TMS Board respond to controversy over Leeds 602

The Tramway Museum Society have issued a detailed statement to members, explaining in greater detail the reasoning behind the recent controversial decision to turn down the offer of a large legacy to finance a full restoration of Leeds 602. The Chairman of the TMS Board has penned this letter with assistance from the Museum’s recently appointed Manager in response to the many queries he has received concerning the decision to reject the money so that 602 can be conserved in its current form rather than restored and operated.

As many of the questions posted on this website when the first announcement regarding the rejection of this legacy was issued are answered in the new statement, the key points that address these questions are summarised below. It is particularly notable that the TMS confirm that the desire to conserve 602 as it is now, due to it being perceived as being in largely original condition, is the sole reason for the money being declined and that operational factors, such as crew training requirements, were not considered to be an issue. It is also confirmed that the sum involved – £250,000 – was believed to be sufficient to carry out a full restoration of the car and that no additional funding would have been required.

One of the main concerns raised by British Trams Online readers was the fact that TMS members were not consulted before this significant decision was made. The statement explains that the TMS Board of Management are elected by the membership, and once in post it is their responsibility to make such decisions and they do not need to consult Society members. It is also claimed that the TMS is much more transparent than many other organisations who may not even report on such major decisions to supporters.

Many people have also voiced concern that this incident could have dire consequences for future funding opportunities, as it may discourage further legacies and other large donations being made. The Chairman believes that this is not the case, and that rejecting a large sum of money for what is described as an ‘inappropriate’ project will actually strengthen the museum’s cause, and their ability to attract funding from sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. Conserving an iconic tramcar like 602 will apparently show that the museum takes its responsibilities as a designated museum with a collection of national importance seriously, and that to compromise this would jeopardise potential funding opportunities in the future. Although the TMS have no obligations to follow such procedures, it is referred to as a “Nationally Styled Museum” and therefore tends to follow trends of those which receive government funding even though this is not the case with Crich.

The justification for carrying out an extensive rebuild on London County Council 1, a tram which remains in ‘as withdrawn’ condition having only received a repaint since arriving at Crich, is that the tram suffers from galvanic corrosion due to the contrasting materials used in its construction, meaning that it is deteriorating badly and would ultimately disintegrate without major attention. By contrast, car 602 remains in excellent condition (no doubt having been helped by various overhauls and maintenance during its years of operation at Crich, which is ignored in this statement!) and it is claimed that it ‘can probably be stored indefinitely’. Again, it is emphasised that overhauling its electric equipment ‘would involve the significant loss of historical material’ preventing future generations from being able to learn from it. Reference is made to the elaborate original internal panels which might be damaged during the process of stripping the car.

A suggestion that a document should be made available describing the role of each tramcar in the national collection and whether it should be restored or conserved as described as something that ‘might be possible in a reasonable timescale’, although a request for this to be updated every two years is dismissed as being impractical.

Finally, perhaps the most bizarre part of the statement refers to other museum artefacts that are considered as inappropriate to restore, such as the Mary Rose, although the similarities between a battleship which spent a few hundred years on the sea bed and a complete preserved tramcar are rather few and far between! A more relevant comparison is made with the original Stephenson’s Rocket steam locomotive which is preserved at the Science Museum in London, with working replicas used to recreate the experience of the engine being operated.

At least the TMS have now made the effort to respond to the questions raised by their recent shock announcement, although it is feared that the damage may already have been done. It remains to be seen what effect, if any, this more detailed statement will have on the opinions of the many people who opposed the decision to conserve Leeds 602, but hopefully this matter can soon be put to rest and the museum can look forward to ending 2014 in a more positive way after attracting so much negative attention of late.

