It’s my greatest pleasure collaborating with John Prentice on this first-class book of Hong Kong Tramways. Amazingly, John and I haven’t meet in person – we started contact via emails when I was impressed by his large size HK tram model. We worked on this book with the office of Mr. W. H. Tsang who has been acknowledged, just as the co-authors, Peter Atkinson and Alan Williams of the first edition had done with generous assistance from Mr. J H W Salmon.
John visited Hong Kong in 1981, 1990 and 2005 and supplied numerous valuable photos in the book. He is the Chairman of the Tramway & Light Railway Society, a registered educational charity that spreads knowledge about tramway history and tramway modelling, John also organizes the annual event, Festival of Model Tramways, a gathering of model tram enthusiasts.
Alan Williams served in the Royal Navy and worked with Atkinson on the first edition in 1965, published in 1970. Being a tram enthusiast and tram driver, Alan has enjoyed his time working with us for this book and is happy with our new edition. He set up the Tramalan kit of his beloved Hong Kong trams of 1950s style and regularly visits Hong Kong.
On 9 February afternoon, Alan visited the Whitty Street tram depot, accompanied by Antoine Sambin, Commercial & Corporate Affairs Manager. The workshop is unique – trams are built in-house, the individual parts are produced in-house too. It’s memorable for Alan holds the 1st edition book together with Antoine holds the new edition.
It’s generous of the co-authors, Alan and John, to sign their names in the book. A pity is Peter cannot be with us.
Steven Chan, senior engineering manager for Hong Kong Tramways, praised the outcome of the new edition. Chan was an aircraft mechanic before joining the company in 1996, drew up the plans for electrical upgrades on trams, keep using DIY equipment and homespun techniques.
I took a view of the book and tram 120 together before sending a copy to Wirral Transport Museum, where two HK trams of 1950s style are running. A great surprise received from the museum on 21 January when the volunteers showed the book with two HK trams parked ‘face to face’. It is definitely a special crossover for both trams in HK and UK, feeling like they are running together.
Yip Woon-cheong has worked for Hong Kong Tramways for over 40 years, introduced by his uncle. Yip’s parents and brother also worked on the trams. He joined the company in 1965 and became an inspector then promoted to senior inspector (副總稽查), training the drivers until his retirement. Yip is a ‘dictionary on trams’ and has a great collection of tram models. The photos in the book bring back his memories.
I have to also express gratitude to Tim Runnacles, who supplied fruitful pictures and descriptions for the post-1970 section. Tim was a Chief Transport Officer of the Transport Department, worked on the Tuen Mun LRT scheme from 1977 to 1985, and associated with Hong Kong Tramways and the Peak Tram from 1985 to 1993. He also undertook a consultancy study of HKT for Transport Department from 1999 to 2001.
The management of HK Tramways is impressed on the fruitful book contents, and is scheduled for the official launch.
Detailed book reviews can be found from the below pdf and the link.