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Last Updated Sunday 19th October 2008

Southampton 45

Southampton 45 in the depot at the Crich Tramway Village on 21 October 2000.
Photo: Gareth Prior

This was the tram that started the whole preservation movement when it was purchased in 1949 after a final tour of the Southampton system before closure. The Museum Committee of the Light Railway Transport League brought the tram for just 10 after it was selected as being in the best condition of the remaining open-top trams. At the time there was nowhere to store the tram as this was pre-Crich and so the tram travelled the country staying in various locations. It was in Blackpool by 1955 at Marton Depot and was handed over to the Tramway Musuem Society which had just been formed from the Musuem Committee of the LRTL. It then spent some time at the Motor Musuem in Beaulieu, Hampshire alongside Newcastle 102 on open air display before arriving at its new home in Crich in October 1960. The tram looks out of proportion as it had to pass through the very low Bathgate Arch in the centre of Southampton and a normal sized tram would not have stood a chance of clearing the arch. Although it was originally built in 1903 by Hurst Nelson the Corporation rebuilt it at a later date by adding canopies and changed the three window saloon to a 4 window one. The tram is in regular use, when the weather permits, still to this day at the Crich Tramway Village and is in Red and White livery.

Author: Gareth Prior



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