Picture in Time: Blackpool & Fleetwood 2 and Grimsby & Immingham 20

Today Picture in Time is in Crich for an early archive image of the National Tramway Museum with two trams in the shot.

The two trams shown here are Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2 and Grimsby & Immingham 20 and the date is 12th July 1964 – just seven days after the very first public electric tram services had run. 2 is heading past the Stone Workshop with it retaining destination boxes and headlamps at this stage whilst 20 seems to be stabled at this point in time. 20 is, of course, now better known as Gateshead 5 and 1964 was in fact the only season that the tram ran in this guise (it returned to service in 1966 but in the maroon colours of Gateshead instead of the BR green). Today both trams are now out of service awaiting their turn through the workshops.

Photograph by Keith Chadbourne

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2 Responses to Picture in Time: Blackpool & Fleetwood 2 and Grimsby & Immingham 20

  1. Malcolm John Henderson says:

    Rack 2 as it soon became known as at Crich was the most simple, economical and easy to maintain tram in the first couple of operating seasons; naturally the 1964 operation of electric trams was fairly short, comprising only Saturday and Sunday operation. Box 40 was running on very poor worn wheel profiles. G&I 20 was made to work but was only occasionally used due to poor braking operation (only resolved properly in the mid 70’s Job Creation restoration). other trams were being prepared to work such as Sheffield 510, Balcony 40 and Blackpool 49. 49 was to be a main operational tram, as it received funding from Dennis Waters to fully repaint it into white and red. By September, the main operational trams were 2, 49 and 510. The power source wa the MG set in the engine shed and 01 (ex Sheffield 349) supported the power with its diesel engine driven generator (fairground style). Over the winter, G&I 20 was filled with traction batteries on the all seats and floor space and created a supporting power source to help handle surges when trams accelerated (particularly 510). Other trams were being worked upon to run in 1965, e.g. 45, 189, 1297, etc.. The journey was on the single line to Quarry Approach (just short of the Bowes Lyon Bridge). A crew of 3 was deployed, including a trolley boy, as there was little time to collect fares; the only revenue collected from the public at this stage (no entrant ticket).
    Merlyn Bacon is seen at the controls of Rack 2; the museum’s first General Manager.He was a wondering man who galvanised all voluntary work in a very natural Yorkshire manner. He was everybodies friend at Crich and the person to look up to to create a working museum.

  2. Geoff, Isle of Man says:

    May I second Malcolm’s comments on Merlyn Bacon, although I think he was ‘wonderful’ rather than ‘wondering’! I, too, have fond memories of his help and advice when I volunteered at Crich as a teenager, more than half-a-century ago.

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