Derbyshire tram museum at Crich celebrates 50 years

The Sheffield 15 today The Duke of Gloucester will drive a horse tram, the Sheffield 15, which was the museum's first passenger-carrying tram
The first passenger carrying tram at Crich Tramway Village The Sheffield 15 in 1963, when the museum opened
The first passenger carrying tram at Crich Tramway Village The museum was set up to preserve trams which were disappearing from city centres at the time

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A Derbyshire tram museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a visit from its patron the Duke of Gloucester.

The Crich Tramway Village was established in 1963 to preserve trams which, at the time, were being removed from cities in favour of trolley buses.

The museum now has more than 60 trams in its collection, including models from New York, Berlin and South Africa.

During his visit, the duke will drive a horse-drawn tram, the Sheffield 15, the museum's first passenger-carrying tram.

'Like a toast rack'

The history of trams

  • The first passenger tram was on the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in South Wales, which started operating in 1807
  • The world's first electric tramway opened in Berlin in 1881
  • By the 1950s, trams were disappearing from UK cities but have now returned in some, including Nottingham

Laura Waters, the museum's curator, said: "During the 1950s, a movement sprang up to preserve trams, as they were increasingly being replaced by trolley and motor buses.

"The group were looking for a home and they found this site."

Crich, now a registered charity, holds the national collection of trams.

"The idea of the museum is to illustrate the history of trams from horse and steam trams to the revived systems we're seeing in city centres today," added Ms Waters.

"People can come and ride trams from all over the country, including one that looks like a boat and one that looks like a toast-rack!"

The Sheffield 15 tram, which the duke will drive, only operates once a year.

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