david mcl wrote:
> There's a famous picture of Robert Risson on the roof of a tram showing his troops how to [retie rope to a pole].
I found the photo on the Hawthorn Museum website. Attached if Yahell works. Otherwise at this link:
... and this is the relevant text:
Sir Robert answered any challenge. In tragic circumstances in October 1963 a tram driver died as a result of head injuries sustained after he fell from the roof of a tram in Spencer Street, whilst attempting to replace a trolley pole on the overhead after the rope had snapped. Tram crews at individual depots introduced a ban on the practice of climbing on to cars to retrieve trolley poles.
On the day the accident occurred the Secretary of the employees’ association concerned (Mr O’Shea http://www.hawthorntramdepot.org.au/papers/oshea.htm) stated that he had not yet received any reply to a letter sent by his association to the Tramways Board on August 22 requesting the fitting of pantographs following a mishap at Hawthorn... On October 14, the Chairman of the Board, Mr R.J.H. Risson announced that he had written to the association requesting that the ban be lifted forthwith pointing out that there was no risk to staff involved if the relevant instructions were adhered to. The next day officials demonstrated the correct method of replacing a trolley pole at Hawthorn Depot: the Chairman was in attendance and the proceedings were televised. Mr O’Shea then went on record as saying that it was only appropriate that Mr Risson (a Major-General) should ‘lead his men into action’ and demonstrate the correct procedure. The challenge was accepted on October 16 when the latter climbed on to the roof of class SW6 car No 960 in Collins Street at Spencer Street — this event received wide coverage by the press and also television. On October 18 the Board announced its intention to equip each tram… with an emergency rope…