Manchester Horse Tram L53 swaps Greater Manchester museums for the weekend!

Here’s a tram loan you probably didn’t see coming – and you’ll need to be quick to see it as Manchester Eades Reversible horse tram L53 has headed to the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport for display during their special event celebrating 200 years of buses in Britain which takes place this weekend (20th and 21st April 2024).

L53 is owned by the Manchester Transport Museum Society and is the only restored Eades Reversible horsecar. This unique system allowed the tram’s body to be turned rather than having to unhitch and then rehitch a horse at the end of the line. Its remains were found in 1970 and its restoration began as part of an A-level woodwork project by a MTMS member. It was moved to the Heaton Park Tramway in June 1998 where its restoration was completed to enable it to enter service in 2008.

In 2009 it made its first visit to Beamish for operation but in May 2010 it was transferred to the Bury Transport Museum for display where it has remained since, except for another operating loan at Beamish in September 2010 which was the last time it was operated.

Now for this weekend L53 will be seen at the Greater Manchester Transport Museum’s 200 Years of the Bus – Ombnibus. The tram is closely related to the horse buses that preceded it and is a vital part of Manchester’s public transport story. During the event it will be displayed alongside a variety of heritage road vehicles dating all the way from the 19th century up until the modern day.

L53 was loaded up at the Bury Transport Museum on Friday 19th April and was transported to the Greater Manchester Transport Museum at Boyle Street to take its place in the special event. There is currently no date for its return to Bury.

L53 waits to come out of the Bury Transport Museum for its move across Greater Manchester.

In the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport where L53 meets up again with horse bus L2. (Both Photographs courtesy of Heaton Park Tramway)

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