Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Edinburgh Festival Tram Experience Mindmap


Dear Marie,  I trust this email finds you in your usual good spirits?

Unfortunately Marie, I am currently in the most foul of spirits,  it being the case that I caught sight of the front page of that poor excuse for a chip wrapper, the Edinburgh Evening News, last Friday.

I have been fuming about it all weekend - they are purposely ridiculing our Edinburgh Trams.

In case you didn't see it, they printed an image of an Edinburgh tram travelling along Princes Street filled with fictional characters from the children's TV programme 'The Magic Roundabout'.  I knew immediately that there was some sort of photo manipulation trickery involved,  as even the most powerful magic won't get a tram running through the streets of Edinburgh anytime soon.

If that wasn't insult enough,  inside they mentioned that we are recruiting 11 tram drivers "FOUR OF WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN RECRUITED". 

What's going on Marie? As the Tram General Manager OF THE FUTURE,  surely I should have been made aware of these appointments? I am not prepared to be the sort of General Manager who, in the manner of Councillor Steve Cardownie, is constantly caught on the back foot and having to give hollow responses about being 'totally shocked and stunned' all the time. This project needs someone who is hands-on.

What's more,  I have already made a lot of promises to friends and family about the possibility of jobs on the trams once I have been appointed,  and I am somewhat concerned that someone else may be trying to grab all the peachy jobs for their mates before I have even started.

Please do not recruit any more people onto the project until I get there and have time to sort everything out,  thank you.

On similar subject, I am quite concerned about all the negative publicity we have been receiving lately. If it is indeed the case that we need to constantly run our 26 trams in circles round the depot to stop them from seizing up, then we should be engaging the public with some POSITIVE SPIN on these press releases.

Doesn't Edinburgh Trams employ a public relations company Marie? If we do, then it seems to me they are not doing a very good job, and one of my first actions as TRAM GENERAL MANAGER will be to replace them with someone more competent.

There's a well-known PR phrase 'you can't polish a turd', but that doesn't mean we should give up on our public image entirely.

For example, as TRAM GENERAL MANAGER I would invite the paying public to come and watch the spectacle of the trams going round in circles. During the festival especially, we could charge tourists £5 admission just to watch that. Last year I went to see Paul Daniels during the festival. He's not been on the telly since 1986, and his show was still SOLD OUT, Marie! If people will pay good money to see Paul Daniels in a theatre, just think how much they would pay to see his show ONBOARD A TRAM? I'm pretty sure he would be up for this, if you want me to ask him, just let me know.

Some might consider watching trams going round in circles, and on board celebrity Magic shows a bit tame, but we can also entertain the more adventurous with my awesome idea for TRAM JOUSTING. A couple of people could sit on top of trams (which would go in opposite directions round the test tracks), each contestant would wear an inflatable Sumo Wrestler outfit for health and safety reasons (I know a guy that rents these out by the day), and would wield a 'jousting pole' which could be fashioned from one of the unused tram poles we were going to put down Leith Walk before that all got abandoned. As the trams pass each other at speed, the contestants could attempt to 'joust' each other off the tram. I reckon a lot of people would be up for this, particularly if we offered a small prize, and a competitor charge of £20 a head would not be unreasonable. We'd also get lots of spectators for a exciting spectacle like that.

I know these are a lot of ideas to take in Marie, and to be honest, I've not thought them all through properly yet, but I've produced a MIND MAP diagram to help you visualise the sort of things I am thinking of for my EDINBURGH FESTIVAL TRAMS EXPERIENCE. I think something like this would help repair some of the public relations damage caused by the disruption this project has inflicted on the people of Edinburgh to date, and would help bring both tourists and Edinburgh Council Tax payers back ON BOARD the Tram Project.

Edinburgh Needs Trams.


THE EDINBURGH TRAMS EXPERIENCE needs a visionary like me.

I look forward to discussing these ideas further at interview.

Aldo Broon
Tram Visionary, Public Relations Consultant and General Manager OF THE FUTURE


  1. Can I suggest adding a "tram victim"? Inevitably, some poor member of the public is going to be hit by a tram and suffer some bruising or more serious injury and there'll be a media-frenzy as a result. So, why not seize control of the future and ask for a member of the public to offer him/herself to be this victim. This is a win-win situation: the trams win as you get to select where and when the impact occurs and the "victim" gets the publicity, and the satisfaction of taking part in a historic event!

  2. Thank you MikeZonk, that is an interesting idea. Although I reckon there is already a very long list of people who consider themselves 'tram victims', you are quite correct that there may be a certain cachet associated with being the first person to be physically injured by a NEW Edinburgh Tram. Certainly the individual would go down in history, maybe even getting a mention on the Trams page of Wikipedia, without someone coming along and immediately removing it again. Perhaps some sort of competition is in order 'Answer in 30 words or less - I consider myself the NUMBER ONE VICTIM of Edinburgh Trams because...'

  3. Hi Aldo

    I hope you don't mind me adding my tuppence worth!

    The wrestlers are a good idea, but there is a danger and a crowd puller that you haven't factored into your mind map. As you know perfectly well the trams are powered from overhead lines with a pantograph (the sticky up bit), if you are to set wrestlers against each other this would add a additional spark. If either of the contestants were to contact the OH lines it would mean certain death. Sorry to be so dramatic but to make the most of this you would need to initially screen the contestants, giving preference to previous TIE employees starting with the most senior, I would not turn away the odd CEC director.

    If you set it up this way it will certainly draw the crowds, if you considered doing it at night it might even light the place up, it will certainly get their hair standing on end!

    Aldo the Great


  4. I'm always glad to hear your suggestions Nemisis, thankyou!

    You are quite correct to point out that I had omitted all the poles and tram cables from my diagram, although this was in keeping with the official artists impressions where they always seem to miss out the unsightly bits. For example, none of the artists impressions I've seen of Haymarket have ever depicted it as the post-apocalyptic wasteland it now appears, or feature the guy from that print shop putting huge tram-hate posters in his windows.

    I like your idea about the electrification of ex-TIE employees and CEC directors, I like it A LOT.

    I am not sure how we could convince them to take part, but having thought about it, I have come up with an idea. I reckon most of them, although they have now been kicked off the project with big payouts, are probably still greedy enough to come back for more. Also, with their time working on the Trams on their CVs, I think most of them will remain unemployed for a very long time.

    Therefore, once I get the TRAM GENERAL MANAGER job, I'll get Marie to look up their personal details and we'll write to them all offering them cushy well-paid jobs as conductors on the trams. They'll surely jump at the chance to get back on the gravy-tram!

    Only when they turn up for work will they discover the position is for an ELECTRICITY CONDUCTOR, strapped to the roof, soaking wet and holding a metal golf club.

    Rest assured, I will be sending you a set of FREE TICKETS for this spectacle, seeing as how it was your idea in the first place.

    Best Wishes,

    Aldo, Tram GENERAL MANAGER of the FUTURE

  5. Edinburgh trams will offer private joyrides
    Reported in the Edinburgh Evening News - 23rd August 2012


    Sadly no credit for the source of the original idea was given.


Thanks for your comment! I hope you continue to enjoy following Aldo's Quest to get himself on the Edinburgh Gravy-Tram!