Brush cars galore at Crich

The official launch into service of Blackpool Brush Railcoach 630 at Crich Tramway Village took place on Saturday 12th May, with this providing the perfect excuse to hold a Brush-themed event day. Although intended as a relatively low-key event arranged at quite short notice, staff and volunteers pulled out all of the stops to ensure that this was a memorable occasion – and in the end, 630 was arguably upstaged at its own launch event!

The morning saw a number of photo opportunities with 630 being posed alongside some of the Museum’s other Blackpool trams, including partially restored sister car 298 and Jubilee car 762, which certainly caused a few heads to turn when it was towed out onto the depot fan! Afterwards, pre-paid ticket holders boarded 630 for its first passenger journey at its new home, which included a rare opportunity to get off the tram and take photos at Glory Mine. The car then remained in service until just before 4:00pm when it performed two ‘tram driver experience’ trips for competition winners, before it worked the final journey of the day.

In-between there was no shortage of other activity with other trams built by Brush of Loughborough either in service or displayed on the depot fan. This included a surprise appearance in daylight by Grimsby & Immingham 14 – but an even bigger surprise when Douglas Southern Electric Tramways 1 was brought out and displayed on the traverser for a while. As this car rarely appears outside for events this was certainly a major highlight for those present, many of whom had never seen this tram out before. Its appearance was due to it being built by Falcon Car Works: effectively the predescesor of the Brush company.

As well as the above, a shunting operation took place in the depots which led to other non-runners such as Blackpool 167 and Glasgow 1282 appearing in the yard at various times during the day. A lot of effort went into making this an enjoyable event, which easily surpassed all hopes and expectations. A more detailed report on this day, as well as a photo gallery, will hopefully be uploaded on British Trams Online next weekend.

Seen at Glory Mine during its inagural passenger journey at Crich, here is Blackpool 630 looking superb in its carefully applied 1990s style livery, (Photo by Tony Waddington)

An extremely rare shot of Douglas 1 on the traverser, having just emerged from the Exhibition Hall to the delight of the eager photographers present. (Photo by Tony Waddington)



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