In Pictures: Blackpool trams celebrate Halloween at Crich

One of the most popular annual events at Crich Tramway Village was held on Saturday 26th October, in the shape of the ever-popular Starlight Halloween event. For one night only, trams operated in passenger service until 9:00pm and the village was decorated in an appropriately spooky fashion! After dark, the site was bathed in illuminated effects, whilst the woodland walk was transformed with various creepy characters adding to the occasion.

For the trams themselves, the day started in fairly mundane fashion with a three car service utilising Leeds 345, Blackpool 630 and London Transport 1622, whilst Glasgow 812 was used for driving experience trips in connection with the New Members Day. Unfortunately 630 had to retire early due to a fault, although this loss was compensated for as more trams began to enter service from around 2:30pm, including 812 once it had completed its earlier duties. It was joined by Blackpool 166 and 236 as well as Leeds 180 and 399, meaning that all three serviceable Leeds cars were operating together. However, it was undoubtedly the two open cars that stole the show, with ‘Boat’ 236 running with its orange festoon lights ablaze for the very first time, and looking absolutely stunning.

Two trams received Halloween decorations for the event; Leeds 180 was the ‘Ghost Tram’, whilst Blackpool 167 was more extensively decorated as the ‘Skeleton Service’, sporting netting with skeletons, spiders and other Halloween-type creatures inside which were illuminated from battery-operated light effects in changing colours. The crew had Halloween make-up as a vampire and skeleton, and one female vampire passenger was also present. 167 ran to depot crossover, Wakebridge or Glory Mine at the
discretion of the crew, although oddly it did not carry any passengers in this guise. After 6:00pm a split service operated, with trams from Town End to Glory Mine every ten minutes, supplemented by additional cars terminating at Wakebridge to transport visitors to the starting point of the ‘haunted’ woodland walk. Despite poor weather affecting much of the country, it thankfully remained dry until about 8:20pm, by which time most paying guests were leaving anyway, so this did not detract too much from this very enjoyable evening.

Thanks go to Christoph Heuer for providing the above information and all of the accompanying photos.

A sunny view from early in the day, showing Blackpool Brush car 630 in service as the first Halloween decorations start to appear around the village site.

Blackpool 236 arrives at Town End after completing its first trip in service with its illuminated bulbs. Glasgow 812 is passing with new members at the controls as part of a seperate event.

Another view of the illuminated Boat car 236 at Stephenson Place, with cars 630 and 1622 visible at Town End in the background.

The simple yet impressive lights on car 236 are now shown off to full effect in darkness, again at Stephenson Place.

Blackpool 166 & 167 pass at Wakebridge. Note the special 'Skeleton Service' destination on 167! (All photos by Christoph Heuer)

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9 Responses to In Pictures: Blackpool trams celebrate Halloween at Crich

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    A performance that was not even on the right day, October 31 after dark!

  2. James Robinson says:

    Yet again the Blackpool and National Tram Museum feature some of the near 25%blacpool stock – when is this museum going to become NATIONAL and stop the heavy emphasis on one system. Witness the neglect of Edinburgh and Liverpool cars

    • Chris says:

      Blackpool 5, 59, 298 not neglected????

      Seriously…

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Are we REALLY still having this argument? Blackpool trams are proven crowd-pleasers, and in any case, the national collection focusses largely on tramcar types, rather than systems, hence the fact that a town which has had a long-lived and incredibly diverse fleet is better represented than those which largely stuck to enclosed double-deckers.

      • Freel07 says:

        Sorry Andrew I don’t think that Blackpool trams are proven crowd pleasers. This type of discussion has always been a topic at Crich. In the ‘good old days’ of the 1960s similar arguments were made about Sheffield and Glasgow trams.

        The National Collection should if at all possible include operating examples of as wide a geographical spread as is possible and not focus on one system. It needs all the help it can get to attract people from as wide a geographical area as possible. Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Chesterfield are all within reasonably easy travelling distance and could with appropriate marketing help the reduction in visitors.

    • Paul says:

      Normally James, you might have a point about the lack of variety in Tramways represented in the operational fleet (though I’d point out that Leeds and Glasgow cars are equally over used) but on this occasion the Blackpool Boat and Toastrack were the perfect choice of cars for the event. This time I say well done to Crich for the right selection of cars…

  3. Geoff Q says:

    The reason that 167 did not carry passengers was that its ‘decorations’ took up almost the whole of the saloon’s interior: there was little or no room for people! (I have supplied a photo to BTO illustrating this fact, along with another showing the result from outside.)