Mix a warm and sunny day with Joseph the horse and Sheffield 15 in operation at Crich and what do you have? A healthy number of visitors to the Crich Tramway Village that’s what! Monday 15th July saw the latest Horse Tram Day at Crich with Joseph hauling 15 between Stephenson Place and the Depot Crossover for four hours either side of lunch alongside a standard three electric tram service, which thanks to the good mid-July weather saw open toppers Blackpool 236 and London County Council 106 run with Blackpool 762 also in action.
Joseph has been the regular horse to run with Sheffield 15 for a number of years and by now he knows exactly what is required of him. Calmly pulling the tram along the main museum street from a special stop situated just by the entrance to the Library and Archives to a point just beyond the Depot crossover. Although an extra fare of £1 per person is required to travel on board the tram this didn’t deter any passengers wanting the unique opportunity to ride on a horse tram in the UK. Indeed, the vast majority of Joseph’s trips were fully to its 16 person capacity.
Although recent weeks may have seen that some days at Crich they haven’t been able to run the full three electric tram service this was not the case on this day with 106, 236 and 762 in action throughout the day. 762 was mainly in use so that more drivers could be trained on operating its unique controls but also some added interest and also provided a big contrast with Sheffield 15. The two open trams in service were also very appropriate for the day which was mainly sunny and warm. Many of the open tram journeys to Glory Mine were also close to capacity meaning the shuffle of each side of the tram swinging their seats separately had to take place – much to the confusion of some first tram visitors!
When extra horse tram running days at Crich were added to the calendar a few years ago there was some criticism that many of them were scheduled for weekdays but the visitor numbers at Crich on this day – no doubt aided by the good weather – seem to justify that if you put on a small-scale event such as this people will make the effort whether that be a weekend or a weekday. It seemed to be especially popular with young families (pre-school aged children attending with either parents or grandparents before the full break-up of schools later this month).
* There will be more photos from Crich in mid-July in a future update of British Trams Online.