The arrival of a new addition to the collection of trams at the National Tramway Museum, Crich is always an exciting event – and it is made that bit more special when the tram in question is from a system that was previously unrepresented at the museum. That is exactly what happened on Friday 25th August, when Bournemouth 85 arrived at Crich.
The acquisition of 85 has been reported extensively, and it represents an important addition to the national collection as it is a narrow gauge car. The tram was previously displayed at the Museum of Electricity, Christchurch, but after this closed it ended up in the custodianship of the National Railway Museum, and was subsequently gifted to the Tramway Museum Society. Its arrival has involved a huge amount of prior planning, not least involving the laying of an additional track in the Exhibition Hall so that the tram can sit on rail despite its narrow width. Recent weeks have also seen considerable shunting of various trams in order to create a suitable space for the Bournemouth car.
85 finally arrived at the museum on the morning of 25th August, following a long load journey north with Scott’s Heavy Haulage providing the transport as usual. Unusually, the car was unloaded inside the depots which had been partially emptied of trams to allow the low loader to fit onto road 11. The car was carefully winched off the trailer, and once back on terra firma, it was carefully coaxed out onto the traverser.
Although there are no plans to operate Bournemouth 85, its move to a new home means that this tram is back on public display following a gap of several years – and it really is a beauty!