Seen in happier times, Leeds 602 waits to load passengers at Town End during the 2003 'Tramathon' event. The tram had been made available for restricted use that year to commemorate its 50th anniversary. (Photo by Tony Waddington)

 

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30 Responses to TMS Board respond to controversy over Leeds 602

  1. pete tomlinson says:

    agree completely that this tram should remain as original as possible…

  2. John Henderson says:

    I read your article referring to the Chairman’s letter circulated with the latest TMS Journal concerning decisions taken by the Board regarding rejecting the Bequest of the late Granville King. Unlike you, I don’t think this issue should be put to rest!
    Factually one justification for taking the decision refers as follows:
    “Reference is made to the elaborate original internal panels which might be damaged during the process of stripping the car.”
    This I am assuming refers to the Alhambrinal interior panelling; a feature in this tram shared with others such as Glasgow 1282 and Blackpool Coronations. On two past Crich periods of attentions, a number of such panels were removed and refitted on 602 with no damage whatsoever. Likewise all such interior panelling was removed and refitted on both decks of 1282; again with no damage. This excuse must be totally discounted, as I have first hand experience of the activity undertaken on both tramcars.
    Such statements as “might be damaged” give no credit to past individuals let alone existing workers who have done their best to avoid any damage to historical valuable artefacts during restoration processes.
    I am sure others will challenge further the response from the Board during forthcoming months.
    Furthermore whilst digesting this unpalatable subject, it has now been joined by controversy regarding Blackpool 298 and a suggested destination of Clay Cross. Whilst some may feel Crich is over represented with Blackpool trams, some rather out of keeping with the overall “feel” of the museum, the seaside town would be better represented by the period restoration of the Brush car 298; also the space premium is being taken up by 3 less in keeping examples from the town. With regards to 298′s current appearance, it is agreed it is less desirable but many options could be explored rather than mothballed at Clay Cross.
    Two trams with such sensitive and volatile reactions!

    • Daniel says:

      Do you know how long it is going to be at Clay Cross? I have heard that it is not a long term arrangement but with a shortage of space at Crich and 2 trams arriving in next few months something had to leave temporarily.
      Stop jumping to conclusions, there is no controversy.

      • Andrew Waddington says:

        Do trams ever go to Clay Cross for short stays? The only short stays I can think of were Box car 40 and Hull 132, which were rescued by Blackpool Transport and the Hull Streetlife Museum respectively. Most trams that go to Clay Cross stay for at least 20 years and I’ll be amazed if 298 is any different. If there was any real desire to restore the car, why is the appeal for funds to complete it such a well kept secret, and why are the TSO considering opening yet another new fund to restore another tram instead of finding the required money to finish what has already been started instead?

  3. Franklyn says:

    This new statement just goes to show how misguided the TMS board of management are and why i ceased to be a member of the organisation a good few years ago.

    Just because the board (or ‘bored’ as we tended to know them) have been elected to look after the day to day running of the society, this definitely does NOT mean the general membership do not expect to be consulted on key issues such as this.

    The point about significant loss of original material during a restoration is also completely incorrect. To begin with there is very little original material in a vehicle that is 60 years old and has enjoyed an extended working life. But even given the befnefit of the doubt there are measures which can be taken. For example, let’s say the wiring is all of the cloth-covered type, which would have degraded over the years, gone brittle and would not be up to modern safety standards in the eyes of the Railway Inspector. Just because you might replace this material during a restoration doesn’t mean you throw it in the bin. It could be carefully conserved in a controlled environment within the mueum archives, in a similar way to how thousands of small objects have been carefully conserved after removal from the wreck of the Mary Rose. Had that great actually been conserved in the same way Crich are planning with 602, then it would have simply been lifted off the sea bed, silt and all, and then dumped in a dusty shed. As we all know, what actually happened was a careful deconstruction, conservation in a specially controlled atmosphere and also a partial reconstruction.

    The air at Crich is particularly damp and is also polluted with extremely abrasive dust from the many years of quarry workings nearby. For the TMS board to think they can conserve 602 indefinitely is quite incredible. As Jim Spoer’s open letter stated, they simply can’t do it.

    Another aspect of preserving vehicles is generating an income stream for their upkeep. A shed full of dusty and dilapidated old trams will not attract either tourists, enthusiasts or location scouts from film and TV companies, all of which are major income streams for Crich. Last time I looked any lottery funding had to be match funded from other sources and the application process for a grant is quite a long and involved process in itself.

