Sunday, 8 July 2012

Crich Tramway Museum

Hello, Blog fans.  Nothing too exciting this weekend.  The weather has made it a little difficult to plan.  While folks back home are sweltering away, we are stuck in the damp 60s here.  As mentioned previously, April and June were well above average for rainfall and that resulted in the highest Apr-Jun rainfall on record.

On Friday we got a huge deluge (an average July in 24 hrs?) which caused some flooding in the area.  Fortunately, our immediate area was spared.  The forecast for the weekend was "unsettled" which they tend to use a lot (something about the jet stream dipping lower than normal).  Could be sunny.  Could be cloudy.  May rain a little.  May rain a lot.  What I am supposed to do with that info?

On Saturday, we had a nice evening with fellow ex-pats.  Same crew as last Friday but this time superbly hosted by Dave and Sarah.  Excellent food and fun.  Always nice to compare notes on the experience.

Saturday turned out to be a nicer than predicted day.  For Sunday, I decided to take a small chance and go to the National Tramway Museum/Village in nearby Crich.  It's an open air museum but also contains some inside bits in case the weather turned.  In the end, it was mostly a nice day.  We just got a few drops at the end.

For the most part, trams are passenger rail vehicles which run on tracks along public urban streets.  In the UK, they were generally phased out by the 1960s in favor of more flexible buses.  The one exception is Blackpool which still has a working tram.

As with many things of historical (or period) significance,  there are avid followers and hobbyists.  Such a group began collecting old trams and fixing them up and they ended up in Crich.

The photo above shows that the early trams were actually horse drawn.

Horses cost a lot, eat a lot and well, poop a lot.  By the late 1800s they gave way to steam engine power.  Though more efficient, the steam trams weren't necessarily beloved as many folks were quite frightened by them (and they could be dangerous).

Finally, along came electric trams with which most of us are more familiar.

Here's a tram from Derby.

I got a chuckle out of this sign.  Change is always difficult, isn't it?

Number 12 was a more modern design.  They made a point that it was truly engineered for purpose and became the standard for trams going forward.

Fortunately, it was more than a museum of old trams.  They actually have operational ones.  They were putting this one into service when we walked past.

Random dog shot.  Look at the size of these Newfies.  I had to go over and get slobbered by them.  Very friendly.

Another museum set the stage for how the need for trams came about.  The Industrial revolution brought loads of people into the cities which became overcrowded and unsanitary.  The above display is a nice pile of poo and "wee" and a poor street sweeper.  Ah, the good old days, eh?  Life's not so bad, is it kids?

At any rate, it became apparent that everyone couldn't live on top of each other so they needed a way to get around.  Trams to the rescue.

They have set up this little village to look like the early/mid 20th century.  Here's the local pub.

Looking down the street.

Here we are aboard the tram as we ride to the top of the village.  Not necessarily a new experience for us as we rode them frequently in Amsterdam.

 a quick scenic shot as we go up

I liked this sign in the "1926" tram.  I imagine that's a fairly stiff penalty though I still don't know what a shilling is.  [Actually, it is 1/20th of a pound or 12 pence; wait wouldn't that be 5 pence?  Thankful for the decimal conversion of 1971 . . . .  So, the penalty is  £2 but I guess they didn't carry around pounds.  At any rate, that is a pretty stiff fine for the day.]

A different shot of another working tram

They also had a nice, short woodland trail with various wood carvings.  As you can see, the day turned out pretty well (though the rain would come).

 acorn hat man?

another viewpoint, this time along the woodland trail

 ooo, tree snail this time (I passed up other snail photos and our friend the black slug was hidden today)

hedgehog library carvings -- huh?

random bee pollination -- not sure why this struck my fancy other than it was right beside me and the flower parts (stamen etc.) were pretty cool.  Shortly after this the rain quickly came and we rain back to the car.

So, all in all a decent day out.  Can't say we are tram enthusiasts nor do we have any special longing for them but I'm glad we checked it out.  It's always good to get out and I wasn't sure if the weather (or mud) would hold off for a proper hike/walk.

As an aside, Alex and I took a walk down to the river on Saturday to see if the water level was particular high.  This is by the bridge near Darleys Restaurant.  It was flowing quite fast as you can tell by the churn; really loud too.   Hard to make out the weir other than the dropoff.  The rest of the river in the wider bits seemed a little higher than normal but nothing alarming.

Hopefully folks back home can cool off a bit.  Be sure to send some warmth and dryness this way.

1 comment:

  1. Looked like a nice day out, to bad we missed it. I have to say that I haven't seen any slugs or snails in our time here then I read last weeks post and now I see one a day.