A home for LCC Tram #1

ht26 ht31 Pictures HT26 and HT31
Tram #1 [ex-LCC 1 "Bluebird", built in 1932] caught on camera at Archway when the Southern Counties Touring Society hired the car for a tour in 1949. The tour also visited Grove Park and West Norwood.

HT6 HT5 Pictures HT6 and HT5
About to become LCT 301 inside Kirkstall Road works. Note the Leeds blind and London livery - later seen in service with in its new LCT livery while it waits at the Lawnswood shelter outside Barclay's bank in City Square.
Click on any picture for an enlarged version

From: Derek Watts

I wonder if funds/time will ever become available so that it runs on it's own power once more. I rode on it in Streatham around 1951 and even then it was a very slick and smooth running car. I dare say Stan Collins of "The Wheels Used to Talk To Us" fame was the driver [not many other drives liked it].

Notes by David Bradley

Terry Russell reports that LCC #1 is rapidly rotting away at Crich and with restoration standards at the Museum remaining very high for operational duties, a substantial rebuild of the old girl would be necessary.

Metal/wood composite trams are very vulnerable in old age, so an extensive re panelling exercise will be required first, particularly as the side panels were 'hacked around' in Leeds to clear the trucks. Not a the fibre glass and filler job! Sadly the upholstery is similarly in a very poor condition but not an insurmountable problem for restoration.

Frustratingly, local expertise in restoring tram cars at Crich seems to favour cars that originally ran on northern systems so when activity starts on No.1 could be very much in the future and perhaps too late. While generous donations for repainting the tram, in its famous blue livery, may be on offer, more fundamental engineering needs to be started as a matter of urgency. Enthusiasts who would love to help with the restoration are just too far away. LCC 106 was restored in the London area - maybe the same should be arranged for No.1

Crich on 5 July 2002
Click on picture [DW3] for an enlarged version

The London event on Saturday 5 July 2002 gave photographic opportunities for No.1 as it was pushed out of the depot and rolled down to the end of the track for the parade. RTL 1163 and an RF can be seen in picture DW3.

From: "Lynda Wright" <lynda.wright@btopenworld.com>

My wife has been surfing and has drawn my attention to an interesting note about LCC No.1 and Crich Tramways. I find the comment about the Museum favouring the restoration of 'northern trams' a little disappointing. It's all about money.

The Tramcar Workshop at Crich has the skills to restore all types of tramcar. However, such is the economic climate that visitors only generate enough revenue to operate the Museum, not restore more trams. All the restoration funding comes from sponsors, mainly members and kindred societies such as the Tramcar Sponsorship Organisation, the Leeds Transport Historical Society, the Fylde Tramway Society, the Scottish Transport Museum Society and the LCC Tramways Trust.

He who pays the piper calls the tune, which is why a LEEDS tram 345 is almost completed and will be in service in the Autumn. A LONDON tram will be next - LUT 159. The latter is funded by the LCC Tramways Trust. Work will begin in the next three months. The LCCTT has also begun to raise funds to RESTORE LCC1, and it would be great if you could publicise the fact on your website and invite contributions to the LCCTT.

Their address is: LCCTT [Promotions] Ltd, 2, Sanctuary Close, Kessingland, Lowestoft. NR33 7SX

I can guarantee that when the LCCTT has raised the funds LCC1 WILL enter the Tramway Museum Workshops for restoration.

Malcolm Wright, Board Member for Engineering, Tramway Museum Society.
[Oh - the cost - Leeds 345 cost about 200,000. LCC1 is more complex and will therefore cost considerable more].

From: Dave Jones. LCCTT (Promotions) LTD

Fund raising for No 1's restoration stands at just under 3000, about a tenth of what may be required, held in the main account but in a 'restricted fund'. Obviously once the main work on 159 is finished, then all the remaining cash can be allocated to No 1.

Re LUT 159 vs. LCC 1. The Trust recovered the remains of 159 about 25+ years ago and it has been our intention to restore it one day. As 1622 was coming to a close we had to decide what would follow, a trailer had long been earmarked as the next project, but the one we want is still occupied at Winchelsea. So LUT 159 jumped ahead, even of the possible horse car that has often been suggested.

It was long considered that No 1 would be just to costly for us to do, but with the funds we have raised since the finish of 1622 [nearly 250K in 7 years] we thought that No 1 might not be so impossible. So in only the last 12 - 18 months No 1 has stepped in as the next car to be sponsored by us. There is a good chance of 'other sources of funds', I can't be more specific at this moment, but if and when it will be a great help. Anything to ease my job of carting heavy great boxes of books around the country!

From: "Bill Fuller" <billmath@austarnet.com.au>

I was interested in your comments regarding LCC 1. I do hope it takes to the rails again. In my book the car should never have left London due to it's uniqueness. I had the pleasure of riding on it many times on the 16/18 service, although it was only used as a peak period fill-in.

From: "Chris Malone" <CHRIS.MALONE@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK>

London 1 / Leeds 301 would not now exist if Leeds Corporation had not donated it to the then Clapham Transport Museum in 1957 - on the strict proviso that it would always remained in Leeds City Transport Livery [in which the car looked very fine].

We have obviously all moved on but rather than restoring the car to Bluebird livery that I doubt more than a handful of people can remember, I propose that Leeds City Council be approached to see if they would be prepared to help with some funding provided the car Is restored as Leeds City Transport 301.