Boys and their Pranks

"During the late 1920s and early 1930s
there was a basketball competition for men and boys in the Holy Trinity Hall, Sebastopol.
Sometimes the ball would break a light globe, and a couple of the bigger boys would go
outside and wait near the crossing over Albert St. When the next tram slowed down near the
crossing the boys would take the globe from the rear headlight. This went on until the ESCo noticed their headlights were
going missing."

Excerpt from unpublished reminiscences of
Arthur Jenkins.

The tramline in Albert St. Sebastopol, now
the main road from Ballarat to Geelong ran on one side of the roadway against the gutter.
About half a mile before the Sebastopol terminus, the tram track crossed from the East
Side of Albert St. to the West Side, before terminating outside the Royal Mail Hotel
Sebastopol (another source of some great stories about trammies and the demon drink!). To
cross the roadway, the tramcar would slow down enough for the boys to climb on the back
bumper bar, unscrew the light bulb and then hop off before the tramcar gathered speed.BTM 12 XING ALBERT.GIF (13522 bytes) The driver would not notice the missing headlight bulb until he got to the
other end of the line and turned the switch to change the headlight from one end to the

Ballarat No. 12 bound for the Sebastopol
terminus crosses Albert St. in the early 1970’s.

Photo Chris Wurr

The electric light bulbs in tramcars are of the Edison Screw type and can be easily
removed by unscrewing them. The light bulbs in the Trinty Hall were of a similar type and
so were perfect as replacements. At the time, ESCo was still supplying Direct Current
power supply for domestic use to Ballarat and its suburbs, though Alternating Current
supplies were introduced from 1925 onwards.

BTM 38 ALBERT ST.GIF (16796 bytes)Tramcar No. 38, one of the
Museum’s preserved tramcars, heads towards the City along Albert St. in 1956. This
photo shows the rural nature of the tram route and how it ran along one side of the

Photo Jim Seletto



BTM ALBERT 1998.GIF (20891 bytes)The
same location in December 1998. After the tramway closed, the road was widened to
four-lanes and became the main road from Ballarat to Geelong. There are very few reminders
of the tramway.

Photo: Warren Doubleday