Saturday, September 27, 2008


We are going to Portugal tomorrow by plane from EMA. Just 30 years and one month ago we drove to Lisbon and back in August 1978. I have put some pictures of this trip at and intend to add some of today's Portugal. There are two pictures of Oporto 273 in service.
Sat 4th Oct - weather in Portugal warm and sunny. I will try and post some Lisbon tram pics later this evening.

Friday, September 26, 2008

John Gardner

I was very sorry to hear of John Gardner's death. John was interested in trams and trains and was a regular member of the track gang from the very early days - working in all weathers most Sundays. (Saturday was his Butterley day.) John was affectionatly know as 'Wobbly John' and simply came to Crich and got on with the job. He can be seen wearing his usual overalls in three of these pictures
Without people like John there would be no National Tramway Museum today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Enthusiasts' Day

Don't forget that Saturday (27th) is Enthusiasts Day with a day long programme of events including a Blackpool cavalcade. "A special bus (suspected to be ex-Western SMT) will meet the following trains at Whatstandwell Stn; 09 51, 11.51, 13 30.The bus will depart the museum for Whatstandwell Stn at 15 30 (to connect with 15 48 train) & 16 50 (to connect with 17 11 train)."
1. Balfour Beatty attending to the point dummy at Town End.
2. Ripley & Heanor News photographer and Glynn Wilton.
3. A number of civic dignitaries including the Mayor of Amber Valley visited the Museum.
4. Southampton 45 was used to test the newly welded pointwork.
To answers Jack's questions: the photograph was posed. Service tram (60) is about to run wrong line to the Depot Crossover and works tram 45 has come wrong line from the depot.
Until the work was complete the northbound service trams were crossing over at the depot crossover and then taking the left hand tracks to Cliffside.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hello from Poland (and more good news)

Today I am delighted to have received an email from Łukasz Stefańczyk in Lodz, Poland. Lukasz has seen my picture of a Lodz tram in the historical section and wants to know when it was taken etc. I will reply later this evening.

I have copied the following announcement from the Museum's offical web site which is in addition to the HLF grant.
"Crich Tramway Village has been rewarded with various grants to improve and develop areas of the museum. Some of the funding is to be used to improve the signage around the Woodland Walk area. A proportion of the money will go towards the Rolls Royce Community Development project, which is to start early next year. The museum is also to take part in a pilot staff training programme over the winter."
1 & 2. A couple of pictures of the trams in the depot today.
3. Today's service trams were Glasgow 812 and Leeds 180.
4. I spent the day clearing these shelves as a first step towards reorganising the library.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Summer at last (and other good news)

1. The multiskilled, multdisciplinary workshop team at work.
2. Blackpool and Fleetwood 2 seen from the top deck of Paisley 68.
3. Paisley 68.
4. Please refer to for the news that the HLF have approved the grant application for the Stone Workshop. Today's Derby Evening Telegraph also contains a brief report under the heading 'Lottery cash for learning centre'. Details of the application were published in the July issue of the TMS Journal.
Congratulations to Laura in her timely update of the official web site. I had been hoping to publish this exciting news first but she got there before me.
Finally a request to The Board of Management of the Tramway Museum Society - 'get off my back - please!'. The whole idea of press releases is to broadcast news. It is daft to try to place an embargo on this blog when the cat is already out of the bag.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


1. Jo'burg 60 at Town End. The tripod belongs to Grant Rail's surveyors.
2. Cardiff 131's truck complete with motors.
3. Richard Stead fitting glass to 131; Lawrence Dutton can also be seen on the left rubbing down the paintwork.
4. Blackpool 40 and a VW camper van.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Picasa 3

I have downloaded the latest version of Google's Picasa software and have been playing with it.
This picture shows that text can now be written inside the picture.
I have also made some collages and added them to the Historical Section .
Any comments?
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Friday, September 12, 2008


1. This jack has recently been donated to the Museum. BOURNEMOUTH CORPORATION TRAMWAYS is cast on the base. YOUNGS RYLAND ST WORKS BIRMINGHAM on the handle.
2. Glasgow trams carried much larger jacks as seen here under the staircase on 812.
Does anyone know if Bournemouth trams carried these much smaller and neater jacks?
3. This picture was taken the day after the point dummy was welded and re-profiled. The path of the wheel flanges in the straight direction can already be seen.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Point Work

Yesterday's pictures of Balfour Beatty at work. The north bound depot crossover point and the depot entrance points received attention. Both of these are single bladed points with a dummy mate. In each case the worn grooves in the dummy were filled with weld and then ground down to produce a level surface for the wheel flange.
1. General view looking northwards.
2. General view looking southwards. The depot gates which it is planned to repaint this winter can clearly be seen.
3. The completed point dummy on the left.

Pat Lidgett

Gary Conn sent me these pictures taken last Friday when Pat Lidgett took early retirement from tram driving.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Mike Crabtree took these pictures yesterday before his digital camera packed up due to getting soaked in the rain.
1. Depot fan covered in Beatles and camper vans.
2. Leeds 399 in front of the depot gates.
3. Leeds 399 and Blackpool 167 through the arches.
4. Campervans. We hired a new VW campervan in 1974 for a family holiday to Scotland. It rained every day! I will add a few pics to the Archive shortly.
Now the good news. Mike dried his camera in the airing cupboard and it is working again now.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Railings and Trams

I won't be able to get to the Beetle Drive on Sunday. Please send me a few pictures.
1. This section of railings has been repainted in a morning by teamwork. Contractors arrived at 6:00 am with sandblasting equipment. A team of workshop and operations staff then cleaned up the sand - all this before the Museum opened at 10:00.
2. Cardiff 131 yesterday.
3. Richard Stead at work on 131.
4. MET 331's motors and wheels have been removed and now the trucks are being dismantled.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

A Lack of Customer Care

Gary Conn has sent me these pictures he took at Crich last week.
1. On Bank Holiday Monday afternoon Blackpool 40 dewired on the Town End trolley reverser and a queue of trams soon built up. Click on the picture to enlarge it - how many familiar faces can you recognise?
2. Liverpool 869 blew its breakers between Wakebridge and Glory Mine just before 40 dewired. It was parked at Glory Mine until later in the day when Gary helped Lawrence Dutton and John Shawcross to retrieve it with Blackpool 717. It was subsequently checked over and returned to service by Saturday.
3. John Shawcross, James Blythe and Martin Gurr.
4. On Wednesday, Gary caught me in the act of taking a picture for this blog. Look carefully and you can even see the library key in my back pocket.
In reply to the comments:
I was at Town End when 40 dewired.
The dewirement happened between 15:08 and 15:11 and by 15:35, 40 had been evacuated and parked at Town End. At 15:36 Paisley 68 was picking up 40's passengers. By 15:38 Blackpool 2 and Sheffield 74 were ready for loading.
We must accept that from time to time there will be delays caused by minor incidents. Where I think we let ourselves down was by not explaining what was happening to our customers. There is no need for both the driver and conductor to stay with a stationary tram. They can be parked safely just as for a lunch break. The crews can than explain to customers what is happening and appologise for the delay. That way 20 minutes will pass quickly and the customers will appreciate our efforts to sort things out and to keep them involved.

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