As part of the current depot refurbishment work taking place at Crich Tramway Village, a large hole has recently appeared in the back wall of Depot 2. Whilst this part of the main running sheds is completely devoid of trams, the opportunity was taken to remove and replace an elderly generator which had been in situ for 43 years!
The first power source for electric trams when their regular operation at Crich commenced in 1964 was a rotary convertor from a Paxman diesel generator. This equipment, dating from 1937 (making it older than some of the trams in the museum’s care!) was acquired from a circus. Since the building of a more sophisticated substation at Wakebridge, the Paxman generator has only served as a stand-by, but with the depot works in progress an ideal opportunity to remove it from its long-term resting place and be replaced with a much smaller new generator, bearing a slight resemblance to a portaloo at a passing glance! The elderly Paxman generator has been transferred into storage pending a decision on its future.
Admittedly some of the recent developments at Crich may not be as exciting to read about as the trams themselves, but are extremely welcome and it is most pleasing to see the museum investing in its infrastructure which is absolutely vital if it is to survive and prosper for years to come.