Teenager Tom Cousins has become the youngest conductor on the vintage trams at Crich Tramway Village.
The 17-year-old passed out recently to become a fully-fledged volunteer conductor on the traffic crew team.
Tom, who has just completed his A-levels at Sheffield College, said: “I really enjoy working on the trams and other crew members say that it has helped my confidence.”
Tom is a welcome and much needed member of the tram crew. As many of the crew are increasingly reaching retirement age, Crich Tramway Village is always seeking more volunteers to help keep the trams operating between mid-March and the beginning of November each year.
His success follows that of the youngest volunteer tram driver at Crich, Ryan Breen, at 19 years old, who has gone on to secure a job at Nottingham Express Transit, where he has been training to drive modern trams, and has just qualified to drive in Nottingham, officially in passenger service, which started on July 17.
Tramway village operations manager Neil White said: “It’s great to see the younger generation willing to give their valuable free time to volunteer at the museum. As Tom says, learning to work on the trams in a safety-critical role such as conducting or driving helps to build confidence, and can provide a valuable reference to help gain paid work in the outside world.
“Volunteers play a vital role in the life of the museum. All our tram drivers and conductors are volunteers, as are many of the people who help maintain and restore the trams and tramway equipment.
“There is a great team spirit, and it is an excellent way to make new friends and learn new skills.”
Crich Tramway Village is a period village containing a pub, cafe, old-style sweetshop and tram depots. The museum’s collection of trams runs through the village setting with visitors transported one mile out into the local countryside and back.
The trams at Crich mostly ran along the streets of cities in the United Kingdom before the 1960s, with trams rescued and restored as the systems closed.
For more information call 01773 854321 or visit www.tramway.co.uk/volunteering.