Blackpool Brush car 298 to be banished from Crich

It has come to light that the Tramway Museum Society intend to transfer one of the many non-operational tramcars at Crich Tramway Village to the museum’s off-site storage facility at Clay Cross. The chosen vehicle is Blackpool Brush Railcoach 298, which arrived at Crich in 2005 in a partially restored state, but has sat untouched ever since and is currently languishing at the rear of the depots in a visually poor conditon.

A clear out of the Clay Cross store at the end of last year, which included the removal of Gateshead 52 which has since been permanently moved to a new home at Beamish Museum, has freed up some space there and it has therefore been decided to move a tram from Crich, where depot space has been at a premium since the arrival of Blackpool cars 236, 630 and 762 in 2011-12. Plans are being made to make space for Blackpool 298 and although no timescale has been revealed, the tram is expected to depart for Clay Cross in the fairly near future. One possibility is that this move could tie in with the return of Blackpool 167 later in the year as this tram will occupy a similar amount of depot space, although this is only an educated guess.

Naturally there are plenty of arguments for and against banishing 298 to the Clay Cross store. In its present state, the tram is an eyesore which gives a poor impression to visitors, and as such the decision to remove it from display is perfectly understandable. The Blackpool system is now extremely well represented at the museum and with other Brush cars preserved and operating at a number of different locations in the UK, 298 will probably not be missed too much. Indeed, the heavily modernised 630 will ensure that this class of car will still be represented at Crich and it could be argued that having two of the same type of tram, albeit in very different conditions, is perhaps unnecessary.

However, on the flip side of the coin, the decision to remove a tram which has already had a significant amount of work done to it is certainly one that deserves to be challenged. It is well known that a sum of about £125,000 exists in a special fund looked after by the Tramcar Sponsorship Organisation, which has been ring-fenced for the sole purpose of completing the restoration of car 298. Whilst the TMS have stated before that this is well short of the required amount to finance the required work for the tram to join the running fleet at Crich, it is clearly a sizeable sum of money which is presently sitting unused and effectively losing value. The TSO are expected to launch a brand new appeal to restore another tramcar soon, and it seems strange to start up a new fund from nothing when so much money is already reserved to restore another tram. Apparently, the Crich workshop apparently fully occupied for the next four years, which contributed towards the selection of 298 to be moved off-site. With this in mind, perhaps consideration could have been given to investigating the possibility of using the existing restricted funds to carry out a restoration work of the tram elsewhere as a contract job, as has often been suggested before. It is also wondered if other vehicles were considered for a move to Clay Cross, or if the decision could be reversed with another tram making the journey instead (Halle 902 perhaps?).

Whilst it is sincerely hoped that 298‘s banishment to Clay Cross will only be temporary, assuming of course that it does indeed happen, this sets out a clear message that there are no plans to finish this long-running project in the the short term at least. Whilst it will of course be possible to move the tram back once funding is available to complete its restoration, this is unlikely to happen for some time as presumably the high costs of transporting trams by road would discourage moves involving any vehicles that are likely to be required back at Crich within the foreseeable future, as this would be a waste of money. This will all come as a bitter disappointment to those who had invested time and money into the work already undertaken on the car, and is likely to result in further negativity being directed at the TMS in what should have been a year of celebration.

Blackpool Brush car 298 in its current state sits on the depot fan, shortly after its arrival at Crich for work which has still yet to commence. Despite presenting a very poor appearance as it is now, the potential to transform this hulk into a stunning 'art deco' style tramcar can perhaps be appreciated in this view. (Photo by Tony Waddington)


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53 Responses to Blackpool Brush car 298 to be banished from Crich

  1. Jonathan Malton says:

    Personally, this is where the argument for Crich is at a standstill. Here you have a partially restored tram, which has not been touched for years, and would be a unique experience for the museum to have an original Brush car in operational. But again, the museum has many behind the scenes issues that come to light every so often. I would keep the tram safe undercover and start to finish the job. Having a tram half finished should never happen. If something is started, then finish it, before going on other restoration projects. I for one would live to see this restored and the possibilities of it being loaned to other tramways would be a spectacular sight. However, I doubt we will see this for a long time. Luckily, I am a young man, as I might be able to see the final result of this project.

