I spent the morning at the archives in Stratford-upon-Avon looking at a selection of papers relating to the Stratford & Moreton Tramway (of which i have written about before). For some idea i have had a vague idea that the tramway could be the basis of my dissertation or at least the EMA that will mark the end of my current course. However the deadline is now fast approaching and so i have been evaluating a few papers to see if studying the tramway is a viable option (as there is no point choosing something to research if there is little material surviving to actually research).
I also need to tie down exactly what i am going to research about the tramway, as i can't just say i am "researching the tramway" i have to tie it into the themes of my MA course somehow. Industrialisation is a key theme of course, maybe i can look to how the tramway affected businesses and trade in the South Warwickshire. As the tramway was a bit of a failure its likely i am going to have to try and find out why it didn't affect business that much! Of course this can mean i can compare the tramway to other contemporary transport systems which were more successful...
Two of the three sources i looked at (the third didn't really have anything for me) involved illegal carriage of passengers, in one case carrying passengers illegally on a coal wagon (which resulted in a fine) and another case where a man fell off a coal wagon (resulting in his death). Maybe this could be another aspect of study, more a social effect. Why did people travel illegally, was it expensive?
I probably need to do some more research before i commit to anything, though to be honest i do not have much alternative idea as to what to do... Anyway i took some photos in Stratford today too and you can see them here.