Tram destination roll/blind

 
  MelbourneCity Chief Commissioner

I've been looking for authentic tram rolls/blinds for a while now with no success.

I'd love one from a tram based at Camberwell Depot.

I realise these are incredibly rare & have resigned o the fact that ill hav to by a commercial replica from an online shop.  

Can someone tell me how accurate the linked blind is?

http://www.tramscrolls.com.au/wp-content/uploads/productimage_sm/1319632608.jpg

http://www.tramscrolls.com.au/australian-scrolls-gallery/

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  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
You do see the real deal from time to time.

I've been trawling auctions for years and I have even had the chance to bid on a few; they do bring big money if they're the real deal - I suppose when they scrapped trams they mostly couldn't be bothered saving the destination scrolls.

If I were you I'd save my pennies and keep a look out for a real one, doesn't matter what city/depot.  In twenty years time all those 'reproductions' will be worth nothing but a real destination blind will probably be worth much more than you paid for it.
  edison Chief Commissioner

Complete fakes.  
Some of the coloured symbols are genuine, but  the layout is nonsensical, even to the extent of having places never served by trams (Perisher???!)
I have a Malvern depot roll, but am very fond of it. No dice.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Complete fakes.  
Some of the coloured symbols are genuine, but  the layout is nonsensical, even to the extent of having places never served by trams (Perisher???!)
I have a Malvern depot roll, but am very fond of it. No dice.
edison

Those fake rolls are in fashion at the moment - I happened to be watching one of those God-awful renovation shows recently and one of the items they picked out was a fake tram destination blind.  In a few years it will be at the op shop (or in the bin) because ultimately it's disposable.  If you are looking for decorator stuff then they're nice but not for a collector of legitimate memorabilia.

Your Malvern Depot roll is probably a little bit tatty (?) but without having seen it at a guess I'd say upwards of $300 at a collectors auction - possibly more if you have provenance.  Scammell Auctions in Adelaide have had a number of scrapped bus destination blinds in the last few years and even they were bringing good money; someone puts SAR memorabilia in their weekly auction from time to time and some of it, particularly locomotive plaques, bring really big $$$ despite the condition.

If you buy right these things can make a great investment - however if you are just looking for something tram-related to put on the wall then a pretend one can be nice too.
  xke9600hp Train Controller

A complete destination scroll would be great but there must also exist partial ones - ones that are part damaged/torn etc.  Even one of these would be worth getting if the price was right.

Can someone please advise the precise size of the lettering on an original scroll?

I am trying to paint up a look alike "CITY"  destination sign (on cardboard) for a project and need the Height and Width of the letters and also the thickness of the lines forming the letters.  Can any forum member with the genuine article please advise these dimensions.  I also believe the "CITY" destination has a horizontal white line under it on some old photos I have seen - what was the purpose of this?

Thanks
  Sydney_Gunzel Chief Commissioner

Location: The Red Lines.
I also believe the "CITY" destination has a horizontal white line under it on some old photos I have seen - what was the purpose of this?
If this is what I think you are talking about, the white line usually has the destination below it written on it so it can be seen from inside the drivers cab when setting the roll. They also serve to mark where to position the roll so that the destination is showing in the box. Sorry I can't help on lettering, haven't been inside the W2 car for a while.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
The linked ones are in the style of the real thing but inaccurate and not even worthy of the description "replica".  They don't replicate the font, spacing, accurate listing or indeed much else of any original.

The price, listed on that site as between $180 and $350, might also be a guide to provenance.  This, for example, is a late-model (roller-blind not stencil-plate) number assembly and while it is the complete unit not just the numeric rolls it fetched $500.  http://www.livebidonline.com/classes/image.resizer.class.php?path=../catalogues/a398/images/0470&ext=jpg&width=700&height=700  A genuine Malvern depot blind (roll only) fetched $1300 here http://www.livebidonline.com/classes/image.resizer.class.php?path=../catalogues/a398/images/0487&ext=jpg&width=700&height=700 while others in the list reached prices above $750.

Being realistic you are not going to get a genuine roll legitimately for much less than these prices such is the demand and scarcity of supply.

Genuine tramway memorabilia is hugely sought-after.  I own a legitimately-acquired connie's bag which was very far from cheap (I'm not saying how much) and have been offered four-figure sums several times to sell it on.  No chance.
  xke9600hp Train Controller

I've been looking for authentic tram rolls/blinds for a while now with no success.
MelbourneCity

There's one on ebay at the moment Buy Now $525

It says it's 2.1m long - is this a complete roll???

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VINTAGE-INDUSTRIAL-W-CLASS-TRAM-MELBOURNE-DESTINATION-ROLL-BLIND-ORIGINAL-RARE-/161030684201?pt=AU_Transportation_Collectables&hash=item257e2d3e29#ht_356wt_1255
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Appears incomplete with a possible tear across the top end.  Glenhuntly rolls would have rather more variety than this.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Appears incomplete with a possible tear across the top end.  Glenhuntly rolls would have rather more variety than this.
Gwiwer
Agree, there should be more destinations on that roll (like East Brighton and Malvern), it's probably a fragment.

