Tram Museum Logo   Anniversary Parade
London
Tram & Trolleybus
abandonment

7th July 2002

This page is part of the Crich Tramway Village Segment [ 1 | 2 | 3 | Getting There | Museum WEB Site ]

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London at Crich
Picture DW10
Taken by Brian Castle from Cirencester
What a difference after 40 years! Picture DW10 + 571
A montage has been created which combines together two pictures taken from the same position capturing the early beginnings of the Museum in the early 1960s to the London event held in July 2002.

Prior to electrification, visitor rides were provided by the "one horse power" tram No.15 originally owned by the Sheffield Tramways Company.

The next group of pictures were taken by Peter Golds who has prepared all of the captions

Tram 1622, RTL 1163 and Trolleybus 1812 at Crich
Picture PSG24
Shows Tram 1622
RTL 1163
Trolleybus 1812

RTL 1163 was based at Stockwell Garage and was showing route 168. The 168 was the replacement service for former tram route 26 and was introduced at stage 1 of the conversion programme on 1 October 1950.
Front view of 1812
Picture PSG3
Front view of 1812, showing the 601 Fulwell blind. Magnificently restored following repatriation from Spain, 1812 was specially sent to Hanwell Depot to close route 607 and was the last trolleybus vehicle to leave Uxbridge terminus on 8 November 1960. It was the only Q class vehicle to have the "honour" of closing a service.
Rear view of 1812 with E1 tram, 1622 approaching Picture PSG11
Rear view of 1812 with E1 tram, 1622 approaching.

Arriving at Crich I was fascinated to see a trolleybus "parked up" and curious to see which of the survivors was on display.

1622 has been restored by the LCC Tramway Trust and is restored to the condition of the refurbished E1s. 1622 had been withdrawn at the beginning of the war and did not operate during the period of the south London conversion. However sister tram 1621 operated from New Cross Depot, until scrapped in 1951.
Last Tram Week atmosphere
Picture PSG10
During last tram week in 1952, posters were affixed to the side of most cars [except the 22 former West Ham cars that were still in service] advertising the closure. This was reproduced on 1622 in Crich for the 50th anniversary.
Last Tram Week atmosphere
Picture PSG18
A complete view of the poster noting that we said goodbye to London
Interior of  MET  Feltham 331 Picture PSG20
A view of the upper interior of MET Feltham, 331 dating from 1929. This was one of three experimental vehicles built and must have seemed the last word in luxury at a time when most drivers stood for the full journey, many with open cabs. Open topped trams were still carrying passengers and wooden slatted seats were quite normal on upper decks.

The sleek seating and modern lighting can clearly be seen. The Felthams also had interior heating, another first for London's trams.

331 was based at Finchley Depot and re-numbered 2168 by the LPTB and was sold to Sunderland Corporation in 1937. Purchased by enthusiasts at the closure of the Sunderland system it has been restored to the condition in which it entered service for the MET.
Crich Depot yard
Picture PSG19
A view of the Depot yard, showing LCC 1, drawn up. Taken from the top deck of 1622.
1622 shown at the crossover at Crich
Picture PSG21
1622 shown at the crossover at Crich.
LCC 1 is seen inside the Depot at Crich A close up of the blind display on LCC 1 LCC 1 on the traverser outside Crich Depot
Pictures PSG15, PSG12 and DW26
LCC 1 is shown inside the Depot at Crich and on the traverser outside. In 1929 5,000 was allocated by the LCC for the development and construction of an improved design tramcar, as the forerunner of new generation of cars. The new car entered service in May 1932 as LCC 1. It was painted in a blue and white livery and was nicknamed Bluebird and like the Felthams had air brakes and doors. The body was all metal and as well as upholstered seats it had recessed lighting. It entered service on the Kingsway routes, but by this time the trams were facing abolition and it remained unique. [Picture DW26 from the Derek Watts collection].

In 1937 it was repainted standard LPTB red and yellow and eventually was allocated to Telford Avenue Depot. Number 1 survived scrapping when it was sent to Leeds in place of two Felthams that had been previously sold to Leeds but were destroyed by fire. In Leeds it was renumbered 301, remaining in service until September 1957, when it was saved for preservation and restored to LT condition. Sadly it has not been renovated to Crich standard, and cannot be used for carrying visitors.

The route blinds and headlamps were built into the bodywork giving number 1 a streamlined appearance. Driving number 1 was undertaken on a voluntary basis and few were prepared to take it on the road and as a result it was rarely seen outside of rush hours. When it did appear it was usually on route 16/18, which is shown in the picture. It was, however, a great favourite as a touring vehicle and travelled most of the rapidly diminishing system prior to final abandonment.
331 arriving at the Crich main terminus 331 arriving at the Crich main terminus Pictures PSG22 and PSG23
331 arriving at the Crich main terminus. I was delighted that the destination blind had been turned to show Wembley, having lived for many years in the area.

However, I am not sure that 331 would have visited Wembley, unless used as an extra for decanting Wembley Stadium crowds, as it was based in Finchley and seems to have mainly operated on route 40 [later 45] which was replaced by the 645. Wembley was served by route 62, later trolleybus route 662 operated out of Stonebridge Depot.
Last Tram Day reconstruction Picture PSG17
Crich commemorated the 50th anniversary of 'Last Tram Day' with a reconstruction of the final day on Saturday July 6th. 1622 played 1951, complete with a notice saying London's Last Tram over the driver's entrance.

A Standard 8, Rover 75 were there as London traffic, RTL 1163 was the tram replacement bus, 1812 was towed as if visiting the Charlton works and RF 271 appeared as itself.

1622 arrived in the Depot driven by Malcolm Wright, who played John Cliff wearing the special T15000 badge that was given to John Cliff in 1952. Geoffrey Claydon greeted 1622 and repeated the farewell given by Lord Latham in 1952...."in the name of Londoner's I say goodbye old tram".

Approximately 150 members of the Tramway Museum Society played the 20,000 Londoner's who were at New Cross that night. Crich have a record of this event with a magnificent picture of 1622 looking as if it had arrived at New Cross.

For the record Lord Latham was previously the leader of the LCC until appointed Chairman of London Transport. He lived on until 1970, the current Lord Latham [the second] is his grandson who lives in Australia. John Cliff was the Deputy Chairman of London Transport and was a one time tram driver who had began work in New Cross Depot in 1915.
Liverpool's 869 awaiting to take up duty Picture PSG16
Liverpool's 869 sits quietly in the depot yard with other provincial trams seen in the distance. After all, this was a London weekend!

 Background information on 869's journey into preservation.