All change at Crich as Derby 1 and Cardiff 21 get set to say goodbye

2021 looks set to be a year of change at the Crich Tramway Village with restorations start to come to a conclusion while work will start on the major restoration of Blackpool Brush Railcoach 298. With 298 set to be moved back to Crich from Clay Cross later this year it means that there will be some changes to those trams on display – both Derby 1 and Cardiff 21 will be leaving the museum site but not before they have one last day out in the open.

The body of 298 is currently located at Clay Cross and as we’ve known for a while will be returning to Crich for a start to be made on its restoration later this year. With the new underframe, currently being constructed by the Ffestiniog Railway, also due to be received coupled with the need to accommodate those trams which are in the final stages of restoration – London County Council 1, Newcastle 102 and London Transport 1622 – in the main depots a reorganisation of the main depots has been required.

This reorganisation has also enabled a refresh of the display in the Great Exhibition Hall which has been more or less the same since 2010 when it started the “Century of Trams” exhibition. This will see the Barnsley & District bus, no. 5, moved into the centre and will also allow Southampton 45 and Gateshead 5 to be more easily viewed by visitors.

Unfortunately, while this is mainly good news for the trams mentioned above – and the return to service of several trams, most of which haven’t been used for a number of years and some never at Crich – it does mean that some trams will have to say goodbye to the museum to provide space. Two trams will be departing – Derby 1 and Cardiff 21.

Cardiff 21 has been on loan at Crich since 2009 and has been part of the horse tram collection within the Great Exhibition Hall but is only restored cosmetically so has not been considered for service. This small double deck horse tram will now return to The National Museum of Wales after the best part of a 12 year holiday in the Derbyshire countryside.

The other tram which will make way is Derby 1 and its poor bent trolley pole! This tram will be making a return to Clay Cross, where it was located for around 20 years from the early 1970s until it was moved to Crich and treated to a cosmetic restoration for display in the Exhibition. A tram which hasn’t ever operated at Crich it is currently on a standard gauge truck which was from Blackpool’s illuminated Gondola (Derby’s tram system ran on a 4 foot gauge).

While it is always disappointing when a tram leaves public display, the fact that we are nearing the return to service of three other trams and with Blackpool 298’s own restoration about to commence in earnest means that there is a positive angle to this story. And don’t despair if you want to see the trams before leaving Crich! Subject to weather conditions it is planned that both will be displayed outside on Sunday 2nd May between 1100 and 1530.

Speaking about the changes, Dan Heeley, Workshop Co-ordinator and Duty Engineer, said: “The Vehicle Movement Plan was made after diligent consideration of the best moves possible for tram conditions, restoration and ultimately new and better displays for our visitors.  After a difficult year in 2020, it is important that we move forward with restoration, for which we have received funds and assistance from our partners, including the Blackpool Railcoach Fund and The Tramcar Sponsorship Organisation for Blackpool 298.”

In addition to the moves for Derby 1 and Cardiff 21, there is also a move on the cards for Halle 902 which has been on a storage loan to Blackpool’s Rigby Road Depot for a couple of years but is now one of the trams which needs to be removed due to capacity constraints. 902 will be going into store when it leaves Blackpool.

To get the trams ready for departure and to reorganise those moving to new locations a shunt of trams took place on Saturday 3rd April – while the museum was still closed ahead of its reopening on Monday 12th April – which saw some rarely moved trams making outside appearances. We’ll have some photos from this shunt in a future update of British Trams Online.

  • A number of special events have also now been added to the Crich Tramway Village website for later in the season, including the planned return of Tram Day on Saturday 18th September.

    Cardiff 21 in its former display position in the Great Exhibition Hall.

    Derby 1 alongside the Exhibition Hall. Both of these trams will be leaving Crich after they are displayed for photos outside on 2nd May (weather permitting). (Both Photographs courtesy of Crich Tramway Village)

This entry was posted in Crich Tramway Village. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to All change at Crich as Derby 1 and Cardiff 21 get set to say goodbye

  1. jubilee510 says:

    I can’t believe the Derby tram that operated closest to the Museum is being hidden away in favour of a largely replica bus that has no more link with trams than dozens of other buses and how many more Blackpool trams do they need, I guess one day the exhibition hall will be just full of Blackpool trams. I just can’t believe they’re kicking a out local tram and replacing it with a BUS. Unbelievable. Seems a good time to consider terminating my membership.

