Sydney Tramways: Randwick Racecourse crowds (c.1928)

Sydney Tramways: Randwick Racecourse crowds (c.1928)
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At the conclusion of the final race in the Sydney Cup at Randwick Racecourse, a large crowd is marshalled out to waiting trams.

Thousands of people stream onto the platform and pile in before they travel out of shot and onto their destination. In the upper background of the frame, another section of the crowd can just be seen climbing the steps to the footbridge which passes over the trams below.

This clip shows an extraordinarily large crowd leaving the Randwick Racecourse and miraculously piling into dozens of waiting trams without a single person being crushed.

It is astounding to see such a dense and seemingly endless stream of people moved so efficiently. An intertitle at the opening of this segment indicates that the trams transported over 1,000 people per minute away from the racecourse. The multi-door design allowed for passengers to alight and disembark quickly and easily.

This documentary material was probably filmed by Cinesound, possibly as a promotion for Sydney’s extensive tramway system. It presents mostly as actuality footage (although it does contain intertitles) and offers a vivid portrait of a growing and bustling city at a time when Sydney’s population had just passed one million.

Poppy De Souza