Recently, a large number of trams have been making road journeys to and from various parts of the UK. However, three proposed road trips by some very different trams were destined not to go ahead – here, we take a look at two trams which very nearly had a date with a low loader this month, as well as another which has had to wait longer than expected to move to a new home, but is expected to do so shortly.
It has emerged that the Tramway Museum Society were recently contacted by the organisers of the First South Yorkshire open day in Rotherham, which was held on Saturday 10th May. The idea was to have Sheffield 15 present at the bus depot for this event as an added attraction. Unfortunately, due to issues with paperwork, the go-ahead for 15 to visit Rotherham for this event was not given and therefore the chance to see this horse tramcar close to its former home turf did not occur. The tram has of course, revisited Sheffield a few times before; most recently in 1995 when it helped to inaugurate part of the then new Supertram system, as well as being displayed at the Kelham Island Industrial Museum for a while before returning to Crich where it has remained ever since. 15 will however be back in the limelight next weekend, when it operates in passenger service at the ‘Best of Sheffield’ event taking place at Crich Tramway Village.
The above named event very nearly provided the opportunity for visitors to see Sheffield 46. This attractive single-deck tramcar dating from 1899 has been confined to the museum store at Clay Cross since 2005, but plans were drawn up for it to be temporarily rescued and returned to Crich for display as part of the Sheffield-themed event being held this month. Unfortunately, although the costs associated with transporting the car were taken into consideration within the event’s budget, it was ultimately decided that the efforts required to extract 46 from Clay Cross could not be justified for a one-off event, leaving one of the oldest electric trams in the collection to remain sadly hidden away from public view.
On a brighter note, we come to Blackpool ‘Hovertram’ 735, which was due to move from its current base in Scotland to a new home at Washington near Sunderland on 3rd May following its acquisition by the North Eastern Electrical Traction Trust. After the lorry which would have been used to move the tram failed on the day of the planned move, it was hoped to have 735 in its new home within a few days but unfortunately there have been further delays. However, a new date has now been confirmed between NEETT and the haulage firm, and by the end of this month this unique illuminated tram should be on display in England thanks to this group’s efforts to give it a more prosperous future.