Richard the chilled out conductor!
Surely a bit of a loss by not laying the cobbles back down, at least in the bottom end of the street scene. Does this mean in the future the rest of the street will be tarmac as renewals take place.Thought it was meant to be a typical tramway street scene recreation.
Crich had received a number of complaints about the surface at Town End, and due to (ridiculous) H&S pressures the Permanent Way team with contractors Balfour Beatty decided to lay tarmac for a smoother surface and easier access to the trams.I totally agree with you Paul, and I find it goes against the original intentions of the Museum's Founders. As a Conductor at Crich, it irritates me every time I see it with tarmac rather than setts (proper name for cobbles).
Rich. Whilst I don't want to dampen you obvious enthusiasm I think you should get your facts straight before making rash and outspoken statements about the surfaces at Town End and the reasons for the minor changes on a public forum. If you and Paul feel so strongly about the setts (look up cobbles and setts in the dictionary)may I suggest that you both roll your sleeves up, buy some knee pads and offer yor services to the Outside Works Dept. I'm sure they'd welcome your assistance with open arms!
The reason for there being no setts is simply due to the time it takes to lay them! The work overran due to the weather as it was; laying setts (Which would have to have been done by the Museum's Outside Works dept) would have delayed it further still. Get stuck in rather thank complaining - better Town End open than not!
The change from setts to tarmac is, perhaps regrettably, a sensible move. Where the public have to walk or move with wheelchairs and buggies setts are a pain. I walk regularly on setts and find it uncomfortable even though I have not yet become seriously aged. However, if Town End had been equipped with a crossover of the other hand or - lovely thought - the scissors crossing advocated on this blog, passengers would not have had to cross the siding to reach the trams and setts could have been used.J
I agree with what Jason Bourne says and roll your sleeves up and do some hard work in SETT laying. I also suggest that Paul and Rich look over old photos of tramways and notice that tarmac was used in quite a lot of places so it isn't untypical. SO get your fact and thoughts (without the use of rose tinted specs) right before making such comments.
I already do work at Crich, as a Conductor. Do any of the rest of you (apart from Jack) do anything to assist the running of Crich in any way? If not, why not! lol
New track at Crich was never instantly paved with setts. Some other form of surfacing was always used initially - in the early days it was hard-packed cinders, later hard-packed limestone dust, sometimes ballast, later still tarmac. Then when anyone felt enthused enough, the old material was dug out in manageable sections - a metre or two at a time - and paved with setts. A perfectly authentic appearance or smoothness is never likely to be easy to create in preservation because setts in their original locations were polished for decades by horses' hooves and steel-shod tyres, and the only way to replicate that fine finish today would be to artificially grind and polish the sett-paved surface, which might actually be worthwhile one day. Until then, setts properly laid do look the part, especially when wetness reveals the subtle colour variations of the granite which nicely sets (sorry) off the bright colours of the trams especially when their lights reflect off the wet granite. Such is the essence of the genuine tramway scene. And the setts do have a provenance which is worth interpreting to the public, such as which quarry or part of the country they originally came from, how they were transported, and in which city they were formerly laid.