Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

TRAMWAY LIFE IN BIRMINGHAM.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

TRAMWAY LIFE IN BIR- MINGHAM. So much has been said and written on the suibjeot of the electric tramways of Birmingham since their successful municipalization that a glimpse of their- innex working by one. who has seen consideraible, service both with the Company and the Corporation may not be wiithouit. interest to cur readers, partacularly as such a largenJUmlber of visitors to Llaiidudno ,are drawn from the Birmingham district. Viewed from the standpoint of the coniduqtor the, lilfe is not all roses, easy though the work may seem; and light as may appear his duties as he stands in the rear patform looking out for poissiblo fares as the dark blue car speeds past you standing on the pavement. To obtain the position of conductor a man's character must be like that of Caesar's wife, "above. suspicion," because when he has pass- ed the Rubicon and been accepted as proba- tioner he has to fill up an application farm for his license, which contains the most search- ing queries, and which when duly filled and signed by him is handed over to the Hackney Carriage Department, the officers of which verify most closely his answers and ascertain beyonu the shadow of doubt whether he is a fit. and proper person to be licensed t,o "act as a conductor off any carriage licensed to use any of the tramiways, by the Local Authioxity within the City," etc., etc. In the meantime whilst these enquiries are going our neophyte* is placed by the road mas- ter, a chief inspector, on a car, with a trust- worthy and reliable conductor, who at otice- invests him with the order oif the "ba,g and punch, and initiates him into the mysteries of rstag, faxes and tickets, impressing upon him the difference' between exchange and ordinary tickets, and if he has "been there before" mak- ing an arrangement, with the learner that he shall make goad ,all "shorts," which means all deficiencies in cash when the tickets and cash are checked before paying .at. night, which shorts are too baiae, of a conductor's life,, be- cause they are all stopped from his wages when he is paid the following week, and point- ing cut to him that his exchange tickets issued must tally with those, workmen's re- turns received from the passengers, otherwise the difference- in value will also be stopped from his wages as well as the shortage in cash. 11 The embryo conductor then starts collecting his fares, being careful to punch each ticket in the section for which it is issued, otherwise the Nemesis in the form and uniform of an in- spector will drop upon the mistake and have what his soul delights, in, a "case for report," which always i-neans a journey tk), the office "in his spare time," and after a protracted and needless delay in the waiting room, along with numerous other unfortunates under .report he is ushered into the presence of the official who has the charge of this department, and after being duly "carpeted" is either handed a paper setting out that "Conductor Smith has now attended office and may now return to his own ,clar," or politely told that the manager has decided to make him "an inspector of Public Buildings," which is the way tramway men describe what is commonly called the sack in common, or garden circles. However, should all go' well the conductor does his stated number of journeys and gladly bands over the .car to his relief, and gathering up his box and alaie way bill, takes another trrum to the depot, where seated in the mess room he proceeds to what I always con- sidered the most interesting part of a con- ductor's duties, the counting -the money and comparing it with the tickets. This- is a anioment -of great interest, because sometimes, talasl too sefldom, you find an overplus, but more often- a deficiency, and after counting and recounting, checking and re-checking, you -decide that you must pay in shout and have whatevor the amount may happen to. be, de- ducted, as I said before, from your wages. On one or two occasions, however, I have found myseillf very much to the good, on one at least by someone giving me a florin in mistake for a penny, and which on a dark night ouitsMie is not noticed by ,either passenger or guard, and subsequently found by the conductor in the copper portion of his bag, .and goes to reduce the .amo-unt he has lost iby "shorts." But c)olleicting fares is not the whole of a conductor's duties. He has to manage the trolley pole at the same time to see the trolley does not jump the wire- at frogs and switches, far if it does it may pull down yards of wire and upset tihe entire traffic or pulil its own head off and thus block the road until another ,ear comes and shoves his car back to the depot; either of these occurences will neces- sitate a "maiuvas quart d'heure" in Corpor- ation Sltrerelt, with very probably the order to pay for the diamage, another deduction from his already depleted wages. He has further to change the trolley at the end of the journey, so as to. enable the motor- man to drive the car from the- xeverse end on its return jo-urney, pull the- automatic switches at the junctions when they are out of order, as they most frequently are, and a new rule is he has to change the destination signs every trip, -which is so much needless extra work. To next touch on the- passengers. 'They are of so many dispositions and characters that a conductor needs the temper of an angel, and the patience of Joib, to treat them all with un- varying civility and courtesy, as the least sym- tom of temper will with a, touchy passenger lead to a report and- another visat to- the "office." Passengers to my mind seldom or never make allowanoes for a conductor's annoyances and worries. I have always been a little bit of a student of human nature, and I have fre- quently -oibsei'ved that some of them try to^give the conductor as much annoyance as possible, where a little tJhought would save him trouble. Some genCieimen try to save his legs by offer ing him the fare before going on. top; ethers TUsh up the sltairs as if their liveis, depended on it, whilst he is inside never thinks that if he has been on top and has not. seen them go up it means a "miss fare" for him, and anothei report and possibly visit to the. office. Then there are the- passengers who offer a crown or a half sovereign for a penny fare, stoutly de- claring they have nothing smaller. I remem- ber one gentleman who day after day tendered me a sovereign for a two-penny