The Crich Tramway Village has announced that a 1930s Blackpool Corporation Tramways tram is going to be restored, at the cost of £373,000.
Blackpool Tram 298 was withdrawn from service in Blackpool in October 1974 and was soon acquired by the Tramway Museum Society, based at Crich.
It then spent 20 years at various locations in the North West, the tram moved to Crich in 2006 and has spent the last five years in storage.
Since then, a group has been drawing up plans to restore the tram back to 1930s condition.
Funding for the restoration has come from the Blackpool Railcoach Fund and the Tramcar Sponsorship Organisation (TSO). The Tramway Museum Society has signed a contract with the TSO to restore the tram.
Project Leader, Peter Whiteley, identified that the first task would be the manufacture of a new under-frame. 298 will be returned to Crich by the end of 2020 for restoration work to start.
Peter said: “Its been a long time in coming but I feel that we are now in a position to restore the tramcar in the Crich Workshop to the standard it deserves. The original finish on these vehicles was to a standard you might find on a luxury coach of the time rather than a fare-stage vehicle. It will be a credit to Walter Luff (manager of Blackpool Corporation Transport at the time) Brush (the manufactures) and the many people who have continued to support the project over the years.”
Completion of the restoration is expected to be by 2024.
Frank Bagshaw, TSO Secretary, said: “This is an exciting development, and it has been important to negotiate such a contract with the TMS to ensure a tight control over expectations and finance. It lays the groundwork for future restoration projects.”
TMS Member and volunteer, Keith Chadbourne is a long- time contributor to the funds and said: “At long last we can demonstrate what a 1930’s Art-deco tramcar looked like, and how it set the scene for modern tramways of the future”.
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