Sunday, July 31, 2011

Manx Heritage Transport Festival

Geoff Pickles has sent me some photos taken yesterday morning at Derby Castle tram terminus, Douglas, Isle of Man, showing car 7 and trailer 48 in their new livery, about to depart as the scheduled 09:40 service to Laxey and Ramsey.  As you can probably tell from the abnormally full load, most of the passengers were enthusiasts!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Glasgow 812 and Berlin 3006 (a good day)

The weather forecast yesterday was cloudy with rain in the afternoon so we had one of my favourite trams, Glasgow 812. It didn't rain and the Museum was quite busy with nearly full loads on three trams. Berlin 3006 was brought out at 14:00 for a pre-booked party of old folk and we made three trips on this carrying a total of ten wheelchair users which is a record for me. We rounded off a very pleasant day with four more trips on 812 - a total of 12 in all.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alice in Woodland

Preparations for a new event "Alice in Woodland" which will run alongside the transport gathering on August 28th and 29th. Andrew Willis (right) is seen discussing plans with two art students from Highfields School in Matlock. The next four pictures are "Trams in Woodland" with trees partially obscuring Southampton 45, Glasgow 22 and Jo'burg 60 yesterday.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


From Rich Westman
"I was in Blackpool on Monday, and got a few photos including of the first Modified Balloon in service (720).  Attached are a selection.
A bit of news from Blackpool too.  Apparently the crews hate the new, automatic doors with a warning beep and a voice saying "Warning, Doors Opening/Closing", and they are so slow to open and close it's mucking up the timetable.
762 was in its new Nickelodeon Land (Pleasure Beach) vinyls.  632 made an appearance too, in the morning, but went away before I could get a photo."
Unmodified balloon 719.

Unmodified balloon 717.

Open boat 600.

Nickelodeon 762.

Modified balloon 720 with 600.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oops (2)

An other picture from John George. This one was taken on 17th April.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Blackpool 167

Blackpool 167 is currently stored in Depot II whilst its motor and bearing problems are sorted out.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011


At yesterday's AGM Colin Heaton, Chairman of the Tramway Museum Society, deplored some of the things that happen in the online social media. I agree with him wholeheartedly. Colin said that staff could be disciplined for posting on the net and that perhaps we will have to say "sorry you are not welcome" to members who insist on character assassination.
Please take this into account when posting comments to this blog. When you press the send key your words will be published to the whole wide world - not just to your mates. The spam filters look for words like Viagra and I will always correct errors or delete individual posts that are brought to my notice but that is after the event.
Unless comments become more restrained and objective I suspect that the next action will be for the messenger to be shot.

Interestingly this blog is looked at by more people than voted in yesterday's election so it would be a shame to loose it. Last week there was an average of 233 unique visits per day and an average 516 page views per day (whatever that means).

Thanks for your co-operation.
Richard Lomas

Stone workshop (18) - the new learning centre

The informal morning meeting was held in this room (the ground floor of the stone workshop). As can be seen there are no windows and with its thick walls the pupils won't be distrubed by passing trams but might be distracted by the drone of the air conditioning system.
I asked my two questions at the meetings and have added the answers in red.
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

TMS election results

Andrew Pendleton 105 votes
Karen Rigg 152 votes
Nick Sturgess 137 votes
Richard Sykes 168 votes
Malcolm Wright 155 votes

Congratulations to Nick. Andrew you are still a young man so don't give up. I was very disappointed that very few young members attended the AGM. I suspect they have decided that the future lies elsewhere.

A tram man's holiday

Keith Chadbourne who is usually the inspector at Crich on Fridays was on holiday this week - driving trams at Seaton.
My driver on Rack 2 was Ian Longworth who was also on holiday from his regular job which includes duties as a tram driver on the Manx Electric Railway.
Alan James was also on holiday at Crich having travelled up from Brighton for a few days.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

AGM reminder

Don't forget that the Tramway Museum Society's AGM will be held on Saturday, 23rd July. I hope to attend and ask a couple of questions.

  • At the informal morning meeting I intend to ask about the future use of trolley reversers. I find handling bamboo canes quite difficult and I have to decide whether to continue as a tram conductor into my 70s or to retire this year.  
  • The trolley reverser at Town End is waiting for routine maintenance and should be in use later this week. The trolley reverser at Glory Mine has not yet been commissioned. This requires input from both engineering and traffic staff to agree a formal method of use. It is now planned to include this in next winter's work program on the overhead line. It was agreed that on the balance of probabilities it should be in use next year and it is worth my while renewing my conductors licence.
  • At the AGM I intend to ask about the composition of Central Standing Committees and how I should pursue my ambition of serving for a few years on the Collections Management Committee. 
  • There are six such committes and their composition varies from completely open and democratic to completely closed and autocratic. I am drafting a report of the AGM for The Journal and will include a brief overview of each. Sadly the Collections Management Committe is completely closed and membership is by invitation only. Applications are not accepted from TMS members. I still think this goes against the spirit of an Equal Opportunities Policy and will continue to campaign to get the rules changed.

Componants for LUT 159

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


John George has sent me this Amsterdam picture.
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It rained on Monday

so I stayed at home and prepared my Sheffield 264 Journal article for the www. The text is unaltered but there are lots more pictures.
We don't know when this photograph was taken other than it must be in the 1970s. I am standing on the step and I think the driver is Kyle Hulme.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A tiny tram

Ken Jones has sent me this picture.
"Oxford Diecast have just released their first N gauge tram - available from O and H Collectables on Ebay for example."
"Oxford Diecast have plans to bring out 5 such N gauge trams in different liveries as below but this is the first one out and it was due 1st quarter this year.
NTR001  LT tram in red / white / grey as tram 177
NTR002  Birmingham tram in blue / cream but not yet available
NTR003  Blackpool tram in green / cream but not yet available
NTR004  Belfast tram in blue / cream but not yet available
NTR005  Glasgow tram in orange / green / brown but not yet available"

Statement from Oxford Diecast.
"The first release off the newly tooled Oxford Diecast 'N' gauge tram emerges this month and it is appropriate that the first introduction should come in the highly collectable and very popular London Transport livery. The Oxford tooling is based on the famous Dick Kerr Tram - a classic British tram design, which was the most common tram seen on Britain's tramways until the 1950s. They came in various types, including the fully closed version, where the tram and driver's cab were enclosed; the semi enclosed tram, which left the driver's cab open; and finally the open tram, which had no protection at all against the weather. Within that framework, however, the Dick Kerr Company, which had its operations in both Preston and Kilmarnock, designed many variations including the double-deck and single deck tram. As they were used by towns and cities throughout the UK, there are so many exciting liveries to choose from in a wide range of colour schemes, which gives this new Oxford introduction so much scope in the future release programme. As the tram was in use until the 1950s, this N gauge model will also look at home on railway layouts covering a wide period between 1930 and 1960."

I don't know if they will be available in the shop at Crich but will add particulars if contacted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stone workshop (17) - rear view

The rear of the stone workshop has been out of bounds for most of this year but I was able to get this picture as I walked from the workshop to sign off on Friday.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

MetroLink extensions

Yesterday I went to Manchester and travelled by tram to St Werburgh's Road (above) and Media City (below).

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