Saturday, May 02, 2009

50 Years to the Day

In the spring of 1959, I was a 17 year old schoolboy living in Matlock. Having lived in small towns and rural areas all my life I knew nothing about trams but had been a serious train spotter and, more unusually, a bus spotter. The highlight of each month was the arrival of Buses Illustrated. In April I read a small paragraph in the Matlock Mercury which said that a tram museum run by volunteers was going to be set up in the disused Crich Quarry. I had read of the Tallylyn and Ffestiniog railways and so I though this might be interesting.
On Saturday, 2nd May I rode my bike up to Crich and looked down into the quarry from the Stand and saw four or five people and a dog pushing a small railway wagon full of stones. I went down and introduced myself to Denis Gill who was the leader of a Manchester area working party. Denis was very enthusiastic and ensured that I went away with a membership form and he followed this up by sending me an article about the Matlock cable tramway. I saved up my 7/6d and joined the Tramway Museum Society becoming member number 102.

Fifty years later I have accepted an invitation by the Chairman to a reception celebrating 50 Years of the National Tramway Museum at Crich which I will be proud to attend.

This same afternoon, I have also received issue 4 of Tramways Monthly. Who could have imagined the internet 50 years ago? Matlock still had a manual telephone exchange and only one house in our row had a phone and that was a party line.

We don't know what the world will be like in 2059 but we can be certain that the Museum will have to change and adapt in order to survive and prosper. So here's to another 50 eventful years!

Thanks for your comments Jack. I will be at Crich tomorrow afternoon and will look out for you and Dan and perhaps let you take me for a ride.

1 comment:

  1. Jack Gordon2/5/09 19:23


    I hope that you have had a good trip, and by the sounds of it you also enjoyed TM4! TM5 is going to be very Crich related... if you have any photos of the past 50 years, or memories etc that you wish to send in then please do! Unfortunately, I wasn't around to cover it!

    I'm crewing tomorrow if you're at the museum, with Dan Heeley. I hope it's a good day!

    Glad to hear about your invitation, I guess this is finally some good news for you!

    Anyway, hope to see you again soon - it might well be Crich50 now - i'm in the 'shop on the Sunday (doing the workshop tours and guarding a works car apparently!) and crewing on the Monday, again with Dan Heeley. In fact... every time I currently plan to be in during May seems to be with Dan!

    Take care and speak soon,