Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crich Tramway Village

Red Lion Pub

Our lunch, Cornish pasties with Bulmer's cider and Guinness to drink.  The cider has a higher alcohol content than the beer!

Walking into Crich Tramway Village is a stroll back in time.  The main street is home to period buildings and street furniture from all over the country, moved from their original locations.  There is the Derby Assembly Rooms, from 1765- 1774, which was salvaged after a fire in 1963, moved to Crich and rebuilt.  Farther down you will find the Yorkshire Penny Bank, Burnley Tramway Company offices and, most important to any town, the Red Lion Pub.   All were moved here to the main street. The street lights are gas lamps, now converted to electricity.  There is even an original Victorian Cast-iron urinal from Reading!

A tram originally used in London.

The interior has inlaid wood ceilings, etched glass over the recessed lights, silk drapes and silk pulls to hold onto for the riders who had to stand.

The conductor takes your fare and punches your ticket.  We paid for our first ride with a one penny coin from 1918, which was given to us at admissions.  Any additional rides were shown our ticket and a new one added. Some of the children were really excited about the number of tickets they had collected.

Running down the middle of the street are the tramway rails with their electric lines overhead.  There were three trams running on the day we visited.  We road on two of them.  Your admission includes all the tram rides you want to take.  All the drivers and conductors are volunteers.

The workshop.

The Workshop has trams in every stage of restoration.  When trams arrived to the museum, most are in a sorry state, a shell with no workings.  We rode on one which had been used as a house for 30 years!  The finished products are historically accurate from wheels up.  And, they all run.

Looking down on the work area.  This bay had tram wheels and bases being repaired.

The large exhibition hall houses a collection of trams from the earliest horse drawn models to the last ones in use in the 1970's.  There are story boards telling the history by decades.  The National Tramway Museum was started in 1955 by a group who wanted to save the heritage of trams in England for future generations. They wanted more than a static museum, they wanted running trams.  In 1963 they opened with a horse drawn tram, followed in 1964 with an electric one.  Now they have a full fleet of working trams as well as a village of historical buildings.  Well done!

Trams from the 1940's.

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