Post 9 Catching the Tram in Kirkgate Leeds C 1950’s by Pete Lapish.


We are taking a diversion here to consider one of my many city tramway paintings created from the late 1970’s until the early 2000’s. These included images for Leeds and other cities commissioned by Heather Hilder for quality Kingsmead cards. The latter all for Hospital or Hospice Charities.

The buildings and the historic street scenes were as interesting to me as the historic vehicles by then long departed. The last Leeds trams ran in 1959. The city was in the grip of modernisation. Why did I feel the need to recreate scenes and atmosphere of my childhood and youth ?   I suppose tramways and railways are part of my D N A.

This painting is derived from a ” base ” black and white photograph containing the buildings. As far as I  can remember, one tram only, the Horsfield No 192 was incorporated into the composition. All other trams came from various sources, resized and probably remodelled to fit onto the tracks. One is an ex London Feltham repainted in the new Leeds livery of red which inspired the colour to be spread to the majority of the Leeds fleet. At that time I had built up a small library of books and other material as one had to be quite knowledgeable about the historical aspects. This included the sourcing of other specific material like the advertisements. Time consuming believe me ! ! !

No doubt I I would have visited the site to photograph it in colour. Finally assemble all my material, decide the COMPOSITION ,create tram crew and other people, draw it all up and paint it.   Notice how I have included  tramway posts and a person on the extreme right to balance my picture and to provide a “stop end”.

To keep a common 4:3 format cropping has taken place, a composition within a composition.

In association with www.petelapish.art