    My advice to any museum similar to Crich would be to keep all their vehicles in fully operational condition and capable of generating an income. Where some modifications to materials have to be made for safety reasons, then the original parts should be conserved in a properly catalogued archive where it is possible for more people to learn from them than while hidden in the vehicle’s internal workings.

    If you reallyw ant to be exact to the original with a restorationthen you can. It is still possible to use exactly the same materials and component types as were used originally. Quite simply if it could be built 60 or even 100 years ago, then it could be built again. We could manufacture more rubber and canvas covered wiring. We could even make a perfect replica VAMBAC. It all depends on how much you want to spend and how accurate you want to be.

    Let’s hope a competing organisation builds a replica 602 to show what can be done. I still believe the decision by the Crich board is a political one. I could name names, but for now at least I won’t. You can bet your bottom dollar you won’t find an un-restored London car there though!

    • Phill says:

      To answer a few points:

      A vehicle would indeed have had a lot of original material removed in a 60 year operating life. However, 602 hasn’t had that-it ran for a short time in Leeds, then the odd spell of operation at Crich. The term “overhaul” is rather loose too. Despite the dramatic photos of its side panels missing at one end, what was actually removed then? A couple of sheets of metal. Visually it looks like a major thing, but the underlying framework, structure etc hasn’t had much attention, if any.
      I believe it was a journal article of the time that described its first “major work”l when it came from Leeds: Mop the floor and ceiling, wipe down the seats, sand the floor.

      Something struck me regarding the panels. Think about what might be on the back of them, that nowadays must be removed when disturbed…

      Regarding the atmosphere-yes, outside it is damp and dusty. Not so in the exhibition hall. If anything, that’s an argument in favour of keeping it in there as long as possible!

      Consulting members…even if it were policy to do so, could any society anywhere carry out a consultation in 3 days? Doubt it!

      Finally from me, this isn’t a policy that is automatically going to be rolled out across the whole fleet! I can think of 602, DHMD 1 and the Leamington and Warwick car that are considered too original to restore (or in the latter case, too far gone too!). Were we struggling to keep a fleet running then yes, it would seem silly to reject it. We’re not though-we’ll have 20+ trams available for use this year, of which around 16+ (my own guess, not official) have many years operation ahead of them. A further 4 need only mild attention to resurrect.

      (All that from someone who would actually have liked to see 602 running-however, I’m willing to at least consider the reasons why not!)

      • Daniel says:

        Very good points. I would have liked to have seen it come back too but it’s very easy to forget how much pressure the board are under and write a sensationalist article implying the museum don’t care about the car or its members. (I am not talking about this website by the way, just one particular Facebook page)

        I would have thought that the conditions of the will and the workshop being at full capacity would have influenced the decision but maybe not in the end as they didn’t mention it.

  4. Colin Smith says:

    I confess to being “thick” but no amount of common sense can convince me that anything, (a vehicle in this instance), that has twice been overhauled whilst in preservation/conservation can be classed as in “original” or “near original” condition. Add in the fact that 602 probably needed repair and replacement of several vital components during its running lives at Leeds and Crich and in my interpretation it becomes even less “original.” So, this latest correspondence from the TMS simply serves as an even greater smoke screen in my book.

  5. Paul D says:

    Regardless of individual views of the rights and wrongs of the original decision and the decision making process, it was the way that was then communicated (or not!) that really upset many. While the board have at least now made some attempt to explain the rationale, unfortunately the best summary of this letter I can give is dismissive in tone, and too little too late.

    If a balanced statement had been released much sooner it may have reduced some of the criticism, but the wording of this letter doesn’t really help the situation. Rather than seeking to emphasise the positives of their decision, they attempt only to attach negatives to the alternative course of action. That negativity really disappoints particularly when, bizarrely, it extends to effective criticism of their own workshop staff implying they don’t trust the workshop to take reasonable care and avoid damaging parts of the Tram. Then suggesting that once the board are elected, they have no further obligation to consult with, or even inform members of major decisions is breath-taking arrogance.

