Saturday 5th July 1964 was an extremely significant day in the history of British tramcar preservation, as this was the day when public services commenced at what would become the National Tramway Museum at Crich using electric trams. At 2:00pm, Blackpool & Fleetwood 2 earned its place in history by operating the very first public journey, not only at Crich, but in any British museum – and this milestone was remembered exactly fifty years afterwards, when remarkably, the very same tram was in service.
‘Rack’ 2 – which has recently been temporarily returned to use in view of this year’s milestone achievement – was purposely scheduled to perform the 2:00pm run from Town End on Saturday 5th July 2014, and shortly before departure, various members of the Board of Management posed with the tram, along with other members on site who had been actively involved with the museum in 1964. These guests then re-enacted that first historic public service, with a private run the to the Depot gates, this being the full length of the line fifty years ago. Car 2 then remained in public service for the rest of the day along with Chesterfield 7 and Blackpool ‘Boat’ 236 – neither of which were at Crich, or even in the national collection, all those years ago when the electric tram service commenced.
Ordinary visitors to the museum on this date were not forgotten with a special commemorative ticket issued to all visitors in recognition of this momentous occasion. However, the main celebrations will have to wait a little longer: the ‘Electric 50’ event in September being the main opportunity to mark this preservation milestone and enjoy the largest number of trams to have been operated at the museum together for many years.