  2. chrisbo2044 says:

    have to disagree with jubilee510s comment the great hall has one Blackpool tram in it so how is it full of Blackpool trams moves are what makes things interesting to the public eye it is a real shame that derby 1 has to go as it is a derby example.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Actually last year there were three Blackpool trams in the Exhibition Hall – Conduit 4, Rack 2 and Balloon 249/712. I think Rack 2 may have been moved out with the recent changes but either way, I still don’t think that is excessive. Bear in mind the display is designed to show the evolution of tramcar design, and the Blackpool cars listed above are all very different, and it all makes sense.

  3. Andrew Waddington says:

    I’m pleased that the TMS have taken the time and effort to explain the reasons for these moves in some detail. I understand and respect their reasoning – but I’m afraid I can’t agree with sending Derby 1 to Clay Cross. As such a local tram, and the only preserved car from Derby, I’m sure it is of considerable interest to many visitors and it will be a great loss to the museum. Its a pity space is so tight as there are many more trams I’d rather see moved off-site than this one, and which would probably not be missed as much. Presumably had Halle 902 not needed to be moved as well there would have been potential for something larger than Derby 1 to go to Clay Cross and take the space vacated by 298.

    All that said, I’m still very excited about 298’s restoration and it will also be good to see a bit of change in the Exhibition Hall. Southampton 45 definitely deserves to be displayed more prominently now it is no longer a runner, and it makes sense to show off the Barnsley bus too as a recent acquisition which really is stunning!

  4. Andy B says:

    Barnsley bus is largely a replica bus? Do you know exactly how much original there is the restoration of it? You obviously don’t know or choose to ignore the reason behind the aquisition of the bus as it tell a good reason for the decline of the British tramway systems and why BET decided to go down the route of expanding their empire with buses rather than expanding the tramway systems.
    It’s also not as though Derby 1 is banished for ever. Other museums have a store where artifacts come and go and Crich is no different. Given the lack of space or rather what space is available it was the best choice. It’s not as though it was a last minute decision. Much planning went into what stays/goes etc

  5. John1 says:

    Simple answer would have been to leave 40 in Blackpool, knowing space was a premium.
    I just wish that Holroyd Smith’s tram was somewhere near the Holroyd Smith exhibition! It should have been incorporated.
    Mixed feelings on the bus – difficult to justify the huge expense and chucking out of a local tram. If you are going down the bus route, then a Trolleybus needs to be incorporated surely.
    That being said 102 and 1622 coming back will be a bonus plus 298 to look forward to. And all the another Blackpool Tram whingers don’t seem to appreciate that Blackpool survived and others didn’t so there will be more Trams about! Also 298 allows a class to be displayed first and last – which Crich can’t currently do with anything else.
    Personally, I’d get rid of 1147 as I’ve never thought it fits the PCC development story – not exactly traditional PCC and VAMBAC is covered by 602. Its now just sort of sandwiched in the exhibition hall.

  6. David says:

    Looking back recently at some of my photos of the exhibition hall it seems to me to be a bit of a muddle. The hanging banners made it impossible to photograph the trams adequately and cars like 602 are hidden away in a corner. Maybe now is the time for a rethink for the layout of the exhibition hall even including a different track layout. As for the bus or no bus debate my heart sinks at the prospect of Crich going down the same route as the Seashore (not just) Trolley Museum.

  7. John1 says:

    I think different track layout is pushing it! It is set for maximum flexibility. I agree the banners are annoying and the general lack of space forces the intended display a bit disjointed.

  8. Andy B says:

    David, Crich isn’t going down the same route as Seashore. The bus was aquired as it fits in what the museum is about, tramways and telling the story of them from technology side, social side and the rise and fall of the 1st generation tramway. The bus tells the story of the start of tramway replacement and how the BET group expanded their empire with buses rather than trams.
    It was mentioned a while ago at the museum that IF they were to have any more buses then the most likely candidates would be a 1930’s gearless Leyland Titan [the advertising slogan for these was ‘Bury a tram buy a Titan’], tram replacement trolleybus and perhaps a 1950’s/1960’s tram replacement bus from one of the last surviving systems, that’s all. But as we all know there is a distinct lack of space at Crich for any of these and the trams come 1st

Comments are closed.