Picture in Time: Edinburgh 35

At first glance this week you would think we had made a mistake in featuring Edinburgh 35 as our Blackpool archive image but of course this tram spent a period on the Fylde Coast in the mid-1980s and as such qualifies for this series.

Today and you associate Edinburgh 35 with Crich but at the time it arrived in Blackpool the tram hadn’t been anywhere near Derbyshire having been preserved by Edinburgh Corporation following the closure of the tram system in 1956 and staying in the city until the end of 1983 when it was moved to Blackpool. Arriving on the Fylde Coast on 19th November 1983 35 entered service at Easter 1984 and was to remain in Blackpool until 1988 when it moved back to Scotland and a spell of operation at the Glasgow Garden Festival. From there it moved to Crich where it has remained to this day but only operated briefly in 1989 with the Tramway Museum Story stating that it has run a grand total of 8 miles in Derbyshire!

This first image of 35 shows the tram heading south past the Imperial Hotel on 15th March 1984. When in Blackpool 35 was famous for its National Savings adverts but this picture is before that sponsorship deal had commenced with this side featuring an advert for Milk.

In this second image taken at Little Bispham we see 35 again heading south with the old road layout  and the familiar tramroad station building behind the tram.

Both Photographs by Phil Steer

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9 Responses to Picture in Time: Edinburgh 35

  1. Bigalasdair says:

    Following the fine restoration performed by Blackpool Transport following its loan by Edinburgh City Council to that town for the tram commemoration events followed by its sterling service at the Glasgow Garden Festival shortly afterwards, I’ve always considered it criminal that Edinburgh City Council gifted the tram to Crich……….only for it to be “shunted” almost out of sight in the exhibition hall gathering dust when I last saw it June 2015, a sad end to what was a fine exhibit ! Methinks Edinburgh City Council would have been far better served if they had “gifted” it to Summerlea ?!

    • John1 says:

      It wasn’t restored by Blackpool. Blackpool did electrical work and mechanical work to make it serviceable. No other work was undertaken. Its two loan spells basically used up what life was left in the car – it had sat for 30 years between operational spells. It is in the exhibition hall at Crich next to Blackpool 712. It has operated there but not carrying passengers. Its probably better there than in a warehouse in Edinburgh!

  2. PeterWhiteley says:

    35 was not restored, it came straight from service (after siting in a museum for many years). It was given the absolute minimum attention to get it going for Blackpool.
    Until recently (2012ish) it was not owned by Crich so we could not do any work on the car, indead it had a major collision at Blackpool that did significant structural damage to the platform bearers at one end.
    It did run a couple of times at Crich when it first arrived but the seats kept coming loose from the top-deck floor due to rot in the body frame.
    The wiring is also unsafe (re twin-unit fire), we (like Blackpool) are now not permitted to run cars with rubber insulation.

  3. BigG says:

    At the point at which 35 became the property of Crich (2012ish is about right) it had a thorough cosmetic ‘face-lift’ in their workshops’, including painstaking work to restore its original adverts. It certainly has not been neglected.

  4. Bigalasdair says:

    Responding to John1, repeating my conclusion, it should have gone to Summerlee for the benefit of Scots tram enthusiasts and not as a dust gathering relic !.

    • Phill Spowart says:

      With all due respect to Summerlee, what makes you think they’d have had the money and manpower to do the work needed to make it operable? It would most likely have simply gathered dust up there instead of down here. A cursory glance at the rather avant-garde angles and humps of the platforms gives a good idea of the state the rest of it is in.

    • Paul Turner says:

      How would they have got it into Summerlee? Glasgow 1245 was split in two due to the low bridges.

  5. Bigalasdair says:


    If they can get a Garratt railway locomotive in…………

  6. John1 says:

    No they cant! A double deck Tram is too high.