    To claim that rejecting one substantial sum (without clear, unbiased explanation of why) will actually encourage funding from other sources is very strange logic – Lottery and other public funds are frequently on the basis of ‘match funding’. Only in combination with the requested but refused status list showing which trams would be restored and funds WILL be accepted for, will potential benefactors have confidence to know that their donation will go to the intended cause.

    It is sad that the membership is seemingly taken for granted, and let down by the failure of those they elected to properly represent the wider views, and their apparent lack of faith in the active workshop staff’s capabilities to maintain the tramcars without destroying them in the process. Personally I think the workshop team do a fantastic job when given the opportunity to work on the trams and the vast majority of the operational staff are always friendly, welcoming and helpful, but that is despite, not because of the regime they currently function under.

    Clearly from postings here and elsewhere, a change of direction is desired. However, it is entirely in the hands of TMS members to instigate that change at the next AGM; it needs fresh faces to step-up and put themselves forward for election. Without a change of personnel, the change of attitude is highly unlikely.

    • Phill says:

      The news was leaked, had someone not done so then the decision would have been communicated with all relevant data.

      How does it affect funding? One of the major principles of a museum is that it must look after the artefacts, not whore itself out for money. Imagine if some hollywood mega star offered the British Museum a million quid to sleep in Queen Victorias bed, it would be turned down flat.
      Therefore the decision to restore a tram must be based on whether it is appropriate. After some very in depth research, the Tramcar Conservation Committee found 602 to be in very original condition, and recommended that it ought to be conserved. The originality of the bodywork and electricals cannot be put back one it is disturbed.

      Suppose Crich had accepted. Various other museum bodies would want to see the justification for doing so. If this was found lacking, there would be questions raised as to whether Crich is a serious museum that cares for its artefacts, or a commercial operation. If Crich is the latter, they lose accreditation. Not only would that cost a lot of funding (including making HLF funding more difficult), tax concessions etc, but will also make loans from other museums much harder. The Birmingham Bogie and South Staffs truck from the science museum? You can view those today because Crich has the accreditation to be allowed to borrow them.

      • Andrew Waddington says:

        Which museums exactly would want to see the justification for restoring 602? How do you know that for a fact? I can equally claim that other British museums with operating trams are laughing at Crich behind their backs and looking forward to the future influx of money and volunteers as people lose faith in the National Tramway Museum and turn their attentions elsewhere, but with no evidence to back it up this would be dismissed. Its worth noting that Beamish is also a designated museum but unlike Crich they don’t use that as an excuse never to do anything exciting. As for the loans of the bogies, does anyone really care? If Crich borrowed trams from other museums and ran them maybe that would be a different story, but nowhere that has operational trams to offer them would be so arrogant as to refuse to do so because of some accreditation nonsense.

        • Phill says:

          I’m talking museums in the wider sense, not just tram museums, and the various governing bodies.

          I’d assume Beamish would be governed by the same rules, the only difference is that they don’t have any trams that are largely original, so will probably never face this decision.

          I’m a bit disappointed at your comment RE the bogies too. Have you seen them? Not only do they represent 3ft gauge systems, but they show what goes on in there-a sight usually hidden by a tram being on top. They are fascinating designs too, the birmingham truck has incredibly complex brake gear, the south staffs has bizarre chevron gears driving it. How the hell they made those work in 18whatever is beyond me.

          The “Accreditation nonsense” means Crich can be trusted to look after them. It also means that if our collection isn’t looked after, the museum can face various sanctions. For example, Crich legally cannot plug a hypothetical hole in it’s finances by flogging our boat abroad.
          Maybe too the bogies are just the start. Imagine what other trams in storage Crich might be able to borrow on static loan, thanks to all this accreditation nonsense. I’ve already mentioned the funding and ease of getting grants that come with it.

