Liverpool's last tram
Liverpool's last tram
There are calls for Liverpool’s last tram to be returned to its home city from its current home in a museum in the USA.
Electric trams first operated in Liverpool in November 1898.
At the height of the tram operation in 1945 there were 744 trams running in Liverpool along 63 routes. Trams at this time outnumbered buses three to one.
Following the Second World War, Liverpool City Council took the decision to move away from trams in favour of buses. From 1948 onwards the network was wound down with the last trams running in 1957.
A Liverpool born man is calling for the city's last tram to be returned home from an American museum.
Liverpool’s last tram 293 ran on Saturday 14th September as part of a procession to mark the end of trams in Liverpool. Car 293 now languishes in a warehouse at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, USA.
Eric Potter emigrated to Canada from Liverpool in 1974 he recently visited the Maine based museum and discovered Liverpool’s last tram
“While browsing through the post cards I was surprised to find Liverpool’s Last Tram. I asked one of the guides where I could find this tram as it meant so much to me. My grandfather was one of the last to drive these trams and I well remember standing at the corner of Bowland Avenue and Bowring Park Road to watch our last three trams trundle by. The guide told me that it wasn't on display, but I could find it in a warehouse if I wished to see it.”
293 was a ‘Baby Grand’ tram, a smaller version of the ‘Bogie Streamliner’ cars which ran through the city’s streets. One of the Bogie Streamliners still survives at Britain’s National Tramway Museum at Crich, Derbyshire.
A Liverpool tram
Eric Potter says the last tram is hidden away in the museum as if forgotten “When we did find it, I was rather disappointed that it should be just stored away as if it meant nothing. I boarded the tram and immediately went to the Number Indicator and changed it from No 14 Gateacre and Huyton to No 6E Edge Lane, the number it had on its last run. I was showing my wife how the seats worked, how you just pulled the back over when the tram turned around.
“It seems such a shame to me that part of Liverpool’s heritage is lying in a shed in North America and not back home in Liverpool where it belongs. Maybe the people of Liverpool could lobby to have it returned.”
One of Liverpool's old trams
Not all of Merseyside’s trams have disappeared, National Museums Liverpool hold an old Liverpool tram in their street transport collection. The tram had formed part of the Large Objects Museum in the 1980's but following its closure it went into storage. Although not currently on public display it’s hoped some of the collection will form part of the planned new Museum of Liverpool at the Pier Head.
In Birkenhead trams have returned to the streets of Merseyside thanks to the work of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society a heritage tramway runs Hong Kong built trams along a short route in the town. Birkenhead is the historic home of the first street tramway in Europe. Europe's first tramway was established in Birkenhead on August 29th 1860 running from Woodside to Birkenhead Park.
last updated: 04/09/07
Have Your Say
What do you think? Should a campaign be started to return Liverpool's last tram home? Add your comments here.
Marge, Bridgeport, Connecticut USA
chris byrne wallaceburg ont canada
Bert Smith , Oshawa.Canada.
Herbert Pence, FCILT
Pieter de Poel (lpudlianinNL)
Pat van der Veer (Robinson)
Roy M - |Liverpool
A W Gilliland