Restoration work on famed tramcar at Crich museum

Restoration of London County Council Tramcar No. 1 at National Tramway Museun, Crich.
Restoration of London County Council Tramcar No. 1 at National Tramway Museun, Crich.

Work on restoring an 86-year-old tramcar has presented a Peak District museum with one of its most complex challenges to date.

The National Tramway Museum in Crich has been given a deadline of October next year to return an innovative vehicle to its former glory.

Neil White, engineering manager, said: “This remains an ambitious deadline and to realise this ambition, our conservation workshop is currently interviewing for an additional two technicians to join our skilled workforce.”

The recruits will join a team tasked with getting the London County Council Tramcar No. 1 (LCC 1) back on track.

Completed in 1932, the vehicle which was then known as Bluebird, was the protoype for a proposed new fleet of tramcars for Londonwhich would use the latest techniques in engineering. Unfortunately it was not destined to go into mass production but saw service in London for almost 20 years before being sold to Leeds where it saw further service with that tramway operator.

The five-year restoration project has provided interesting challenges to the skilled team of engineers.

Laura Waters, curator at the National Tramway Museum, said: “During the deconstruction process we learned more about LCC1’s complexities and challenges.”

Restoration is a joint venture between the Tramway Museum Society (TMS), which is providing the workshop facilities and skilled team, and the London County Council Tramways Trust (LCCTT) whose supporters are providing the finance. Both organisations have agreed the completion date which will see the tramcar fully restored and operational at the Crich heritage centre next year.

Ian Ross, chairman of the LCCTT, said: “Many of our supporters did not ever expect to see this famous London tramcar being brought back to a condition where they can ride on ‘Bluebird’’ again. “

They have been following the progresss of the restoration and greatly appreciate the work being done by the museum team.

If you wish to contribute to the restoration, visit www.lcctt.org.uk. For further updates on the project, call 01773 854321 or visit www.tramway.co.uk