          If you want the info straight from the horses mouth, why not contact the museum directly? They will be able to give you much more detail, since there are now two museum professionals on staff. Could make a very interesting article.

          • Phill says:

            Or for more info, look here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/supporting-museums/accreditation-scheme/

            The headings on the left have a wealth of information on this scheme, straight from the body that runs it.

          • Andrew Waddington says:

            Several times in the past I’ve been told that there is no point in Crich borrowing trams as it won’t bring in any revenue. I believe it would, but not if said trams are static. The same goes for the bogies – they may be interesting, but I think the museum has far more serious concerns than that right now. Things like opening up Glory Mine as a proper tram stop are really positive developments though, and I take my hat off to whoever made that happen. Sadly in today’s world Crich has to be commercial to survive to some extent and after years of being told that by various working members, I’m now being told that decisions are being made for anything but commercial reasons. I’m confused!

            As for Beamish, I wasn’t just talking about the conservation vs. restoration argument, but they do various things that I’ve been told Crich cannot do “because we are a serious museum with responsibilities”, such as repainting trams in false liveries. Their trams also don’t have to be in such pristine condition to operate – see the Balloon car there for proof of that.

            As an aside, re: funding opportunities that designation etc. brings, the MTPS managed to get lottery funding to restore two trams and even Blackpool Transport, a commercial transport system, received a large grant to restore the illuminated Western Train as it was regarded as something that would benefit the nation. How did they manage this without such status?

          • Phill says:

            I wouldn’t say commercial considerations really come into it. We aren’t stretched for running trams. Only thing to consider commercially is the affect of aforementioned benefits of accreditation and all that jazz. As you say, some benefits can be gained by other means, but I understand accreditation makes it much easier. Instead of explaining why Crich can be trusted with exhibits every time, it’s a quick gold badge that proves that part. You could compare it to having a driving licence, or having to take a driving test every time you nip down the shops.

            I’m not sure what you are referring to ref Beamish, can you enlighten me? Crich does have several false liveries, notably 1068, the colour bands on all 3 glasgow 4 wheelers, and indeed 1622s entire appearance. Or 331s rather interesting British Steel livery. I’d think that “Sunderland 101″ is easily justifiable within the same framework-more appropriate for a North East museum, and there are millions of preserved balloons.

      • Paul D says:

        Phil,

        But are you sure it would it have been communicated if it hadn’t have been leaked? – I have my doubts on that… The fact that it was ‘leaked’ strongly implies that someone on the inside, probably very close to (if not dirrectly involved in) the decision thought it would not be communicated otherwise. If it had been communicated fully and promptly, there wouldn’t have been an oportunity for the inside source to leak the story.

        Personally I can see both sides in the restore/conserve debate. My dissapoinment is in the communication process, and not even the most ardent supported gazing through rose tinted glasses can say the communication process was handled well at any stage…

  6. Dennis says:

    Your news item says the Board’s letter of response has been penned with assistance from the Museum’s recently appointed General Manager. He’s a museum professional, rather than simply a visitor attraction manager, so his endorsement of the Board’s stance on this issue should be valid. However, considering that he applied for, and accepted, the post at Crich advertised back in November 2013 for a person ‘to ensure [make certain] the…..profitable operation….of the organisation…’, I would suggest that anyone entering into a contract with such a far from certain outcome must have their professional credibility questioned. Similarly, the TMS Board who were responsible for the wording of the advert in the first place.

  7. Nathan says:

    I think Crich is getting some very, very unfair flack over this, not just on here but a certain other tramway news site. I can totally understand the NTM’s decision not to restore 602, not only because they already have LCC 1 occupying the workshops for the foreseeable future, but because restorations are unpredictable and projected costs and timescales can very quickly go out the window. Take Flying Scotsman for example. To truly judge the condition of 602, a full condition survey would be needed, which would involve taking the tram apart and inspecting all core components. This in itself would take time and money. Of course I am disappointed, but not everything can be restored and I can accept that.