  2. Bryan Jackson says:

    I think it would be a shame if 298 was not finished as it is basically in as delivered configuration i.e twin destination blinds and original lighting. It would have looked good side by side with 630 to show how Blackpool modified trams to keep the Tramway running.

  3. Daniel says:

    I didn’t think the workshop was that busy at the moment. I know they are working on LCC 106 right now and also Blackpool 762 but both of these will be completed shortly. LCC 1 will be entering the workshop soon but I am not aware of anything else being worked on. Can you shed any light on this?
    I guess it is good news in a sense, at least it will stop further deterioration. Perhaps it will make for more depot space for a new arrival from Clay Cross after Blackpool and Fleetwood 40 has departed.

  4. Daniel says:

    It would be good to remove Halle 902 too. I really see no point in that tram being there. I hope 298 can be restored when the workshop has some more space in it.

    • Christopher Callan says:

      Something we do agree on. Remove the likes of 902 via re homing or if that fails recycle it or the now infamous “deconstruction”.

  5. Paul D says:

    before the tirades of criticism start, this may be only half the story…

    When first rumoured a few months ago, this move of 298 to Clay Cross was the balancing move for another tram’s escape from Clay Cross…

    IF it is indeed in exchange for the tram suggested, I personally would accept the move of 298 into off site store as an acceptable trade off for the improved prospects and visibility of the car suggested to move the other way.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Very intriguing, and something I had not previously been aware of… here’s hoping that this move goes ahead as it sounds potentially quite exciting! That said, I would still have preferred to see a tram that didn’t already have a large sum of money allocated towards restoring it moved to Clay Cross instead of 298, but we shall see how this one pans out!

    • Daniel says:

      If another car comes back and hopefully into service then I am fully behind it.

  6. Tommy Carr says:

    Here is an idea – transfer it to blackpool and combine its best bits with the best bits of 624, and blackpool transport have a new tram and crich has freed up space. In my view, everyone wins!

  7. The Crich workshop will be busy restoring LCC 1 for the next couple of years which will be the one major restoration project going on. As it is, 298 looks worse than any other car currently at Crich, I think, so the move is not unexpected. If they get their act together there is also a chance for the TMS, TSO or FTS to raise the remaining funds for the restoration to get started immediately once LCC 1 is finished, so the return could be straight from Clay Cross into the Crich workshop.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Christoph – that is certainly possible, but it seems highly unlikely that the TMS would move the tram to Clay Cross if it were likely to be restored so soon. Although I would love to be proved wrong, this supports a view that 298 does not feature in any current Crich plans and is going to have a very long wait to be completed. As for the FTS, let’s not forget that they are primarily a Blackpool tram support group and any future projects they support are probably more likely to involve Blackpool’s own heritage fleet as there is a long list of potential projects there in need of funding.

      • Phill says:

        I think it is well known that 1282 should follow LCC 1, so that will probably take us to 2022 (assuming 4 years for each tram). Doing it alongside won’t be practical either, due to truck/bogie overhauls and other heavy maintenance that is needed. Plus, dismantled trams take a lot of room.

        • Phill says:

          My apologies to all, apparently 1282 isn’t fully firmed up for going in yet. Although the STTS are raising funds for its restoration.

          Anyway, rumours that the massive Antonov that landed at East Mids Airport today is taking 298 to the Ukraine, remain untrue.

  8. Nathan says:

    At least it will be stored undercover! Many other Brush cars don’t even have that. I’m intrigued by mentions of a swap – what will it be – 59, 600, 1100 or 5?

  9. Phill says:

    As Mr Whitely commented on the BTO faceache page, the tram isn’t all that restored at all. As stated in the Journal article, 298s visit to the workshop late last year was to do a condition survey. There will be a full article in the Journal soon (also stated in the article), but here’s a few highlights that were found. Shamelessly nicked from Pete post:

    Underframe has multiple fractures/defects, Wheel sets are knackered, bogies have major defects, roof doesn’t work (it’s not even properly fitted), no wiring+air so interior needs stripping, all windows are faulty (top lights are English Electric parts), floor incorrectly fitted, body frame badly distorted, controllers need overhaul, no motors, no hand-brakes, no air system etc.

