An eventful weekend for the museum tramways

The weekend of 6th & 7th September was a busy one for two of the UK’s heritage tramways, with major transport events taking place at both the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville near Lowestoft, and Manchester’s Heaton Park Tramway. Both locations operated three trams in service despite the trams themselves not being the sole focus of either event.

At East Anglia, the last major event of 2014 was the annual ‘End of Season Gala’ which has now replaced the previous trolleybus weekend as the museum’s biggest event of the year, with as many different vehicles as possible being used over the weekend. This included numerous trolleybuses, narrow-gauge railway stock, motor buses and a trio of double-deck trams – Blackpool 159, Sheffield 513 and London Transport 1858. Generally a two-car service was operated with one of the trams being stabled in front of the depot when not required for service. Inside the depot, three other trams could be found. The long-running restoration project, Lowestoft 14, was joined by both Blackpool 11 and Amsterdam 474, which was to be found standing over the maintenance pit in disgrace after suffering a motor fault. The stunning Blackpool VAMBAC car is also presently out of action due to some ongoing issues with its complex electrical equipment. Despite these notable absentees, the museum – which is of course run entirely by dedicated volunteers – put on a fantastic show and a very impressive selection of vehicles were still available to demonstrate to the large number of visitors who came.

Meanwhile in Manchester, the Heaton Park Tramway was enjoying its busiest day of the year on Sunday 7th September with the annual ‘Trans Lanc Rally’, hosted by the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, taking place in the park. Primarily a gathering of vintage vehicles, this annual event always brings large crowds to the tramway and this year was no exception. In contrast to Carlton Colville, the three operational trams at Heaton Park were all single deckers; Blackpool Vanguard 619, Blackpool Brush car 623 and Manchester 765. All three trams were kept extremely busy all day with numerous full standing loads observed. In addition, Manchester 173 – still retaining its decorations following its trip to Yorkshire last month – was on display outside Lakeside Depot, along with Blackpool works car 1 which was showing off its new bright green paintwork. Inside the old tram depot, there was a display of model trams to keep the crowds entertained.

Sheffield 513 passes some of the other vintage vehicles on display for the East Anglia Transport Museum's gala weekend on 7th September. (Photo by Tony Waddington)


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1 Response to An eventful weekend for the museum tramways

  1. Kevin Bartolf says:

    I attended Carlton Colville and it was an excellent display of all their vehicles, seeing the vehicles in the dark is so atmospheric. Well done to all at the museum for such a lovely day.

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