Positive developments in East Anglia

2011 proved to be a very memorable year for the East Anglia Transport Museum for
several reasons. Obvious highlights included the arrival of Sheffield ‘Roberts’ car 513 on long-term loan from Beamish Museum, the visit of Blackpool VAMBAC Railcoach 11 to Beamish for their ‘Power from the Past’ event in September, and the first ever winter event at the museum under the ‘Santa Trams’ banner. The latter event proved to be far more popular than anticipated with more than a thousand people coming to enjoy the novelty of a winter visit to the museum over three weekends.

Rather than rest on their laurels, the museum is keen to keep this momentum alive and
a number of exciting events are planned for the year ahead. Although the trams will not be as heavily featured as last year, the 40th anniversary of the museum’s public opening, and the 50th anniversary of the preservation of their first tramcar will surely provide a good opportunity for the tram fleet to share the limelight with the other vehicles in the

For many people the highlight of 2012 at Carlton Colville will be ‘The London Event’ on
May 6th & 7th. This is being held to commemorate 50 years since the closure of London’s extensive trolleybus system, and should feature a very impressive eight trolleybuses from the capital city, four of which will be visiting for the event. The star attraction is likely to be the famous ‘Diddler’ trolleybus no. 1, although of course the trams will not be completely left out as London Transport 1858 should also be operating, in recognition of the 60th
anniversary of London’s Last Tram. Whilst it would have been even better if another London tram could have been borrowed for the weekend, fans of London’s transport heritage in general should have a brilliant time at what promises to be an unforgettable event which will probably never be repeated.

On the subject of London 1858, this tram is currently missing its windscreens at one end after the wooden window frames were discovered to have gone rotten. Volunteers from a local SOLD workshop, who have been helping with the restoration of Lowestoft 14, are working on a replacement frame which will hopefully be fitted in time for the start of the
2012 opening season so that 1858 can return to service shortly. In the meantime, the tram now resembles an earlier appearance before the luxury of driver’s windscreens were added to London’s tram fleet.

Finally, the major reconstruction of Lowestoft 14 continues to make excellent progress – recent developments have included the fitting of its first new staircase. 14 is now looking much more like a tram again and a lot has been achieved since work began on dismantling the car for attention in 2005. 14 has now been preserved for 50 years, and although it certainly won’t be ready to take a major role in this year’s festivities, the end of the project is in sight and hopefully in a few years’ time visitors will be able to ride on a genuine Lowestoft tram for the first time in around eighty years!

This entry was posted in East Anglia Transport Museum. Bookmark the permalink.