Help for horse trams at Leeds

The restoration of the rediscovered Cambridge/Bradford/Bath horse tramcar now housed at the Ipswich Transport Museum is now underway, with some assistance being provided by the Leeds Transport Historical Society. Having gained considerable expertise whilst restoring the similar horse tram Leeds 107, the LTHS have arranged to carry out some of the required work to transform this unrestored relic into a stunning museum exhibit.

The Society have produced a set of brand new wheelsets for the tram which is to be restored in its original guise as Cambridge 7, having retained patterns used for the Leeds car. These have recently been taken to the Middleton Railway, where of course the resoration of Leeds 107 was completed last summer, for a trial assembly using a mock underframe, which was remarkably undertaken in just one day, including the addition of brakes and tie bars. This was to enable all of the necessary running gear to be created, before the equipment is transferred to Ipswich to form the basis of the reconstructed horse tram in the next few days.

As if this was not enough positive support from the LTHS, the same organisation has also agreed to assist with the restoration of yet another horse-drawn tram. Leamington & Warwick 8 is currently in the stages of a full restoration at Beamish Museum, and is expected to be combined with parts of another derelict horse car stored at the museum, Newcastle & Gosforth 49. Once again the LTHS are expected to assist by working on the running gear, whilst the body of the tram will presumably be restored at Beamish. It is particularly pleasing to see that a fairly small volunteer organisation has now developed specialised skills which can be used to help other groups, and that such a good level of co-operation has been reached with the Society and other like-minded museums.

The wheels and axles intended for Cambridge 7 seen on arrival at the Middleton Railway on the morning of 8th March.

By the end of the day, the trial assembly had been completed with the wheelsets ready for painting, as shown in this image. (Photos by Jamie Guest)

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3 Responses to Help for horse trams at Leeds

  1. phil b says:

    I know this is loosely linked to this post, but I can’t think of another way of posting this question on this site. I am interested in any history around the failed attempt to gather trams and operate a tramway museum on the middleton railway in leeds. To my knowledge, (I have seen the odd picture on flicker) there was a Feltham, a horsfield, leeds 601, a Swansea & mumbles tram (a great loss) and at some point Sheffield 513 and Liverpool 869, both of which moved before been vandalised. I think the most interesting question is why the unique Swansea tram was not saved for eventual restoration before it was too late. Can anyone provide anymore information on this post?

  2. Jim Stevenson says:

    This will be the second failure in the Leeds/Bradford area. The ill fated, read conceived, Transperience was set up in Bradford in the 80s and then promptly priced itself out of existence with inflated visitor projections and no real thought to marketing. The exhibits did a lot of moving around but I have no idea what happened to them.

    Let’s just hope this restoration goes better. The organizers might do well to have a chat with Mr King at the Bradford Industrial museum which has Bradford 104 in captivity and looking not bad at all.


    • Andrew Waddington says:

      The Middleton failure was actually long before the Transperience project was ever dreamed of, so it was the first such project to fizzle out in the area. Hopefully, as you say, the efforts of the LTHS will be much more succesful – I have every faith in them!

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