We reported just before Christmas of a significant development for Southampton 57 with its ownership being transferred to the Solent Sky Museum as it was set to be moved to further storage ahead of decisions made on its future. This move took place in mid-January with the tram being transferred the relatively short distance between Hampshire County Council’s Museums base at Chilcomb near Winchester to Solent Sky’s off-site storage in Romsey.
After preparation works in December and early January the actual move took place on Monday 17th January. The remaining section of the tram – the lower deck – was transported by Williams Shipping of Southampton on the back of a lorry and moved to Romsey where it has been placed in outside storage. It will be sheeted to protect it from the elements.
57 was built in 1990 as an open topper and survived in service until withdrawal in 1948. It was then sold on for further use in the local area where it stayed until discovered in 1974. It was the aim that it would be restored but subsequently better condition bodies were found (11 and 38) and so no real work took place on its restoration. Whereas the other trams of the Southampton Tram Project were kept in Southampton and worked on, 57 was transferred to the Hampshire Cultural Services store at Chilcomb near Winchester. There it has remained until now with it heading back to Romsey where it at least remains secure.