Picture in Time: Crich Depot Yard

For the next few editions of our traditional tram “Picture in Time” series we will be featuring what is now known as the Crich Tramway Village with a batch of images taken through the years at the museum.

We start off with this fascinating image which has been dated as October 1965 and is a view of what is now the depot yard but was then just some tracks in front of the depot without all the fencing, gates and the like. It has been taken from road leading to today’s car park and entrance and clearly shows four trams with a few more vehicles also partially visible.

The first tram we see is Sheffield 46 which was part of the operational fleet at the time (although it would only remain so until 1973 and left Crich for off-site storage at Clay Cross in 2005). Immediately behind 46 is another Sheffield tram in the form of 510 in its very familiar Last Tram Week. Then at the very front of the depot is Blackpool 49 in what is now an unfamiliar red and white livery. What may not be immediately visible in this shot is that there is a ladder leaning up against the front of 49 with a volunteer working on the roof – we’re not sure that would be acceptable now!

But possibly the most interesting part of the image is on the left – Cheltenham 21. We featured this tram back in August 2020 as part of “Trams &” series when we saw it being moved by road from Cheltenham to Derbyshire in July 1965 and now three months later and it is safely in its new home. However, because it wasn’t a standard gauge tram it wouldn’t be able run at Crich and would eventually leave the countryside in 1981 for Bournemouth being returning to its home town in the 1990s where it remains in store today.

Photograph by Keith Chadbourne

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2 Responses to Picture in Time: Crich Depot Yard

  1. Gordon Casely says:

    Posts such as this are the staff of life. Thanks for it. It’s always great reading how our pioneers worked so hard to create the museum and working system at Crich that we have today.

    More please of pioneer pictures.

    And more please on the back stories of how trams survived; how and where they were found; and how they were restored…..and what happened to them in between.

    Separate issue: the time has surely come for the establishment of a 3ft 6in gauge museum somewhere?

    • James Adlam says:

      Yes, great photo! There is a 3ft 6in gauge heritage tramway at the Black Country Museum, of course, but by definition that focuses on its own local area and cannot therefore really serve as a national narrow-gauge tram museum.
      Is Cheltenham 21 on a borrowed standard-gauge truck in the photo? I can see what appear to be timber poles sticking out between truck and body.

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