16 August 2009

memories of the trams

We frequently find ourselves working on unusual items. Recently, our textiles conservator was asked to treat this tram roll by a private collector. It had developed black mould staining and orange-brown iron staining whilst in storage.

Because the tram roll was fabric, and the ink used to colour it was water-soluble (and thus we could not use water-based solutions for cleaning), the treatment was quite difficult. Whilst we were able to remove a substantial amount of general soiling, and reduce the visibility of both the mould and the iron stains, in this instance it was not possible to totally remove the stains.

It was interesting timing for us, because one of our other clients, the Historic Houses Trust of NSW is currently staging an exhibition called Shooting Through: Sydney by Tram at the Museum of Sydney. Associated with this exhibition are a variety of events, including an interesting seminar on 25 September, "Nostalgia vs Reality: are trams the answer?", exploring the potential for trams to solve Sydney's transport woes.

David West

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