prior to your journey, you make your way along the platform after having purchased a ticket or scanned your card. What do you do next?

a) Take a seat in the shelter, or wait patiently on the platform out of everyone’s way.

b) Loiter in front of the ticket machine, but move out of the way when you realise you are blocking it for others.

c) Lean on the card reader and get absorbed in your smartphone, preventing people from scanning their card.

2) The tram arrives, pulls up, and the doors open. Do you:

a) Hang back and wait until everyone has got off before entering.

b) Try to get on quickly to bag a seat, but stop and retreat when you realise it is clearly futile until a bloke on a shopmobility scooter has exited first.

c) Barge straight on, elbowing a gang of grannies, a bloke on crutches and a heavily pregnant woman out of the way in the process.

On the tram

3) You have recently downloaded a few new tracks by your favourite artist which you locate on your phone. How do you listen to them?

a) Discreetly, with the headphone volume quite low so as not to disturb the toddler sleeping in her pushchair next to you.

b) Fairly loud, but are happy to turn it down if anyone complains.

c) Full whack, throwing in plenty of foot-taps and the occasional stamp for good measure.

4) Your musical pleasure is interrupted with a call to your mobile. How do you respond?

a) Your ringer volume is turned down, so you just let it discreetly go to voicemail so you can call back later.

b) Answer it after a couple of rings, telling the caller that you’re on a tram and you will call them back when you get off.

c) Stare at your phone (the deafening ringtone of which is the guitar riff from ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’ by Shania Twain) for about 20 seconds deciding whether to answer or not. Take the call, and spend 15 minutes loudly chatting shit about the weather, celebrity gossip, and which is the best fast food restaurant on Parliament Street.

5) The tram is very busy, and you are forced to stand right up flat against the doors. When it halts at the next stop, do you:

a) Step out onto the platform to let other travellers off before getting back on.

b) Turn sideways to give people a bit of room to enter and exit.

c) Stand rooted to the spot like a statue of a moron, as folk try to squeeze past.

6) After a bit of movement of people at a busy stop, you find yourself standing near the aisle bit between the rows of seats. Do you:

a) Move right down into the seat area to create space for others to move into.

b) Shuffle towards the seats a bit as a token gesture.

c) Stay right where you are as you’ve got a good pole to lean against whilst you play Farmville on your phone.

7) You have a bit of a cold which is causing a runny nose. How do you deal with it?

a) Blow your nose nice and quietly.

b) Do one great big sniff and hope that clears it.

c) Continually sniff and snotgobble every few seconds for the entire journey.

8) You are feeling peckish, having just picked up a bag of groceries, what do you do about it?

a) Wait until you get off as you aren’t meant to eat on a tram anyway and your stop is only 10 minutes away.

b) Stave off hunger with chewing gum, which you can’t seem to masticate with your mouth closed.

c) Chomp your way slowly through two bags of scampi fries, followed by a Granny Smith and crunchy carrot sticks.

9) You are sitting on one of those flip-down priority seats for the elderly and disabled as the tram pulls into the Interchange stop. You notice an older chap with a walking stick get on board. What do you do next?

a) Stand up and offer the seat to him, holding it in the down position to make it easy for him to sit on it.

b) See if he chooses to find a seat elsewhere before you reluctantly give up your space.

c) Go back to staring at your smartphone and pretend he doesn’t exist.

10) You board a tram which is fairly quiet, and settle down on a double seat all to yourself, placing your bag on the seat next to you. At the next stop a large number of people get on. Do you:

a) Move the bag off the seat so someone else can sit down.

b) Hope there are enough alternative seats for others to sit on.

c) Keep staring at your smartphone and pretend the other passengers don’t exist.

On the road

11) You are driving your car along an unfamiliar and busy stretch of road which is for both cars and trams. Approaching a junction with two exits, one of them clearly marked ‘Tram Only’, what do you do?

a) Take the junction which isn’t marked ‘Tram Only’.

b) Choose the ‘Tram Only’ junction to see if it is a handy shortcut.

c) What ‘Tram Only’ signs?

12) You unintentionally find yourself on a section of the track which is for trams only. Do you:

a) Stop immediately, turn around when it is safe to do so and rejoin the main road.

b) Carry on going to see if it is a handy shortcut.

c) Keep on driving oblivious to your surroundings, past more ‘Tram Only’ signs, rumble strips, and the lack of road markings, not even stopping when you see that the tarmac runs out into just track and sleepers. Eventually you ground your car so that it gets stuck for half an hour until a rescue vehicle can tow it out.

So…how did you ‘fare’?

Mostly ‘A’s
Congratulations, you are a considerate, respectful and courteous traveller. Exactly the sort of person who people don’t mind being squashed up against on a packed carriage all the way to Market Square.