    Regards shifting 902, 1147 etc, I understand these can’t be got into the off site storage building as they are too long to go round a corner. Besides which, they are a bit more presentable than 298.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Well Grimsby & Immingham 14 has been stored at Clay Cross before and that is the longest tram at Crich – so long it cannot fit on the traverser I believe, which both 902 and 1147 have. So either something has changed at Clay Cross, possibly after the arson attack when some work was done, or someone has been telling porkies!

      • Phill says:

        Something has indeed changed, a building was put up. G&I 14 was removed before that.

        • Andrew Waddington says:

          Thanks for the info – that makes good sense. Can we stick Halle 902 outside with a tarp over it instead then? (This is a serious suggestion by the way, and it would cost a lot less than moving trams between the two sites!)

          • Tommy Carr says:

            Or put a cover over the siding down the side of the exhibition hall, and you can move some trams over there.

          • Outside storage of a tramcar or indeed any other vehicle, even with a tarpaulin is always inferior to storage inside.

          • Andrew Waddington says:

            Oh I know… but outside storage is better than scrapping, which was the other suggestion I had in mind for Halle 902!

          • Phill says:


            Clay Cross isn’t on the moon, or coldest Siberia. I know for a fact that it will go right at the front of Clay Cross, so moving it out in the future will be a simple case of open doors, winch it on your trailer and go. It’s not going to be bricked in like Henry in his tunnel!

            People are also unaware of how good the building there is. Even in the depths of winter, it remain dry and condensation free. 298 will actually be far better preserved there than the Crich depot.

            Which brings me on to another point. The Journal article that provoked this story was about the tidying and organising that has been done there over the last 2 years. There has been a small band of volunteers, mostly youths too, who have been getting up at t**t o’clock AM in winter, then spending the day freezing our arses off whilst tidying up lumps of tram. You’re all very welcome.

            *Moderator Comment* Post above edited slightly to censor inappropriate language on a family website. (Andrew)

          • Andrew Waddington says:

            It does cost money to play at musical trams though between Crich and Clay Cross… generally when things go there, it is because there is little to no prospect of them being required at the museum, to be restored or otherwise, for the foreseeable future. To move something there for a matter of months or even a few years would be a waste of money, not to mention time and effort.

            For the record I do appreciate the efforts made by a small number of people, particularly those involved in the moves which led to Gateshead 52 being extracted and moved to Beamish. That doesn’t mean we have to thank you all for moving 298 away from the museum though!

          • Phill says:

            Sorry Andrew, 7 years as a machinist has given me industrial Tourettes…No offence meant

            Anyway. Shifting a tram is indeed expensive in personal terms, but in the scale of a £300K project… (on average, I’ve no idea what 298 needs).
            Fact is, something has to go. Outside storage isn’t an option, since it wouldn’t be long before damage from elements and vandals outweighed lorry costs. As well as being pretty ugly on the eye, it’s also about the same length as a Box car, and being single decked makes transport easier and cheaper.

          • Mary says:

            If it is just to make space for Box 40 which as far as I know is only going to be there a few weeks it does seem a lot of time and effort. Surely it won’t do much harm if something is outside for a short time or could things be temporarily squezed up in the exhibition hall? Only makes sense to move this tram off site if there is something else taking its place permanently.

          • So, going by Phill’s comments, the story could be like that:

            Blackpool Brush car 298 moved to safer storage

            In order to improve the conditions it resides in, partially restored Blackpool Brush railcoach 298 is to be transferred from the main depot at Crich to the storage facility at nearby Clay Cross. At present the car does look rather sorry with windows missing and panels still in undercoat after its previous home had to be vacated in 2005. As the climate at Crich can be rather harsh with condensation in the depots in winter it was decided that the much dryer storage at Clay Cross was the preferred option for this car until the restoration resumes. Due to the unfinished nature of the restoration parts are exposed which are normally covered and protected and suffer more than under normal circumstances. Fortunately Clay Cross now offers some space following the move of Gateshead 52 to Beamish and deconstruction of North Metropolitan horse car 184.