    Another thing that bothers me is all the “Oh, Crich is rubbish and unfriendly, I’d rather go to XXXX”-type comments being posted. Yes, the management at Crich might not be known to the enthusiast fraternity, and the staff might not be as friendly as those at, let’s say, Heaton Park, but that doesn’t effect the running of trams, does it? Enthusiasts on this site seem to be unashamedly biased towards certain museums based on purely personal and social reasons, and a good indicator of this is the ‘Tram of the Year’ contest. How on earth did Heaton Park’s Autumn Gala get more votes than Crich’s spectacular Enthusiast’s Day? And how come LUT 159 didn’t even get nominated, despite the years of hard work put in to it? In my opinion, a tramway museum should be judged on the quality of tram operation and restoration, not on the people that run it. One just has to glimpse the lower deck interior of LUT 159 to see why Crich is, and rightfully so I may add, Britain’s national tramway museum. The NTM has been the cornerstone of tramway preservation throughout the fifty years it has been operating, here’s hoping that it still will be fifty years in to the future. Hey, you never know, they might get 602 up and running for Electric 100….

    (By the way, no offense to Heaton Park and the MTMS. They do absolutely fantastically considering their limited resources, and yes, the volunteers are indeed friendlier than those at Crich.)

    • Paul D says:

      Read carefully Nathan. I can’t comment on other sites but on here there is measured comment and support for both sides of the restore/conserve debate. Of greater concern (to supporters of both sides of the debate) is the muddled communication – that is what is generating universal criticism…

      Your posting also comes across as over defensive, and rather than accentuating the positives in this story for the organisation you profess to support (if there is any!) seems only to attempt to attach negativity (that you claim to dislike) to other tramway museums and events, and drag in past events that are not relevant to this article…

      • Phill says:

        I agree with Paul there. Personally I think the debate over both recent issues on here has been to a very high standard, and reasonably civilised. People can, will and should have differing opinions, and constructive criticism is useful to hear. How about we go for peace on earth and good will to all tram enthusiasts?

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      I’m not sure why you bring LCC 1 into the debate as the TMS have confirmed that the conservation angle is the sole reason for not restoring Leeds 602, so any other reasons given by outsiders seem irrelevant.

      Re: Tram of the Year, it might surprise you that I actually nominated LUT 159 last year but hardly anyone else did so it didn’t make the shortlist. Very few people who are actively involved with Crich seem to nominate trams for the awards, perhaps if they had it may have been included. The previous year it was quite rightly excluded due to only managing half a day in service, as was explained at the time. However plenty of trams from Crich have been nominated, including Glasgow 1068 for the last two years running. As for the events, people obviously preferred the Heaton Park gala and it probably got more votes as it surpassed all expectations due to being billed as ‘low key’ – the Crich event was good but I wouldn’t call it spectacular!

  8. Richard Holmes says:

    Although I’ve not seen the detailed statement from the TMS, has the Curator herself had any visible, acknowledged input? It would seem very inappropriate if she is seen to remain silent on the matter of 602, as she’s the professional officer at Crich ultimately responsible for the Museum’s collection. If it’s the case that the Chairman and General Manager (himself a museum professional) have publicly responded without the Curator, then she has allowed herself to be sidelined in a most unprofessional manner.

    • BigG says:

      This thread is, again, degenerating into an ill informed attack on individuals. Both the Curator and General Manager (and the Chairman one might add) have behaved impeccably throughout this whole heated discussion. It would be unethical for them to reply in this forum and therefore your personal criticisms, and those of Dennis in an earlier post, demonstrate a particularly unpleasant form of cowardice which is not in keeping with the stated principles of this website. Which is why I am refraining from comment on either post.
      The discussion around “conservation v restoration”, in both general and specific terms, is very valid and there are obviously very strong feelings on both sides of the argument but let’s keep it at that without recourse to abuse of individual professionals.

      • Christopher Callan says:

        Have to agree with Big G.

        The debate should not degenerate into personal attacks. Whilst some senior staff at other places choose to engage via online platforms that is through personal choice. staff should not be expected to get involved with social media as part of their normal job unless specifically tasked with it naturally…

        On a wider point communication in general between the high echelons and the rest remain incredibly poor and have been this way for some time.