Mostly ‘B’s
Overall your behaviour isn’t too bad, but there is certainly room for improvement. Just a bit more thoughtfulness would make journeys a bit nicer for everyone.

Mostly ‘C’s
Oh dear. Try relocating to London where you can travel on the Underground.


Beeston’s Changing Times

We reflect on the changing nature of our town over the years

Photo credit: Joe Earp

Changes to the places where people live are inevitable. Sometimes change is a slow evolution and is hardly noticed. At other times, as with the trams, the change is sudden and dramatic and has a huge impact. There are those who will remember the building of the shops of the Square in the 1960’s, the Bus Station and Multi-storey Car Park. This development took away the ancient centre of the old village, which was once around the crossroads of Middle Street, Dovecote Lane and Church Street, close to the Manor House. It was here that the medieval cross once stood, probably where the War Memorial now stands. Although there are no written records, it is likely that the cross was the focus for a busy and thriving market.

The cross was taken down in 1860 and its stones used in a nearby wall. Here it remained until 1926 and its chance discovery by local historian and headmaster, Arthur Cossons. Cossons had the fractured stump of the 14th century cross shaft re-erected close to his beloved school on Church Street, where it still stands, now marked with a ‘Blue Plaque’.

Beeston as we know it largely owes its existence to the development of a Saxon village close to the Trent and Derby Road. This village was surrounded by pasture and grazing land from which it takes its name (Bes – rye grass and tun – settlement or farmstead). The origin of this ancient name is still preserved in the name Beeston Rylands, to the south of the town.

The plague carried away a third of Beeston’s population of between 300 and 350 souls. Their bodies were interred in a communal grave on the east side of the Churchyard, adjacent to where ‘Wilkos’ store was.

At the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, the then village had three Saxon Manors belonging to Alfag, Alwine and Ulchel. By 1086 these had passed to the Lordship of William Peverel. Although there is no mention of a church in Beeston at the time of the Domesday (1086) it is likely that one existed. When Peverel endowed his Priory at Lenton he gave the ‘living of the church’ and the right to appoint a vicar to the monks. Probably under their influence, the simple wattle and daub structure evolved into a substantial stone building on the site of the present church.

Photo credit: Joe Earp

For the next 400 years not only the Church but the whole of Beeston and its villagers came under the control of the powerful Lenton Priory. By the year 1538, the year of the Priory’s Dissolution under Henry VIII, the medieval building had reached its height. It was in this year that the plague carried away a third of Beeston’s population of between 300 and 350 souls. Their bodies were interred in a communal grave on the east side of the Churchyard, adjacent to where ‘Wilkos’ store was. This was later to be known as ‘the plague hole’.

Approximately where the Wilkinsons store was, were cottages known as ‘The Poor Row’. These simply built homes were given to the poor of the parish where they could live rent free. The cottages were demolished in 1844/45. What became of the poor unfortunates whose homes they were is not recorded.

Briefly interrupting the story of the area of Beeston directly affected by the Tram extension; Beeston saw one of its greatest changes in the early 19th century. It was at this time with the growth of the weaving industry that Beeston’s status changed from village to town. The first silk mill was built in the ‘new town’ in 1826. In 1831, after suffering various fortunes and a number of owners, the mill had passed into the hands of William Lowe.

In Victorian Beeston, the cycle of demolition and rebuilding continued. In 1842 the medieval church was surveyed and, with the exception of the chancel, found to be unsafe. Demolition of the old church was completed by 1843 and re-building around the medieval chancel completed by 1844.

Despite the increased industrialisation of the town, the illustration of the church at this time shows an idyllic scene, with sheep grazing in the surrounding pasture, something hard to imagine today. Not only do individual fields and closes survive, but their names survive on existing maps betraying a history which stretches back beyond the town’s Saxon roots.

One such plot to the east of the church, where the Argos store now stands, was known as Roundhill. Across the Square, around the area now covered by Lloyds/TSB Banks, was Roundhill Gardens. The Round Hill to which the names refer was an ancient Bronze Age Tumulus which occupied the site of the Wollaton Road Methodist Church. It was upon the summit of this grassy knoll that the village stocks were fixed. Stocks were introduced to every village during the reign of Edward III, in 1376 and continued to be used until 1840. They were used for the detention of minor criminals, drunkards and the like, who could be detained for a few hours at the pleasure of the local authority.

A little way to the west of the Round Hill, on the site of the old Town Hall, was another village institution, the Pinfold. This was a walled or fenced enclosure which projected a little way into the road. It was used to confine cattle and sheep which had strayed from their fields. The duty of ‘rounding-up’ these strays fell to an official called the pinder, who was elected annually at Easter. When you are next travelling on the Tram through Beeston, consider it as your personal time-machine and think of the history contained within this short journey.