Interesting article from the Herald about the 1990 tram strike:
The Hyatt on Collins it isn't, but this Tram on Bourke is possibly
Melbourne's most effective weight-loss centre.
Graeme Berry, a former V/Line worker, has been living in the No. 89 from
Kew Depot 24 hours a day for the past fortnight, and says he has lost 13 kg
since his vigil began - despite nearby Fast Eddy's Restaurant and the
Mr Berry, believed to be the only non-trammie on the picket lines, has been
collecting signatures in support of his Met conductor friends and has vowed
to stake out Bourke St until the dispute is resolved.
"There are 250 trams stranded in town and I've got to check every one of
them on foot. The weight just falls off you," Mr Berry said.
"We're in charge of all of them while they're in town, see if they're OK,
because you get squatters and drunks sitting in the trams all night. We've
had a few squatters, and they leave quietly when you tell them to, but the
drunks are a problem." Mr Berry has tried to make "Fort 2020" as cosy as
possible: two seats, dislodged from elsewhere in the tram, laid across
another two seats and covered with a doona serve as a bed for about two
hours' sleep nightly.
By day he is out tram-watching, but at night he sits in Fort 2020's front
seat smoking and reading newspapers by torchlight. The tram is fetid from
stale cigarette smoke.
At dawn trammies from Kew Depot take over, giving him a break to go to his
flat in Thomastown for a clean-up.
"Mr Cain is scared because he knows the Olympics are in doubt because of
this dispute," Mr Berry said.
"I've had tourists coming on board this tram. They come to Melbourne to
ride on the trams. They can't because the Government has turned the power
off, so I show them around and tell them what the trams used to be like."
Picture: KAINE PINDER