Thanks for the links to the other recent destination blinds for sale, I had no idea they were bringing such big sums - even fragments can have large price tags, especially if they have provenance.  As you say real memorabilia is hugely in demand; you are very lucky to have your connie bag !
  xke9600hp Train Controller

Seems the latest fashion is to cut the rolls into farmable sizes then sell them as works of art. This would make a complete roll worth thousands of $$$
  edison Chief Commissioner

Cleaning out the cupboard to brighten up a boring Sunday afternoon, I discovered the following desto rolls (all complete):

Camberwell
Watsons Bay side (pre-1950, with "QUEENS SQUARE", 'SHOW GROUND" and "SPORTS GROUND" stitched in at a later date)
North Sydney front (new condition, never used)
Bendigo:
GOLDEN SQUARE
Nth BENDIGO
THORP St
LONG GULLY
EAGLEHAWK
QUARRY HILL
CHARING CROSS
LAKE WEEROONA
DEPOT
RLY. STATION
SPECIAL

edit -
also Adelaide bus roll

Might put them up on ebay. Watch this space.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Excellent, the Bendigo one in particular is very interesting.  I wonder what car it came from considering the fleet is still fairly intact?  Do you have any provenance?
  edison Chief Commissioner

The Bendigo roll refered to above was given to me at Bendigo depot in the late '60s, and was possibly from a tram (Birnie?) that was not considered repairable at the time. Not sure about that, though.

The Melbourne roll starts with:

MALV TN HALL
KEW-COTHAM RD
KEW DEPOT
KEW POST OFFICE
KEW
EAST KEW
SIMPSOM ST
SWANSTON ST

etc. Does this signify which depot it came from?
On the back of the roll is stencilled in small faint black letters STOP  CAMB
Does this mean what I think it does?


Edison
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Both "Malvern Town Hall" and "Kew Depot" are possible destinations for a tram terminating and going back to either Kew or Malvern depots, so personally I'm not sure about that one.  Is that the full length of the fragment (those 8 destinations?).  Please let me know if/when you list it on Ebay as I know someone who could be interested in a genuine one.  

The Birney Car one from Bendigo is also good, I believe they still have most of the Birneys there at Bendigo so the scroll from a written-off one is extremely rare. The Birney fleet at Bendigo is unique in the world actually, I've heard they get tourists from the USA who are interested in seeing them because they were cutting edge technology when they came out, made in the USA, and there's now very few left (they were very efficient in destroying their trams in the United States).

The Watson's Bay one is very interesting too, do you have a full list of destinations for that one?  I know that Malcolm Turnbull is a real Sydney tram nut - he could be interested in it!
  edison Chief Commissioner

Don_Dunston - FYI - the Watsons Bay side roll goes, from the top,

FORT MACQUARIE DEPOT
GEORGE ST.
KING'S CROSS
OCEAN ST.
ERSKINE ST.
CLARENCE ST.
DOUBLE BAY
ROSE BAY
DOVER ROAD
QUEEN'S SQUARE
WATSON'S BAY
RUSHCUTTERS BAY
SPECIAL
STADIUM
CIRCULAR QUAY
RAILWAY
ROSEBERY
ZETLAND
CRICKET GROUND
SHOWGROUND
SPORTS GROUND

Punctuation and abbreviations are as shown above. I don't know if new rolls were fitted after the King St tracks closed, as that would have eliminated four of the the above.
Details of the other rolls could be provided on request, but are much longer than this one.

Edison
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Edison, that's really interesting.  How long is it when it's actually unfurled?  I'm just interested in how it would hang on a wall.
  edison Chief Commissioner

The Watson's Bay side roll is 2.2 metres long, plus a bit of white at each end. It is 790 mm wide.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
That's some really seriously collectable items you have there Edison, there would be lots of people interested in them, not just gunzels.  I would love a real tram scroll but I'm too poor at the moment to even contemplate the sorts of prices you would be looking at; if you are serious about selling you should PM me and I could suggest some alternatives to E-bay as I have some experience in the world of buying and selling collectibles.  Either that or I really think you should contemplate hanging on to them; if you have provenance they're probably going to be worth even bigger money in years to come.  And whatever you do, make sure the moths can't get to them!
  xke9600hp Train Controller

Seems the latest fashion is to cut the rolls into farmable sizes then sell them as works of art. This would make a complete roll worth thousands of $$$
xke9600hp

Crazy tram roll action last week on E-bay

A complete Glenhuntley roll complete with destination box, lights and working winding mechanism sold for $455 while a complete roll on it's own sold for over $1200.  

I reckon the dealers are cashing in on the nostalgia and don't understand how a desto box works
  712M Chief Commissioner

Did any Z3/A/B1 class rolls servive or were they all thrown out as they were replaced?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Crazy tram roll action last week on E-bay

A complete Glenhuntley roll complete with destination box, lights and working winding mechanism sold for $455 while a complete roll on it's own sold for over $1200.  

