If our recent coverage of the issues which have affected the Heaton Park Tramway tells us one thing it is just how much our heritage tramways rely on volunteers. Unfortunately as free time becomes more of a commodity and with more and more calls on people’s time all volunteer led organisations – not only tramways – are finding they are relying more and more on the same individuals, something which affects the events and services which can be offered to the paying public. Although Heaton Park have been hit by this problem on a more high profile basis than elsewhere it should be noted that on several occasions this year Crich have only been able to operate a two tram service (instead of the advertised three) whilst other organisations also seem to rely on a limited pool of individuals. In this article we take a look at a few of the organisations who are always on the lookout for volunteers and how you can become part of the team.
Heaton Park Tramway
As it is Heaton Park who have been in the news most on this subject recently it is only fair to highlight them first. A special Volunteer Taster Day will take place on Saturday 15th October where anyone interested will be able to find out more about what is involved in volunteering on the UK’s only truly preserved tramway.
Heaton Park are always looking for people to help with restoration, maintenance, archives, admin, crewing, trackwork and staffing the shop – absolutely no experience is necessary as full training will be given.
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering at Heaton Park you must pre-book for the day and you can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You have to be a Manchester Transport Museum Society member to volunteer but with over three weeks before the event there is probably time to become a member before the event!
Full details of the Volunteer Taster Day can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1216673818353758.
Crich Tramway Village
Another high profile tramway which relies heavily on volunteers is the Crich Tramway Village and they are always on the lookout for more volunteers to help not only crew the trams but also behind the scenes. They have a major section on their website – http://www.tramway.co.uk/volunteering/ – which gives more details on what being a volunteer entails and how you get involved at the home of the National Tramway Museum.
Crich hold a New Members Day each year – to be on Saturday 20th May in 2017, yes the first 2017 dates are now on the Crich website! – where you will be able to find out more about what goes on at the museum. But if you are interested in volunteering at anytime there is a special form on their website which you can complete to register your interest http://www.tramway.co.uk/volunteering/volunteer-enquiry/.
The chances are that if you think of the Seaton Tramway you think that the majority of the staff are paid – wrong! Many of the staff you see each time you visit Devon are actually volunteers and earlier this year the tramway launched a new appeal for more volunteers to join the fun.
The press release said they were looking for “reliable, friendly and enthusiastic individuals to join the team. There are various tasks and opportunities that you can help us with, including many non-tram aspects. Join our friendly team who always have a warm welcome for new faces and aim to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience, no matter what aspect of the team you choose to be involved with.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer is encouraged to phone Sue on 01297 20375 or email email@example.com.
These are just three examples of tramways in the UK who are always looking for volunteers but they are not alone! Each and every one of our heritage tramways rely heavily on volunteers and if you local tramway is not included above why not check out their websites where you will be able to find out more details.
* We hope this will be first of several articles on volunteering on our heritage tramways. If your organisation does not feature above don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be able to put an article together to include your tramway. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance to discuss further.