        Their is debate to be had. But not one that targets individuals. The wider issues remain and naturally should be discussed.

  9. Christopher Callan says:

    Overall despite several claiming it was some sort of “war” overall this last few months the level of debate has been measured and rather detailed compared to the past. Yes emotions are running high but that is because people getting increasingly concerned about the safety of the National Collection.

    Someone on Facebook summed it up perfectly in my eyes. “The Good majority at Crich are been made to look like idiots by a very vocal and very damaging minority who happen to have massive influence in the direction of the place. They are successfully creating a “us and them mentality” and develop a siege mentality to force through their own polices and get their way”

    I just hope the year can somehow get back on track and allow the Trams themselves to do the talking. Get back to basics. And start announce stuff about Electic 50 before people decide to go elsewhere… for alternative events.

  10. Graham Feakins says:

    @ Dennis and Others – It is made clear in the subsequent document circulated to members that the new General Manager had nothing to do with the decision. He started on 1st April, 2014, he was not involved in the drafting of the Attitude Statement and was not involved in the decision making process because he was not in the post when the decision was made.

    Accordingly, his contribution was merely in assisting in collating the questions from members and the resultant answers provided in the Board’s response.

  11. franklyn says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, as Jim Soper stated, it is simply not possible to conserve anything indefinitely that is made out of wood and metal. Ask the people who build professional quality time capsules and they will tell you about having to use drying agents and an oxygen free atmosphere within the capsule.

    Crich tried to preserve and conserve LCC1 in the old exhobition for many years and (by their own admission) have failed. The new exhibition hall is definitely not a clean atmosphere (I know, I’ve cleaned vehicles parked in there).

    Anyone who’s ever put their lawn mower in the shed in September then tried to start it again in April will know how mechanical items can deteriorate over a few short months. Just by not using 602 doesn’t mean the rubber coated wiring will stop going brittle or alluminium parts will stop turning to powder or steel turning to rust. Leather will crack and even glass (over a great number of years) deteriorates and becomes thicker at it’s bottom edge than it is at the top.

    The truth is simply this. If any of the trams currently at Crich are still in existence in, say, 500 years, then they will almost certainly have needed pertty much every conceivable part replacing. Unfortunately it’s simply a scientific fact.

  12. steve ellis says:

    As opposed to the merits of conserving or refurbishing 602 my main issue with the situation is that no-one was informed it was going to happen. If a tram has been running and now is to be conserved and thus not used again surely people should be advised and a farewell arranged so people have a last chance to ride on or enjoy the tram before it becoming a static exhibit.

    I don’t know if it is possible or what condition 602 is in but can’t it been given a “tickle” to have a final running day with it before calling time on it and making it a static exhibit. Glasgow 1282 had a dispensation to run for the Glasgow anniversary.

    I would hope by doing something like this it could help end some of the backlash which seems to be happening.

  13. jim robinson says:

    If 602 is so unique then why is Blackpool 762 running and not in the museum ? This is thelast double deck car (albeit a rebuild) made in the UK and is of great historical importance.

  14. David Taylor says:

    I have returned from my holidays today to find this debate still rumbling on. Is the chairman being arrogant by suggesting he is in charge and therefore the members should do as the committee decides. It is now up to the membership to put forwards a motion at the AGM to ensure that the board carry out the members wishes, and not make the rules as they go along.

    As far as the staff go I agree that Crich has a personality problem and is perhaps the bottom of the list when it comes to helpful staff. I was refused a ride on the disabled tram because I was not disabled enough, even though there was only two wheelchairs and their minders on board.

    I have been to Sweden for two weeks where the Swede’s could teach us a few things We were never turned away from either tram or train depots and staff even opened up despite being closed. On one occasion we asked a lady in the street if she knew when the museum was opening and she got on the phone. Five minutes later a man with a key turned up on his bike showed us around and then went home again. Now that is friendly.