            Blackpool 298 will be placed right at the front of the building in order to ease extraction from the building once it returns to Crich for restoration. A dedicated fund for the restoration exists but at £125,000 still falls short of the estimated total restoration costs. As the workshop at Crich will be busy for the next couple of years with the restoration of LCC 1 the museum has got time to get in touch with funding bodies like the TSO or FTS in order to campaign to secure the funding for 298’s restoration while LCC 1 is worked on. Once finished 298, which uniquely retains many original features, will make an interesting comparison with heavily rebuilt sister car 630.

            Certainly the move of 298 to Clay Cross will cause some controversy as the car will be out of sight for a couple of years to come and fears that it will share the fate of cars like Blackpool OMO 5, Blackpool 59, Glasgow 1100, Leeds 600 and Sheffield 46 and, most of all, Glasgow Cable Car No. 1, all of which have been at Clay Cross for a considerable time, some for decades, and not re-emerge for a long time can not be brushed aside. However, with some funding already in place and a high interest in the enthusiast fraternity in the car its outing to Clay Cross may prove rather short-lived and it may follow the path of cars like Leeds 345, Leeds 399 or Cardiff 131, all of which went straight from Clay Cross into the Crich workshop and are now fully restored and operational.

  10. A. D. Young says:

    One wonders whether this car and Dreadnought 59 might perhaps be transferred to Blackpool’s heritage fleet on long-term loan, which would include Blackpool themselves doing what’s needed to rectify the problems with each car-for a price presumably.

    I don’t know what the logistics of such a move might be, nor yet how it might be set in motion, but it might set a useful precedent for similar arrangements with other museums that might include Leeds 600 and 602 (Blackpool, Carlton Colville or Beamish), Glasgow 1100 and/or 1115 at Summerlee etc.

    A. D. Young

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Don’t forget though that Leeds 602 is too valuable to be restored so there would no point in sending it to an operating tramway as it must be conserved for the benefit of us all!

      I think that the ideal solution would be to offer 298 to Blackpool; if they’re willing, let them restore it as a contract job using the money available, and have an appeal if more is needed, with the offer that BTS can use it on loan for a few years when completed before it goes to Crich, if they will quote a good price to do the work. This has often been suggested by various people but the powers that be seem to prefer leaving the money and the tram doing nothing rather than thinking outside the box for a change. This would also solve the problem of workshop capacity mentioned by Phill in this thread.

  11. Geoffrey Ryder says:

    A few years ago, before his untimely death, Richard Lomas told me that the fundamental problem at Crich is that they have too many trams to look after and keep in running or exhibiting condition. Projected Income from all sources is inadequate to achieve this objective. This is therefore not a new revelation. Why therefore do they not, for example on a long term basis, loan Liverpool 869 to the Birkenhead museum and look to establish a satilite museum in the south of England for the London trams? It is a fact of life that there is more wealth in the south of England than elsewhere, so there are potential sizeable donations and legacies available for new projects in the south of the country. A good example of that has been the successful fund raising by the Bluebell Railway for the East Grinstead extension. The TMS board must start thinking outside their ‘box’ before events overtake them.

  12. Ken Walker says:

    I think Tommy Carr has a good point in suggesting using the best bits of 298 and 624 to make one good car. There are plenty of examples of Brush rail coaches in later guises but we do not have one single example of Brush or EE rail coaches in as-built condition, which is a major gap in the railcoach story. Alternatively the ring-fenced money could at least be used for a cosmetic restoration. If Crich do not have any intention of restoring the car maybe they should refund the money to the contributors.

  13. Phil Hart says:

    I noticed it hasn’t got original half drop type windows.

    Talking of Blackpool trams at Crich – anyone know what has happened to Blackpool 59 (Dreadnought). Last I knew it was also at Clay Cross awaiting restoration and that was about 5 years ago?

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Dreadnought 59 is still at Clay Cross, it has been there since 1995.