fare. It hap- pened so- oifiten that I came to the concluisaon he did it on purpose, and I resolved to cure him, so I accordingly prepared for him. The next time he happened to o,-ii-iie, in my car he tendered the pound. I said nothing, but took it, punched his ticket and then handed him three bags of coppers, each containing five shillings, four sixpences, eleven, three-penny ,bits and penny. He remonstrated, and the other passengers laughed. Next day he had twopence ready in copper, and never offered me a sio-vereign again. Solne, never take the: trouble to tell you where, they are going, which is very (awkward when as on Bearwood cars there is a twopenny fa-re to Bearwood and three halfpence- to Windmill Lane, but simply hand, you twopence and say ",al1 the way," You naturally punch a twopenny ticket and hand iit them, to be indignantly told, "I want a halfpenny change, I am only going to the Seven Stars." Then I consistently r,efus.ed to alter what I had done, telling them I would not change the tiekeit, as they had distinctly told, me the way." The majority of pas- sengers, moreover, do not tell you as they ought to where, they wish to' alight when talk- ,ing their tickets. The result is, if you happen to be on top when they reach their destination you carry them too faT, and consequently get abuse and frequently curses for what has really been their -own. negligence. Next I should wish Itotouch on. some. of the many f-aullts in the management, which, let us hope will be remedied as the official staff learn their business better, and perhaps they will take, a note, of what one who has had practical experience would suggest as wise re- forms. One great, annoyance to Bearwood passengers waiting at the Parade and Monu- ment Road is to And themselves passed by a full car, chiefly containing passengers for local penny fares. This could be obviated by charg- ing a minimum fare of twopence on through Bearwood cars, between twelve and two, and after five in the, afternoon. 'This has beleni satisfactorily tried in the King's Norton cars, and may be .confidently recommended to the Corporation. Next give, thei conductors back their whistles, which have been taken away, why I don't kniow, ,except to please some grumblers who oibject to the noiise, and who- d-o-n't care how much extra stair work is done by the con- ductors, who have to; come down to start the car every time any one wishes, to get off. "Never mind, he's paid for it," is the general remark,, but what is he paid, fivepeiice, an hour for -acting as conductor, accountant, etc., whilst most workmen get nearly double pay without half the anxiety and responsibility of the conductor. Further, why not work the men half-day shifts instead of reliefs. Nine-tenths of the men would prefer to go and do. their work straight off and be done instead of fooling around on two- and sometimes three. shifts a day. Do away with half the number of tickets; the exchangers could easily be abolished by a simple methed. When the passengers hands a conductor his workman's return it is punched; one side only; allow the ecinducto-r to punch the other side and hand it back; the little coloured "jilt" in the punch would be the check instead of the tiicket, and this would save ais carrying five tickets on the Bearwood route, reducing his packs from sixteen, tickets to eleven, which would be a great help to the conductor and minimize his trouble to a cer- tain extent, hat as I have saw belfo,rel neither employers nor passengers consider him very much, the moitormiam has a very much easier time, as long as he drives carefully, keeps time-, and meets with no accidents. There are no reports for him; he is slightly better paid, and a bonus of £ 1 a quarter for a clean sheet. No sucih luck for the conductor, though it might be easily given for no. reports during the quarter. 'This has run to a greater length than. I anticipated, but I think I have sketched out .enoiugh of .a. conductor's life and. duties to. shew his life like that of a po-licem-ani is not, "a happy one," and if my article will induce a few passengers- to exercise, a little miow-e con- sideration for the conductor I shall feel I have not written it, in vain. A. J. G. RHYL NEWS. We print to-day a niece of new- which will, we feel sure, prove of the utmost interest to many of our readers. Even if Rhyl were farther away the news would Ib3 good., for the truth of it Clanelasily be tested. Mrs J. Jones,, 20 Queen's Court, Queen Street, Rhyl, says:—"For four years I hardly knew what it was to be. free from kidney complaint. Severe pains in the lo-wetr part of my back made it feell as though it would, come- in two. I got so weak that 1 often- had to take some support before I straighten myself. "I took medicine, but got nc, better until I started with Doa.n's Backache Kidney Pills. A -box of these did m.e< so much igood that I kept on with them, and they cured me. I still fake a pill or two, now and again, and I find 'hf-y keep, me in the ibest, oif health. "I cannot speak too- highly of Doan's pills, for have been a blessing to me." Do YOlj 'h ii io keep hard at work, day after day, thong), ru f.eellIIlorel fit. for bed? Does your ,he? Are you afraid to. stoop ? Are tht pains in your muscles and stiffness in your joints-? Are your nerves on edge? Does eVtry change of the welalther affect you? Are. there urinary trouibles? Are some, or all these troubles yours ? Take them in time; they are serious warmings of still more serious kidney diseases. Doan's backache kidney pills are a specific for all forms of kidney and bladdev troubles. Doan's Backache Kidney Pills, are' two shil- lings and ninepence. per box (six boxes for thirteen shillings and ininepence). Orf all ,chemists and stores, or post free, di-reiot from Foster-Mc-CMLan rOo., 8, Wells-street, Oxford- street, London, W. Be sure you get exactly the same- kind of pills that Mrs Jones bad. CANADA IMMIGRATION STATISTICS. Th(3 tide of emigration to' Canada is flowing stron ger than ,ever during the present season. An official return from Ottawa, from, January to April of the present year, gives tht number of arrivals as follows:- British. 41,550 Continental. 25,310 United States 19,239 86,099 This ^mmignatdon. into ,canada is nearly 30 per cent, in excess of that for the correspond- ing period of last year. Nothing is more soothing after a day in the country or on the sea than "Pearl I Cream" applied to the face and hands. You can get it for Is. at Winter and Co.'s Chemists.

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