I reckon the dealers are cashing in on the nostalgia and don't understand how a desto box works
xke9600hp
Look, those prices are probably about average in my estimation.  Tram and train memorabilia makes big $$$ at auctions, I'm not surprised that a roll on it's own could make $1200 - there would be lots of people interested in having an authentic roll particularly if there was some kind of provenance attached to it.

By way of comparison, I tried to buy an authentic South Australian Railways locomotive plate complete with Piping Shirk some years ago at an auction and stupid me, I thought I would only have to spend a hundred bucks or so to get it.  It flew way past that and made five hundred or so - I had no idea it was going to make that much (neither did the auction house - the estimate was $50-$100).  There's lots of people out there who just love their gunzel stuff, that's for sure.
  mellyjaneelsie Beginner

My Grandfather has recently express interest in selling his Sydney Tram Destination Rolls and 1 x working light box which he purchased from the tramways in the late 50's for 5 shillings. He has 2x Eastern Suburbs, 2x Western Suburbs, 1 x North Sydney and 1x Watsons Bay line. These are full rolls in good condition.
Can someone please give us some advise on what may be the best way to ask for expressions of interest in these or possibly the best way to offer them for sale?
Any help would be appreciated thank you
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
They sound like really collectable tram memorabilia.  You have a number of options.

You could contact dealers in Sydney who collect train memorabilia directly and see if they might be interested in making a purchase; so perhaps go somewhere like that Surrey Hills Antique Centre and discuss with management; they may be able to refer you to someone who could make you an offer to purchase them all cash in hand.  You could also contact Loftus Tramway Society and see if they can suggest any dealers or places that they could be sold - they'll probably also be interested but being a not-for-profit society you won't get much from them apart from the warm inner-glow of preserving things for posterity !  They'll probably give you the best advice on where to go though.

Alternatively you could make a time to go into an auction house that specialises in these things or is interested in art and antiques.  I do a lot of dealing with Leonard Joels here in Melbourne and I've always found them to be good but you may also consider (in Sydney) Bonhams or Theodore Bruce.  They will probably request that you make an appointment to bring the items in and they'll give you an estimate of what they may make at auction - they may wish to put them into a specialist collectables auction or their weekly sales.  Bear in mind you will have to pay a commission to the auction house as a vendor, usually in the range of 20-25% and you are also not guaranteed to sell at the price your pieces are estimated at; however it's the most popular method of disposing of collectables like you've described and as opposed to contacting dealers you would probably be likely to get a higher price than if you sold them privately.

The last method would be to try and sell them yourself on the internet (generally Ebay).  Ebay is not everyone's cup of tea because you have to photograph and accurately catalogue faults and deal with queries, perhaps arrange inspections of the items etc.  You are subject to a 10% Ebay commission and usually 3% PayPal commission on top of that so it isn't cheap; you may also have to help the buyer with shipping and arrange for the items to be packed; unless the buyer pays for insurance you can also be held liable for damage in transit so I would strongly suggest you compel the buyer to insure unless they are picking up directly from you locally (which is the ideal way to do it).

Hope this helps.
  xke9600hp Train Controller

My Grandfather has recently express interest in selling his Sydney Tram Destination Rolls and 1 x working light box which he purchased from the tramways in the late 50's for 5 shillings. He has 2x Eastern Suburbs, 2x Western Suburbs, 1 x North Sydney and 1x Watsons Bay line. These are full rolls in good condition.
Can someone please give us some advise on what may be the best way to ask for expressions of interest in these or possibly the best way to offer them for sale?
Any help would be appreciated thank you
mellyjaneelsie
The trouble with "memorabilia" is that to get a good price the purchaser needs to be able to have a "memory" of the item and the item must conjure  some nostalgic memories/warm feelings to the point where the purchaser is compelled to part with real $$$ for it.

Given that there has now been quite a long time period between the old trams operating in Sydney and today, I am guessing that most people interested in such items will be over 60 and probably closer to the age of your grandfather.  

Out of that select few, then work out who would have some practical use for the item,  who would have the spare $$$ available to buy it, and who would have space to display something as big as a tram desto roll (in their retirement village quarters).

The market suddenly becomes very small - but that is the market for the items you describe.

The rest of the population would spare a passing glance and comment on how interesting the item is but few normal people would even give it a second look let alone want to pay anything for it, believing that anyone who is even remotely interested is a fruitloop, anorak or foaming gunzel.

So my advice, for what it's worth is to sell sell sell NOW while there is still anyone with a vague memory of what you have to sell.

A good example of ridiculous prices being paid for nostalgic items is Australian muscle cars of the 1970s.  $ Hundreds of thousands can exchange hands for a GTHO Ford or Holden equivalent but the purchasers are old baby boomers who have retired with the benefit of huge super payouts, a lifetime of unprecedented prosperity and houses purchased in the old days for tens of thousands now worth millions.  Ask any young bloke under 40 and these same cars are meaningless to them - They youngsters will crave a mint WRX to restore in years to come because that's what they have a memory of, while the overpriced muscle cars resume their "moderately interesting" status and a sensible price reflecting it.

Ebay tends to capture people with $$$ looking for a bargain or something they can make more $$$ out of - forget the auction houses, you will only be paying them a lions share of the profits.

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