    • Ross Stewart says:

      Going by the latest Journal, it appears that if the tram isn’t from London or Blackpool then it isn’t going to get a look in. So bringing 59 back would be in keeping with the current thinking ie it is a Blackpool tram. (Not sure how 298 is managing to be excluded from that thinking especially as it has a fund of money with it.) Maybe that’s the key, it has a fund of money with it so can be passed over. (Slightly tongue in cheek).

      • Phill says:

        Remind me which bit of London or Blackpool Sheffield, Oporto and Leeds are in? 😛

        Fact is, the LCCTT are doing an incredible job of raising money for London trams, hence their prevalence. I think they deserve a huge thankyou too, without them I’d have to drink white lightening whilst vandalising a bus shelter every saturday.
        Blackpool also has a massive following, and the fleet disposal could hardly be ignored. There’s no agenda, its just how things pan out.

        • Christopher Callan says:

          Agree. Never bought into this “bias concept”. Simply following the money and tramcar availability. Blackpool survived longer so naturally more cars out their to save. And the story itself is far longer as result.

  14. Motorman 629 says:

    Before everyone gets too upset about 298 being “banished”, could I offer the opinion that storage in the dry, bright, clean, main hall at the Clay Cross store is a much better environment than the damp and draughty asbestos Atcost depots at Crich. It’s an inescapable truth that 298 will have to wait a long time before funds available are sufficient for it to be restored. I would suggest it is less likely to deteriorate further at Clay Cross than in the Crich depots. This is not a death sentence for the car; more a safe haven until it’s kitty is full and it’s time to enter the workshop comes. At the moment, it’s only taking up space needed for the running fleet, and presenting a poor sight for our visitors.
    And don’t get me started on Halle 902! Surely the best option for that would be sale to a Continental museum who could actually do something with it…..

  15. Andy says:

    Tommy, regards your comment about putting a cover over the siding down the exhibition hall, that has been looked into but to make it a proper secure depot would mean digging more of the banking out to make a fire escape/path which the existing siding is.
    There is no intension of keeping 298 permanently at Clay Cross but its reason for going is to make space for when 167 comes back and Box 40 joins us.

  16. Andy says:

    Regards the moving of G&I14 from Clay Cross, Phill is partly right in that a building was put up making access a bit more difficult, but also access used to be a different way hich is now blocked off and would mean moving down the side of a main line railway with no fence between you and the railway.

  17. Andrew says:

    Could I suggest that if Crich didn’t hide the contents of Clay Cross quite so secretively then this situation would not appear so bad. Its the thought that trams will go to Clay Cross and disappear off the face of the earth that probably angers a lot of people. Time and time again some form of restricted access to the store has been suggested and time and time again it has been dismissed although as it took 36 years to get a stop at Glory Mine that shouldn’t be too surprising.Open up the store for one or two days a year and people can visit the contents and be happy that they are stored safely. Carry on ignoring this idea and people will continue to condemn trams being placed in limbo.

  18. Christopher Callan says:

    Honestly do really feel sorry for the people behind the scenes who seemed to try and grasp the nettles and start to try and turn the proverbial ship around during the winter. After such a impressive start with the “great tram move” the year has spiralled to new depths. A rather spectacular collapse that seemingly done lasting damage that will be difficult but not impossible to repair.

    What a contrast to Blackpool and their incredibly successful “mega hire” this week.

    • Daniel says:

      Do you know how long it is going for? Do you know why it is going there? Did you know that the initial process of the restoration has actually started according to a member of the workshop on FoNT?

      So many armchair enthusiasts commenting online as if they have all the facts to hand when they don’t. This was also the case with the 602 saga. The railway community suffers from the same problem but fortunately they have a lot more people who can offer an alternative viewpoint and actually know the full facts. Not so in the tramway community it appears.

  19. Paul says:

    Back in the late 90’s when a well-known member of the TMS was progressing some restoration work on 298 while it was at Mode Wheel I made several modest donations to what I saw as a very worthy fund – seeing the restoration of a classic Blackpool streamliner back to its “as built & delivered” condition. The arrival of 298 at Crich in 2005 looked be the next logical step to reaching the workshop, but unpleasant rumours about the project also started circulating, so my financial contributions ceased & will not be resumed. Having “invested” a very modest amount into the project I’m saddened but not at all surprised at the announcement &, given the museums present stance on legacies, donations & funding, the Leeds 602 controversy, the support I give to any project will not be related to Crich, as I believe there are far more worthy organisations that could make far better use of my practical & financial support.

