Worth repeating

*In my trawling through old emails whilst reducing my inbox, I came across
David Featherstone's #143 post and I think his comments are worthy of a
repeat. Of course the answer is obvious, material should go to a museum
that will look after the material. As for which one, wellI don't have any
opinion. Non Government papers often go to SLV but I have no idea whether
they accept stuff from anyone. Indexed Government material will be welcome
at Public Records. Perhaps one of the Universities? Maybe even Ballarat
who seem to be well organised in the archive area. Andrew Cook has well
known views about another tramway organisation. Even the sharing of photos
on-line is fraught with danger, witness the yahoo groups debacle. TDU is
fortunate that Malcolm Miles maintains an archive but what happens when the
inevitable happens to Malcolm? Anyay keep reading --------------*

That's it folks, we finally got there. Thanks to the photographers who took
all these photos, hard to believe they are over 50 years ago Thanks to Ron
Scholten who sold them in the first instance. These are a classic example
of shots that would have sunk without trace if they weren't put out now.

I always get the distinct feeling that a lot of our history has ended up on
the tip. Say I have all these shots, I tell my wife to give them to my mate
Frank, who is probably as old as me, when I move on. Sadly Frank eventually
drops off the perch too, what is Frank's wife to do will all my stuff? Then
Frank's wife has a stroke, the family comes in to deal with things - they
don't care about tram photos. They may be historically mindful, probably
not, they languish somewhere, then they are gone. It is remarkable how
little people have regard to things they are not interested in. This is
what happens.

Publish while you are still here, while you are in control, imparting your
story about your journey via your photos, and the marvellous stories you
can tell, or perish, as it were.

Enough sermonizing from me, it is just that I care about what you have done
and don't want your legacy lost to those disinterested relatives.

Best wishes to you all.

David Featherstone.


Well expressed views David on a topic that should be of interest to ALL
tram (and other transport) enthusiasts.
But, from the (non) reaction I’ve had to similar postings here on TDU and
discussions (usually at funerals) it seems there is little interest among
enthusiasts about what happens to their photographs and other “treasure”
after they take the final journey - to the tram depot in the sky.

I’ve been surprised how many enthusiasts (in the mature age group) I’ve
spoken with who don’t have up to date wills that cover their current
wishes. Some don’t have a will!
And, with so many single/unattached people in “the hobby” there’s often no
immediate family to “take care of things”.
Several I know who live in what they openly describe as “shambolic”
conditions can’t keep on top of their current “treasure” let alone leave it
“in order” to be shared “for the benefit and education of future
Two pieces of advice I received many years ago:
(1) make sure the intended recipient(s) of any “treasure” is/are willing
and able to “receive” it when the time comes. We should aim to leave a
“bequest” not a burden.
(2) ensure there’s some financial support for your “treasure” to be
I’ve known of people who’s “treasure” has been sent to the tip by well
meaning family members who didn’t realise or appreciate its “value”. In one
case the wife couldn’t get rid of it quick enough. (But there was a third
party hanging around).
But, as I mentioned above, all this seems to be of little interest in the
TDU community so, no doubt, there’ll be quite a lot of “stuff” that ends up
in the tip.
There must be SO MUCH material in the possession of older enthusiasts who
don’t DO social media and prefer not to share their knowledge and photos,
etc. I know many such people.
I’ll conclude with a quote from a highly respected enthusiast of the past,
Vane A Jones (of “Traction and Models” magazine fame):

“Knowledge is of no use unless it is shared”.

Paul in Melbourne



cheers and best wishes,
David in Avenel.au,
[Before you change anything, learn why it is the way it is.]