Series 1, 1996 & Optus LocalVision
The “Transit” Community TV program was started in 1996. The first 13 minute episodes were produced as independent productions at Optus Vision’s LocalVision facility. They also screened the programs on LocalVision (then ch.50 on Optus Vision) several times. (Sadly, the LocalVision station and facility was closed down by Optus Vision in mid 1998)
Moving to Northern Access TV
After the production of these episodes, I transferred the program to Northern Access Television (where I had been a member since 1995), and three of the LocalVision produced episodes (Bylands Tramway Museum and the two Melbourne/Calcutta shows) were aired on Melbourne’s free to air Community station–Channel 31 in late 1996.
Victoria’s Tramway Museum
(LocalVision Ep.1–Ch.31 Ep.1)
The first episode of Transit was the ultimate “spur of the moment” production! We all visited the Museum as a group and did the show during our visit. It was soon realized that such “spur of the moment” production wasn’t going to work, but we still put it to air on both C31 and LocalVision. The first words for the series were “Good Evening Viewers and Welcome To Television!” from presenter Adam Vanlieshout. These were also the first words on Commercial TV in Australia back in 1956.
Southside Wanderer Launch
The second episode was footage of the launch of London Transport Bus Tour’s “Southside Wanderer” tourist service. The program was basically “edited highlights” of the launch and first trip on the service. No presenter was used on this episode.
Grenda’s Bus Service Reunion
An ad for the Grenda’s 50 year reunion was seen in the local paper, and permission was sought to film it for “Transit”. This permission was granted, and the episode consisted of
edited highlights from the speeches with cutaway footage from earlier in the day.
Melbourne Trammies Calling Calcutta 1
(LocalVision Ep.4–Ch.31 Ep.2)
The first involvement of Roberto D’Andrea in Transit was in this series of two programs on the Melbourne – Calcutta Sister City Relationship with it’s tramways. We met a few of the trammies from South Melbourne Depot in this episode.
Melbourne Trammies Calling Calcutta 2
(LocalVision Ep.5–Ch.31 Ep.3)
With heaps of stuff shot at the Depot, a second episode was produced continuing on from the previous episode. An interview with one of the Shedmen was a highlight of the episode.
Sandringham Bus Depot
With my friend Lucas Mayr working at Sandringham Depot for a week (on loan from Footscray Bus Depot), the chance was taken to take a look behind the scenes of this small depot near Sandringham Rail Station.
Manager Andrew Hall explained some of the items used by drivers and also discussed was the problem of graffiti on the buses. The episode was shot whilst in the hands of Met Bus, the depot has since passed to new owners Melbourne Bus Link.