    It’s a fact that Crich has far too many trams for the size of its demonstration line, & while I’m sure everyone can appreciate that maintaining a fleet of over fifty trams in full working order is neither feasible or practical, no vehicle in the collection should be written off as “never to run again” which is the perception many have of all the vehicles in the exhibition hall & of those gathering dust at Clay Cross – many of us thinking “never to run again”. With Blackpool 59 having resided at Clay Cross for nearly twenty years, missing the 125th Anniversary in Blackpool & having a narrow escape from fire damage or total destruction, I think the TMS has to ask itself what it is about when considering restorations, especially when funding has already been raised. The controversy over Leeds 602 is a classic example of the Crich thinking that seems to be applied to many other cars like Sheffield 189 & 264, Glasgow 1115 & 1297 – I seem to think that the notion is they should ideally be contained in glass cases purged with inert gas, in a climate controlled building just to be looked at – nothing more. In reality when it comes to a museum experience visitors like to use their senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell (though probably not taste – except in the café!). What they don’t want to do is just look at static dusty exhibits that never move from one year to the next simply because, for example, its traction motors still have the original brushes fitted from the day it was last in service, & the fading paint is the last coat applied five years before “Anytown Corporation” ceased operating their trams. Going to a transport museum & riding on vehicles, hearing the different sounds & feeling the different motions of vehicles, the comfort (or discomfort) of the seats, etc. is all part of the experience – in today’s media savvy world we can all look at tramcar photographs & watch archive cine film footage from the comfort of our armchairs.

    I would advocate that some of the suggestions of 298 being offered to Blackpool on long-term loan (much like the arrangement with Box car 40) in return for Blackpool completing the restoration using the established fund being a sensible one, but given the magnitude of restoration work that is required on the much expanded heritage fleet in Blackpool, that may be a tall though not impossible order. Just think – two Railcoaches (English Electric 279 & Brush 298) in original “as built & delivered” condition posed side by side at Pleasure Beach – & you would be able to take a ride on them too!!

    • Daniel says:

      I don’t understand the argument that they shouldn’t leave trams on display in the exhibition hall. They have so many trams that it is impossible to have them all running and when so much is needed for their restoration they need to look at the opportunity cost to see where else the money could be spent.
      People have far too high expectations when it comes to the NTM. You can’t have all the trams running all of the time.

      • Paul says:

        That the entire fleet should be restored & available for operation is not the point I was trying to make. In my comment I stated that that would be neither feasible nor practical to do this. The point I was making is that there seems to be a policy, official or unofficial, of earmarking certain cars “never to run again”, as in the case of 602, which I doubt was the spirit of the museum founders who strove to create a working museum on which to demonstrate the trams they possessed, which in itself provides the museum visitor with a unique experience rather than viewing a collection of static exhibits as in the case of the museum in Glasgow.

        When funds for a restoration have already been raised, as in the case of 298, or have been offered, as in the case of 602, advantage should be taken of this, even if any practical work is deferred for a period of time while workshop schedules, materials & labour can be organised. In the case of 298, consigning the car to Clay Cross seems to indicate a lack of willingness to schedule any further work on the car for anything from five up to twenty five years, given the “escape rate” from Clay Cross. Only as a result of campaigning by members was Leeds 345 rescued.

    • Phill says:

      “The controversy over Leeds 602 is a classic example of the Crich thinking that seems to be applied to many other cars like Sheffield 189 & 264, Glasgow 1115 & 1297”

      Ah..No! As far as I am aware, there are maybe 3 or 4 trams that are currently considered conservation items. 602, DHMD 1, that Leamington and Warwick body that is too rotten to do anyway and possibly John Bull, though I may be wrong on that. So thats 4 out of what, 60 trams? This idea that because we’re conserving one tram we’ll conserve them all is utter crap.

