Over this winter the big project at the Crich Tramway Village has been to relay the track at Glory Mine but unfortunately it has now been confirmed that the work isn’t going to be completed in time for the start of the 2019 season with trams set to terminate at Wakebridge during March. Crich is due to open for the first time this year on Saturday 16th March.
The work has been making good progress in recent weeks and months with all track now fully in place – including the additional length at the far end of the track – save for the siding which isn’t being relaid at this time. Installation of the overhead is now in progress utilising Tower Wagon TW4 and diesel locomotive GMJ to assist with the work. Despite this good progress the weather has caused delays to the project which now means it is running slightly behind schedule and as such Wakebridge will act as the northern terminus during March.
It isn’t just the track where attention has been turned over the winter with a new permanent exhibition on Michael Holroyd Smith set to open in the Great Exhibition Hall whilst 2019 will see two new temporary exhibitions in the Assembly Room.
The Great Exhibition Hall will see the permanent exhibition, The Creative Genius of Michael Holroyd Smith. This has been funded by an AIM Biffa Award History Makers grant and will explore the life and work of this “History Maker” through hands on exhibits, digital interactive and previously unseen items from the archive. Probably Holroyd Smith’s most famous legacy was in the world of trams and Blackpool Conduit 4 is also situated in the Exhibition Hall.
The Assembly Rooms will be home to two temporary exhibitions with the season beginning with FOREVER // NOW. This will feature archival and contemporary photography and will seek to show how photography is evolving and ever moving forward, while keeping an eye on its past and how it is being constantly reinterpreted. A selection of work from ‘Quinn’ by photographer/artist Lottie Davies and curated by W M Hunt will run from 16th March to 9th June.
Then from 21st June until the end of the season the Assembly Rooms will host an exhibition looking at postal trams. Titled The Mobile Post Box – Mail by Tram this will show how trams became mobile post boxes, carrying and delivering letters and parcels and also how trams have featured on stamps through the years. There will also be the chance to help design tram-themed stamps!
Of course, a tram service will also run every day from 16th March until 3rd November with highlights of the events calendar set to include a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Crich site on 21st and 22nd September.