We are going back to the early days of Crich for this instalment of Picture in Time as we feature horse car Sheffield 15 in operation during 1963 – the first year of passengers being carried at what we now know as the Crich Tramway Village.
Although the site at Crich has been acquired in 1959 it wasn’t to be until 1963 that the first passengers were taken for a ride and this came before overhead was installed so it fell to a horse car to form these first runs. The horse car was Sheffield 15 which over 50 years later is still the horse tram of choice at Crich. The very first public runs of Sheffield 15 were on 2nd June 1963 using 200 yards of track with Bonnie the horse providing, well, the horse power. Bonnie was hired from a neighbouring farmer after the Tramway Museum Society’s own horse – Felix – was found not to be suitable for hauling the tram.
This view shows Bonnie and Sheffield 15 at Crich as passengers disembark after a successful journey during that first year of operations – 1963. The location is close to Town End and shows the site as it was for many years at the start of the Crich story without any major street buildings or many facilities at all. How things have changed!