      In fact, imagine if the donation had been accepted. 602 would have followed LCC 1 in the shop around 2018. Say another 4 years, that takes us to 2022, by which time the STTS would doubtless have got the funds for 1282. So another 4 years for that, and we’re up to 2026 before there’d be a gap 298 could slot in to.
      As it stands, 1282 might not yet be fully funded by the time LCC 1 is done. Therefore if the 298 fund were to be given a major drive, theoretically it could be started round 2018-19. Maybe we could apply for HLF funding, being as we’ve demonstrated we’re a serious museum by not blindly ripping apart an artefact…

      Now outside storage. This is absolutely not a good idea. I went to school with the scrotes that live round Crich, I’m positive that any sheeted up hulk outside would receive unwanted attention in short order. That and the weather, and the cost of damage after even a year would outweigh the cost of lorries.

      • Andrew Waddington says:

        I would be very interested in seeing a list of which trams are to be conserved – I was under the impression that Blackpool 4 and Sheffield 264 were also in this category, along with possibly a few others, but am happy to be proved wrong.

        Well done also for insulting the local community, another black mark for Crich. I find it amazing that working members at Crich are so defensive about critical internet articles when they are the ones who are destroying any goodwill from the wider community towards the museum with comments like that. At this rate in ten years there won’t be a museum to have policies as all potential visitors will have been put off and the TMS will go bust.

  20. Christopher Callan says:

    Removing any emotion from it all..

    In less than 25 years (when you consider pot been sitting their for x years as well its actually less) based on current inflation levels pot will be worth £58371.84. So based on Crich estimate for under frame of £50k. They will just about have enough for that… Cant believe its not been put out to tender if they are unable to do it for what ever reason themselves. Just seeing that money ebb away. Surely heart breaking for those who put the money in the first place.

    When you consider the escape rate at Claycross alarmingly less than 25 years and your been optimistic….

    Yes it might free up the Dreadnought or similar escaping one day but what impact does the decision have on the ability going forward to raise funds as rightly or wrongly its natural to worry the 298 depreciating fund situation may well repeat itself…

    • Daniel says:

      Hasn’t the estimate of the underframe costing 50k also taken inflation into account? I think they have more than enough to do that. I can’t blame them for hanging on to it if I am honest. Why would Blackpool want it? They have 624. Heaton Park have enough on their hands and Beamish might not see it as appropriate for their museum.
      It’s a valuable exhibit and if the TSO put some money into it then I have no doubt it would be restored.

      • Andrew Waddington says:

        You have a lot more faith in the TMS management than I do then if you believe it will be restored if the remaining funds are found!

        As for Blackpool, the big difference between 298 and 624 is that 298 has money attached to it. BTS could probably get it operational for £125k, or certainly go a long way towards it. By contrast 624 is just a shell with no funds allocated to it, so it isn’t fair to compare the two.

        • Daniel says:

          Well if they are given the money remaining and they can find space in the workshop why the hell wouldn’t they restore it?
          How could BTS get it operational for 125k unlike the Crich workshop?

          • Paul D says:

            “How could BTS get it operational for 125k unlike the Crich workshop?”

            Creative Accounting on both sides!

            One to get the maximum done in the shortest time for minimum direct financial input; the other to maximise the aparent value of the finished job for various asset accounting reasons and with regard to aplications for grants from outside sources.

            You could also ask why Crich’s 2011 estimate for the failed appeal for additional Depot accomodation for the Blackpool cars was twice the amount for a building two-thirds the size of that which has recently been successfully completed in Heaton Park.

            Different accounting policies, neither necessarily ‘wrong’, but designed for different audiences…

  21. Malc B says:

    At the end of the day, none of the preserved Brush cars look anything like how they were originally delivered to Blackpool. To have one restored to be able to compare against its heavily modified ‘sisters’ would be brilliant. A chance like this cannot be overlooked.

  22. Malc B says:

    LTT almost managed to recreate an original EE railcoach, a job which I am led to believe is a long term project for BTS to finish off. Can you imagine the excitement this would create to have both original Brush and EE railcoaches running side by side on the promenade (assuming BTS got involved in the Brush renovation).

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