Marking 120 Years of London County Council Trams

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Marking 120 Years of London County Council Trams Image (c) Dan Heeley

On Monday 15 May there will be a photo opportunity at Crich Tramway Village, home to the National Tramway Museum, when two trams will be available to photograph together, representing bookends for the beginning and end of electric tramway operations by London County Council (LCC).

London County Council Tramways No.106 was built in 1903 at the start of operations, whilst London County Council No. 1 was built in 1932 and was the last new tramcar to enter service in London.

Designed as a prototype for what was planned to be a new fleet of modern tramcars, LCC No. 1 was ultimately the only one ever built. Shortly after its introduction, London’s various transport undertakings were unified under a single London Passenger Transport Board, which soon embarked on a policy of systematically replacing trams with trolleybuses.

This unique tramcar has been undergoing restoration to working order at Crich Tramway Village since 2014 and is planned to be completed in 2023.

On 15th May 1903, the start of electric tramcar operations on London County Council’s tramway was celebrated in style.  Following an elaborate banquet for 2,334 people, a specially decorated tramcar conveyed the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King George V and Queen Mary), their family and a select group of officials from Westminster to Tooting. In addition, a mounted guard of honour was provided by the Prince of Wales’s own 12th Middlesex (Civil Service) Volunteers (LCC Company). Souvenirs were produced to mark the occasion, including paper napkins for the use of those attending the celebratory banquet.

The National Tramway Museum has one of these souvenirs in its collection, which has recently gone on display for the first time in a new temporary exhibition, ‘The Art of Trams.’

Kate Watts, Curator at Crich Tramway Village, said:

“The 15th May is a great opportunity to photograph the two trams representing the start and end of an era on London tramways and we are excited that LCC1 is planned to be completed this season”.

“The major restoration on LCC No. 1 has taken around 9 years and will have cost nearly £500,000 by the time it is complete, funded by the London County Council Tramways Trust.“

The museum is open from 10am to 4.30pm (last admissions 3pm) on 15 May.

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