Edinburgh Trams Club are members of A.T. R.A.S., Aberdeen Tram Rosette Appreciation Society, who are based in Aberdeen Scotland and Hamburg Germany.
Rosettes are little works of industrial art. More details are available from the website of ATRAS by clicking here.
ATRAS was established in April 1994 by a group who specialise in the study of tramway rosettes, their preservation, and appreciation. It was founded by Harry Golding (Chairman), and Bill Brown (Secretary) to count and record the tram rosettes of the City of Aberdeen, where trams were abandoned in May 1958.
In 1995 they got together with like minded enthusiasts from Germany, based in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg. The German members were looking for information concerning rosettes throughout Germany, and other West and South European countries including Britain.
In Hamburg, Ingo Mecker began research in 1989, developing a standardised recording system, assisted later by other enthusiasts from Germany, and extending to other countries. Ingo Mecker has played a key role in this important work as Archivist along with Edmund Lendl (Chief Researcher), both resident in Germany.
Over 430 towns have been investigated and about 140 different forms of rosettes have been identified. ATRAS members have exhibited material in places such as Ferlach (Austria), Aberdeen (Scotland), Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig (both Germany), etc.
ATRAS welcomes information and photographic documents about rosettes in any Southern and Western European cities.
Page added September 2016
A Tram Rosette was an elaborately designed suspension for catenary wires for buildings. The Rosette was typically made of cast iron and was attached to a wall of a building and used for hanging the carrier wires, which kept the overhead electrically powered lines above the tram.
They were generally used where there was no room for catenary poles or masts, or where these were not desired for aesthetic reasons. Perhaps an important factor was that rosettes were considerably cheaper to use than providing overhead posts.
A Rosette was usually made of a base plate, with holes in it, where it was screwed to a wall. On the plate was a lug holding a pull ring on which were fixed one or more eye or fork bolts. The pull ring was fastened by a bolt that passed through the lugs with a rubber buffer that absorbed vibration from the overhead contact line, so that no vibration would be transmitted to the wall of the building.
Hook Bolt, Sound Dampner, Eye Bolt, and a Wall Rosette - detailed from a contemporary manufacturers catalogue
Below is an archive description of Wall Rosettes:
Many building around Edinburgh still show the outline of where the Rosette was placed, along with filled holes from the bolts.
This is an example of a ghost Rosettes mark in Waterloo Place.
Only five places remain where the original Rosettes are known to survive in situ and these can still be seen in Bruntsfield Place; Greenside Place; Maritime Lane; and Dryden Street.
If anyone knows of any others we would like to hear from you.
Above Bruntsfield Place and below Greenside Place - from August 2016
Below is a view of the Rosette in Maritime Lane at the junction with Constitution Street from December 2016.
Below is in Dryden Street at the back of the former Shrubhill Tram Depot showing one of the two Rosettes here. This image is also from August 2016.
Another picture of Shrubhill with both Rosettes in place. This image is from January 2017 and was taken as housing is being constructed on the former tram depot.
Over time the design of the Rosettes has become more simple, and as seen in Edinburgh today they have been replaced by simple hooks.
The modern rosette hooks in Edinburgh are present at various places where street running takes place.
This example is in Queen Street.
An enthusiasts home in Edinburgh has an example of a recently attached Rosette -
An advert from Alfred Wiseman Ltd which includes Rosettes.
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