Is a Liverpool tram reunion on the cards?

We’ve already announced that the Birkenhead heritage tramway will be playing host to a special event on Saturday 16th September, marking 60 years since the closure of the Liverpool tram system. So far details on what will actually happen on that day have been fairly vague, but more is gradually being released into the public domain including one potentially juicy nugget of information!

It has been revealed that the anniversary event will include a staged photo opportunity which will aim to recreate a scene from days gone by. This will feature some classic 1930’s Liverpool buses and possibly some other vehicles, and most importantly, ‘a minimum of three original Liverpool trams’. This wording is very interesting as the Birkenhead tramway is presently home to three trams from the system – horse car 43, ‘Baby Grand’ 245 and Priestley bogie car 762. The only other survivors from Liverpool’s tramway are ‘Baby Grand’ 293, which is stored at Seashore Museum in the USA in a dilapidated condition, and ‘Green Goddess’ 869 which has been superbly restored to running order at the National Tramway Museum, Crich. If either of these trams were to join the three cars already at Birkenhead, that would be a monumental achievement for the event organisers and surely an early contender for the top tram event of the year!

Whilst it is tempting to speculate about what may happen, it looks like the Liverpool’s Last Tram event will be a very good event and with a procession of original Liverpool buses and trams, the aforementioned photo opportunity and more besides planned, it is to be hoped that the event will be well supported by enthusiasts and those with a general interest in that area’s social history. One unfortunate aspect is that it looks like the anniversary commemoration will clash with the annual enthusiasts’ ‘Tram Day’ at Crich, which will surely dent the potential attendance figures for both attractions.

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12 Responses to Is a Liverpool tram reunion on the cards?

  1. Robert Field says:

    Just a thought – an historic anniversary cannot be altered, but an event at Crich can be.

  2. Ste says:

    Would it really be such a stretch to celebrate an anniversary a day late? Why should Crich move a well established date? Both museums could have worked together to have a weekend of Liverpool celebrations – historic bus from Liverpool to Crich to ride 869 perhaps?
    You will not get 869 there as Birkenhead have said on many occasions that a double deck move is very costly and almost impossible with the road layout (it has to close a motorway junction to pass I believe).

    • Paul says:

      Is the Crich Event really such a “well established date” ???

      Over the last 10 or so years the September event in it’s various guises has varied anywhere between the second and last weekends of the month, sometimes as a single day event, sometimes two days…

      Last years ‘Tram Day’ was the second Saturday vs the third this year, so effectively it has moved to cause the unfortunate clash with the Birkenhead event, the date for which was effectively set 60 years ago…

      • Ste says:

        If its anything like the fiasco that was the 20th anniversary I wouldn’t get excited anyway! I do wonder if more people would attend Birkenhead on a Sunday in any case.

    • Christopher Callan says:

      Perhaps am not the first to defend Crich but they named their date in advance of Birkenhead officially announcing their event (. Its unfortunate clash but once they advertised the date see little reason to change it now. Personally ill be at Crich. if anything Crich should be praised for getting their program for the year out so early as it gives others chance to respond and adjust their programs as they see fit.

  3. Adam says:

    The reason Birkenhead chose Saturday 16th September is because it is the closest date to the 60th year anniversary of the closure of Liverpool’s Trams which was the 14th September.

    So to remain as close and true to the original date it was decided to host it on the 16th – If Crich’s event is annual – then it will happen again in 2018 – this Birkenhead Event is a one time only event that will not be repeated yearly – or repeated for at least 10 more years.

    The Museum is working With National Museum’s Liverpool to make this event reach both side of the river.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Whilst I appreciate your comments I feel I should pull you up on your statement that the Crich event is annual; whilst that may be true, it is never the same two years running. I’ve been visiting Crich every year since 1990 and even now they keep doing things which I have never seen before – last year for example had the Oporto coal tram on display whilst 2015 had a brilliant open top line-up.

      I think its a great shame that organisations don’t co-operate more when it comes to choosing dates, as everybody loses when a clash occurs.

  4. John says:

    Clashes will always happen. The same happened to me in 2009 when Heaton Park held their Leeds closure event and ended up clashing with the last day of tradittional trams in Fleetwood! Birkenhead will be damned if they change the date and damned if they keep it the same! Likewise Crich. Both places will make a success I’m sure, though to my mind the die hard enthusiasts will probably do crich and the Liverpool supporters and more local interested people will do Birkenhead – either way all the best to both.

  5. Ken Walker says:

    I am with Birkenhead on this one as the date chosen is the nearest weekend date to the anniversary as stated. Crich could have asked if Birkenhead were doing anything prior to arranging their own event as they would surely have known that this was the most appropriate date for any celebration at Birkenhead.
    I’m sure both events will get their own supporters.

  6. John says:

    Didn’t a loco recently run on Albert dock? Surely something similar with 245 and batteries could be done? that would be great!!

    • Colin Smith says:

      Yes, one of the quarry Hunslets from the Ffestiniog Railway spent a weekend, together with four wheeled carriages, giving rides during one of the events organised by Liverpool.

      • Colin Smith says:

        I have since discovered that the loco was “Hugh Napier” that appeared between 30/4 and 2/5. The loco belongs to the National Trust at Penrhyn Castle but is looked after by Ffestiniog Railway.

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