Ballarat's last tram ended its run with a party following it, breaking through streamers at the depot with hundreds of people celebrating.
It was September 19, 1971, and apart from the famous tourist tram at the lake, trams haven't run in Ballarat since.
The network was torn up bit by bit - there's still a bit of track in the Sturt Street gardens if you look for it - and the trams decommissioned.
WERE YOU ON THE LAST TRAM? LET US KNOW BELOW
Leading up to that last day, a group of Ballarat-based tram enthusiasts, and some younger ones from Melbourne, met up to create the Ballarat Tramway Museum.
Richard Gilbert, a museum life member, was in the room as the last trams were ending their runs.
"On the very last day, the early afternoon, we had a board meeting, so we were missing out on a bit of the action to have a meeting to decide what happens after the gates shut," he said.
"We didn't get formed a week before, we were well organised and a good six months in before the trams closed."
After the meeting, Mr Gilbert and some other enthusiasts took the last tram to head up the Sturt Street hill from Lydiard Street, a Number 40 to Sebastopol.
"I thought it was more appropriate to ride from Sturt Street past the Town Hall, rather than the great carnival coming up from Sebastopol," he said with a laugh.
"There were six or seven of us riding from the corner of Sturt and Lydiard, the last one ever to leave the city - I went up to the hospital, then got in my car and went back to the depot.
"It just ground its way up the Sturt Street hill for the last time ever."
When the tram hit Sebastopol, the celebration was just getting started, with people taking pictures and following it back to the depot on Forest Street in their cars.
"As the momentum built up into the evening, it was more people into trams as a hobby, we were cramming on and riding between the city and the cemetery and Sebastopol," Mr Gilbert remembered.
"People were congregating around Sebastopol, crowding onto the last tram, it was this great carnival atmosphere, people blasting horns - it was quite an atmosphere.
"It was accepted, but it was a celebratory scene - it wasn't about having protests to bring the trams back, it was just a celebratory occasion for all the people who enjoyed the trams and accepting it was all over."
Since then, the Ballarat Tramway Museum has been able to look after several retired trams, with the collection expanding to include original horse-drawn trams from the 1880s, specimens from each of the pre-SEC corporations, and even a rare Geelong tram.
"It's living history, it's hands-on," Mr Gilbert said.
"In 1971, we never envisaged we'd be where we are - the young ones who joined, who never saw that era, can pick up the history and nostalgia and involve themselves in a very practical way."
One younger member is Sam Boon, who is now assistant operations manager.
With the museum preparing to open its new, purpose-built exhibition hall - fully funded by members - it's an exciting time, he said.
"I joined when I was much younger, about the age of 14 - we were given a lot of responsibility, we became conductors and some of us became tram drivers when we turned 18," he said.
"There are people who aren't just rail or tram fans, there are people from all different walks of life.
"People are interested in the history, and that's what's great about the new building, it's set up for visitors and volunteers to showcase Ballarat's history."
When the museum opens, hopefully by the end of this year or early the next, there'll be a search for more volunteers to help out.
"For me, like a lot of people, it's kind of my escape from my everyday life," Mr Boon said.
"It's the history, being part of something so important to Ballarat, you can actually get on and drive a 100-year-old tram, you're not just looking at it in a static museum, you can get involved."
But could trams ever return to the streets of Ballarat? With the current growing pains, Mr Gilbert and Mr Boon reckon it's not a bad idea.
IN THE NEWS
"There's always scope for light rail development - it's happening right now, in Canberra, Newcastle, and Sydney, and Adelaide's extending theirs - it should be taken on seriously, it can help with traffic problems in density in cities," Mr Gilbert said.
"Look at Lucas through to Ballarat East, a cross-town service, it can link all the bus routes and link the major transport routes."
"I think it would be a good investment for the sprawling parts of Ballarat, I think it's probably viable, it's not without doubt," Mr Boon added.
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