In Pictures: Bluebird restoration continues

The Crich Tramway Village may be closed to visitors at the moment but that hasn’t meant it has been all quiet behind the scenes. The workshop continues to be a hive of activity with the main concentration continuing to be the major restoration of London County Council 1.

The restoration has now very much reached the stripping stage with much of the panelling now having been removed leaving just the basic structure visible. On the panelling which remains in situ there has been some rubbing down of the London Transport paintwork which has revealed the original London County Council crest and some of the blue livery which saw the tram become known as Bluebird.

These photos taken on 23rd February also show Glasgow 22 (still undergoing its overhaul) and Blackpool pair Boat 236 and Jubilee 762 (both presumably being commissioned for 2016) in situ.

The shell of 1 in the workshop with Boat 236 behind.

Careful rubbing down has revealed the LCC crest under the London Transport livery.

Another view of the shell of the tram. Glasgow 22 sits alongside.

1's truck awaits attention. (All Photographs by Keith Chadbourne)

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7 Responses to In Pictures: Bluebird restoration continues

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    It’s good to see that this famous tram is on the way back to operational condition. I am sure it will be a stunning tram once restored – but will it have the text “Tramcars provide comfort for reading and smoking” that it ran with on the sides when first put in service? Or will present-day disapproval of smoking mean that historical accuracy will be sacrificed for political correctness? (There could be an explanatory notice that the vast majority of adults smoked when the tram was new, and the historic slogan is not encouraging people to smoke in the 21st century).

    • EATM Member says:

      According to the LCCTT facebook page, (in December 2015) No 1 will be restored to the condition in which it carried the ‘reading & smoking’ etc text on the upper body sides. It ran for a month or so without these ‘adverts’, but when they were added, the trucks were also lined out in blue, traces remain on the truck sideframes illustrated in the same and later FB posts.
      It will be wonderfully non PC!

    • John Stewart says:

      Well, when the Johannesburg tram was restored at Crich many years ago they didn’t put back the “whites only” signs. Sometimes historical accuracy has to take a back seat.

      • Nigel Pennick says:

        Indeed they did not, but this means that this tram wilfully ignores the history of South Africa, where public transport was segregated ethnically; if it had been restored accurately, then an opportunity to explain the nature of Apartheid could have been taken. History is often messy and nasty. It is the duty of museums to present it as accurately as is possible.

        • Andrew Waddington says:

          Yes and let the TMS probably get sued for racial discrimination… nice idea that! Definitely not worth the risk!

  2. Nigel Pennick says:

    That’s very good news. It will be a splendid and authentic restoration.

  3. BigG says:

    These are two separate issues, with no link between them. Staying on the subject of ‘Bluebird’, the decision has been made to restore the tram to its original condition. That means that, if it is to be authentic, it needs to carry the advertisements; thankfully authenticity has trumped dubious political correctness. It would be naïve to think that this advert might induce anyone, in the 21st century, to smoke and it provides a fascinating insight into the culture of the 1930′s.