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Last Updated Saturday 26th May 2012

Event Preview: Launch of Blackpool Boat 236 at Crich Tramway Village
Written by Gareth Prior

Event: Launch of Blackpool Boat 236
Where: Crich Tramway Village
When: Sunday 3rd June 2012

Tram launches at Crich this year seem to be a bit like London buses with Blackpool Boat 236 due to be launched on the first day of the Beside the Seaside event, barely three weeks after the launch of fellow Blackpool tram Brush 630. This time the launch is likely to be a major Blackpool affair with several other Blackpool trams in service (as part of the Beside the Seaside event) and other Blackpool trams on display on the depot fan.

The day will start at 0900 when the Museum will open earlier than usual for photo opportunities (although Rita’s tearooms will not open until 0930 with the remainder of the Museum’s facilities opening at the usual time of 1000 and first passenger trams in operation at 1030). The actual launch of 236 will take place at 1130 at Stephenson Place and there will be a special private ride on the tram for TSO members from the depot at 1400 – it is expected that the tram will run in normal passenger service at other times during the day.

It is currently planned that fellow Blackpool trams Toastrack 166, Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2, Standard 40 and Brush 630will be in service on the day with Standard 49, Pantograph 167 and Jubilee 762 displayed on the depot fan. The usual caveats apply, however, and these trams will only appear subject to availability.

The launch of 236 is part of the wider “Beside the Seaside” event which takes place on both Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th June and is mainly aimed at the family market rather than the enthusiast one. Once again this sees the Museum turned into a family themed seaside resort with a beach area complete with buckets and spades, a George Formby tribute act on the Monday, Punch & Judy shows, a juggler and stilt walker, ballroom dancing and seaside themed menus in Rita’s Tearoom and the Red Lion pub. But all that shouldn’t put you off as plenty of trams are expected to be in service and with the launch of 236 there should be plenty to keep the enthusiast happy and the last tram launch at the Museum showed what sort of show Crich can put on.

* The following day – Tuesday 5th June – sees the Museum celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with another special event. Much of the family entertainment on offer during “Beside the Seaside” will also be in action during this event along with Woodies Wings bringing a selection of owls and parrots for display. On the tram front a special tram service is planned throughout the day with circular tours and cabin shuffles whilst there will be a Jubilee exhibition in the Great Exhibition Hall.

The Lowdown on...Crich Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village

The site of Crich Tramway Village was part of the mineral railway built by George Stephenson to link the quarry to Ambergate. The Crich site came into the hands of the Tramway Museum Society in 1959 and over the years has developed in an internationally recognised tramway collection with trams from all over the world. A running line of approximately one mile in length is operated when the Museum is open to the public, with trams also on display in the Depots and Great Exhibition Hall. The public can also view work on tram restoration projects from the Workshop Viewing Gallery where London United Tramways 159 and a host of other trams are currently under attention. Several historic buildings populate the “town end” of the tramway including the facade of the Derby Assembly Rooms and the recently restored Stone Workshop which houses a new exhibition space and learning centre. There are also other attractions for the general public including the Woodland Walk with its sculpture trail, and a lead mining display at Wakebridge where passengers may alight from the trams. The small park area close to the Museum entrance has also been revamped recently and now looks much more in fitting with the period village atmosphere.

The Trams

As mentioned in main text above the day of the launch is expected to have a heavy Blackpool bias with all of the operational Blackpool trams in service (including recently launched Blackpool 630). Three Blackpool trams are also expected to be on display on the depot fan during the day. In addition to these it should not be forgotten that there are lots of other trams either at rest in the Depot or on display in the Great Exhibition Hall.

How to find the Museum

Crich is another tram location in the UK where it is a lot easier to get to if you have a car! It is just eight miles from junction 28 of the M1 and can also be accessed using the A38, the A6, the A61 and the A52. A map showing the location of the museum can be found of their website here.

A word of warning if you are planning on travelling to the Museum by public transport, because of engineering works there are no trains on the Derby-Matlock line over the whole Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend with a replacement bus service in operation instead. This bus service will still serve the nearest railway station at Whatstandwell which is approximately one mile away from the Museum and is then a very steep uphill walk (and believe me it is very steep!) Alternatively there are railway stations at Belper, Matlock and Alfreton from where you can either travel by bus or by Taxi. Local buses run from Matlock, Alfreton, Ripley and Belper and further details can be found from Derbyshire County Council here.

How Much Does it Cost?

Admission prices are as follows:
Adult £12.00
Child (4-15 years) £7.00
Senior £9.50
Family (2 adults and 3 children) £35.00

These prices give you free return admission for 12 months, excluding certain special events. Members of the Tramway Museum Society, and some other societies, are granted free admission.

Want to Know More?

The official Crich Tramway Village website has recently been given a makeover, and although some information is still being added, most details of use to visitors can be found here.

For the latest news from around the Museum check out their blog here which is regularly updated with news and photos from around the site.


Obviously the weather will be a major factor for the launch of 236 with a nice sunny (or at the very least dry!) preferable for many. If you want to check just what the weather is going to do check out the BBC 5 day weather forecast for Matlock here.

Online Coverage

It is not yet known whether any live coverage of this event will be available, but it is probably worth checking on the Tramgen Yahoo! Group and our own British Trams Online Facebook page as the event unfolds.

At the time of writing we do not know whether British Trams Online will be providing our usual comprehensive coverage in the aftermath of the event. Keep checking back onto our homepage in the week following the event to see what coverage we are offering.

All information in this preview is provided in good faith and is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press, although all planned events are subject to change or cancellation if unforeseen circumstances dictate. Please note that this event is not organised by British Trams Online and that we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies contained in this article. If you plan to visit for any specific attraction, we would advise you to check the websites mentioned in this feature before travelling. We will of course endeavour to keep our news page updated with any new developments involving any of the trams that are due to appear at this event.

British Trams Online is an enthusiast run website for enthusiasts. It should be able to be viewed at all screen resolutions but I do advise you that it is probably best at 1024x768. The site is owned, maintained (and in the main written) by Gareth Prior. Any comments or suggestions please email.