For now, the Napier tram line ticket collector is off duty — his return to "work" not yet determined.
Several passengers, attired in the Art Deco dress of that era, and waiting in Battery Rd for the tram to arrive from Shakespeare Rd, have also left the building.
Whether they all return or not is yet to be decided in the wake of the tram shelter and public toilets building undergoing a major, and much-needed, restoration and re-painting programme which unfortunately saw the mural images covered.
One man who will be watching developments concerning potential redecoration is historian and writer Graham Stewart who through the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society has produced a book on the historic electric trams titled Napier's Royal Blue Trams 1913-1931.
As Stewart said — "the Battery Road tram shelter is a silent memorial to the tram days in Napier".
And they were colourful days, although they were not destined to last, for after the first five trams brought in to provide Napier's transportation system were given the green light in 1913 they were off the tracks just 18 years later after the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake wrecked the landscape ... and of course the network of tram tracks.
The Napier Borough Council obtained the required loan finance for the tramway system in 1911 and planning began, although it was not an idea which appealed to everyone.
Some regarded the plan as foolish, and some sort of extravagant attempt to bring Napier, a small provincial town of merely 11,000 residents then, into line with the four main centres.
However, the majority of ratepayers gave the green light of approval to the funding required, which actually needed a boost because of the high crowns in the roads they were going to run and the lowering of sewer pipes during construction.
With the main depot set in Faraday St, the trams were to run along Thackeray St, Dickens St, Hastings St, Shakespeare Rd, over to Battery Rd and Ossian St to the Port Ahuriri terminal.
There was a push to extend the tramway to the expanding residential suburbs to the west and the south of the city but that struck a major barrier.
Or two thin steel barriers to the be precise — in the form of railway tracks.
The Railways Department did not want tram tracks crossing through their tracks unless the council was prepared to set up an elaborate signalling system and, as Stewart notes, there was a suggestion that tram conductors should go ahead of each tram "with a red flag at railway level crossings".
That glitch emerged in 1921 and had still not been resolved when Mother Nature stepped in and resolved the whole issue of trams.
The great earthquake effectively derailed the whole system.
But when they ran there weregood numbers, and on the day back in September 1913 when the first tram set off a crowd of around 1500 people assembled along Hastings St and Shakespeare Rd.
On that opening day 3947 passengers rode on the three trams in service, with the other two trams hitting the rails a few days later.
It was however not a straightforward system of transport and as Stewart noted another "obstacle" later emerged when more tramcars were sought, for there was a working issue with the gauge of the tracks chosen — which were the same as Government railways.
"A municipal tramway with so many problems and struggling financially to balance the books when the earthquake of 1931 gave the city fathers the way out."
That event was described by motorman Jim Minto, who had been driving a tram back to the central city from Port Ahuriri when it struck and lifted and shook it.
"The tram was shaken like a fox terrier playing a rat," he said.
While the trams and the tracks disappeared the tram shelter at the foot of Shakespeare Rd where it meets Battery Rd remained — and stands there today.
Through artist Brenda Morrell it had been turned into a fine piece of Art Deco inspired historical art which drew lots of acclaim, and photographs.
The building is accordingly featured in Stewart's book and he made contact with the Napier City Council about its design future in the wake of the extensive restoration.
A council spokesperson said the original plan was to repaint the structure but leave the murals intact.
However, once the restoration began it became clear that more extensive work was required.
"In order to avoid further deterioration of the walls we needed to repair and repaint the entire structure."
That included essential recladding as time had knocked it about.
Council had contacted Morrell about replacing the murals but she said she was no longer able to do the work.
"This means that we have to leave the structure without murals until we decide what to do."