Restoring a slice of history

Students with teacher Nathan Zamprogno next to the 1934 tram they are restoring. Photo: Melinda Jane
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It’s been three years since Nepean Christian School acquired a 1934 tram, which they decked out to become one of the quirkiest senior study spaces.

The inside of the number 1849 tram was renovated back in 2014 by the school and includes air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a mini fridge and wheelchair access.

The exterior of the tram however, had been left untouched since it was rescued from the Londonderry tram graveyard, until English and Technology teacher, Nathan Zamprogno, decided it was also due for a makeover.

“I conceived the project as a way of encouraging recently idle Year 12 students, fresh from their HSC exams, to come and give back to the school,” he said.

“Stretching ourselves to learn new skills and being self-motivated to see a need and address it, is at the core of what I teach, and is important to what our school is about.”

With the help and guidance from local paint shop Auto West, Mr Zamprogno and the former Year 12 students have started to restore the tram back to its former glory.

“I had no previous experience with restoration when we began, I simply saw a lovely piece of our heritage and a quirky presence on our campus in need of some TLC,” Mr Zamprogno said.

“The tram is being re-painted with colours true to the original livery, older readers may recall Sydney trams in green and yellow, and I feel it is important to remain authentic to its history.

“There were also lovely brass parts that were entirely painted over and have now been sandblasted and polished, and wood-rot and corrosion repaired, which threatened to prevent the tram from being here in another 83 years.”

Year 12 student Joel Baillie, who is part of the restoration team, said the project has been a privilege to be part of.

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