Well, that didn’t go quite according to plan did it! I don’t think any of us could have expected 2020 to have panned out as it has and with little actually happening these usual end of year notes have a rather different feel to them. How do you write a mini review of a year where for much of it we have been in lockdown or under severe restrictions?
While the year has been very much disrupted there have still been some events of note which have taken place both in the heritage section and on operating systems across the British Isles. Heritage wise we have seen Seaton Tramway celebrate their 50th anniversary and Blackpool Tramway their 135th birthday, both of which managed small scale socially distanced events. Trams returning to service after work has been limited of course but we have still seen Stockport 5, Blackpool Rebuilt Balloon 707 and Blackpool’s Illuminated Frigate all return to service.
Meanwhile, on the operating tramway side of things in March just as lockdown was about to start the Trafford Park line on Manchester Metrolink opened ahead of schedule, although with the Trafford Centre soon closing passenger numbers on this service have not reached the levels which were probably hoped for. Elsewhere all operating systems have ended up at some time or the other in running revised timetables with reduced passenger number seen across the British Isles.
But all that seems not to matter too much as we continue through a pandemic which none of us could ever have thought would happen in our life times. We should be grateful instead to all those key workers who have kept the country running and let’s not forget that these key worked not only include those NHS staff on the front line but also our very own tram and light rail industry with staff continuing to work throughout the pandemic even when many of us were starting to work from home. Thank you to all key workers wherever you may be.
As for British Trams Online in 2020? We reached our 18th birthday at the start of December and we hope you have enjoyed our offering throughout the year. We have managed to still bring you articles each day of the year and although it possibly isn’t as varied as we would ordinarily like we hope that you have been entertained when you haven’t been able to get out and about as much as you are used to. We don’t always get things right but we do our best and remember if you ever notice any errors please let us know! Earlier this year we launched our “mission statement” where we said we would aim for 40 main site updates a year – in the end we have achieved 50 which just shows how little I haven’t been around at a weekend to upload it! With any luck this will be a record high for the number of main site updates and we won’t be able to achieve anything like that again!
It just leaves me to say a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed anything during the year – there is no doubt without all the contributions I have received there would have been very limited updates during 2020. I’m not going to name names (mainly because I would forget someone who has helped a lot!) but thank you all for helping keep British Trams Online, well, online!
Updates will continue on these pages throughout Christmas but the British Trams Online “offices” will be closed over the Christmas period. Please do continue to email during this time although responses will be a bit slower than usual and no comments will be approved until the new year.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let’s hope with news of vaccines and the like that 2021 may see a much better year!