Following an earlier announcement that Crich Tramway Village will be hosting a First World War themed event in July 2015, it has been revealed that plans are afoot for one of the museum’s tramcars is set to be decorated as a ‘recruiting car’, in connection with this event. Chesterfield 7 has been selected for the role and has already spent some time in the museum’s workshop for some attention to improve its appearance in readiness for this starring role.
The decision to host a First World War event at Crich next year is a somewhat surprising one, as no such event was held in 2014 – when many places all over the country held events to commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of war. Notably, the Heaton Park Tramway and the Leeds Transport Historical Society teamed up to provide a suitably decorated tram for one such event in Leeds, with Manchester 173 being dressed up as a recruitment car for a brief visit to Yorkshire. Later on in the year, some of its decorations were re-used on Manchester 765 for display in Manchester city centre and the tram then operated in this guise for a few weeks. It is quite amazing that a relatively small organisation did this a year before the National Tramway Museum, and in the year that it was particularly appropriate to remember the events of a century ago. Whilst Chesterfield 7 should look impressive in its new temporary guise, Heaton Park did it first!
Ahead of its special role, car 7 has been treated to a partial repaint and has also received some other workshop attention including repairs to the roof and re-sealing of the windows, which should preserve its condition for a few more years. Therefore, even though the tram is actually overdue for its ‘8 year lift’ (having last been attended to in 2006), it looks set to remain operational at least during 2015, and quite possibly for longer than that.