Thursday the 19th of September, 9-30am and the “ELMC Comforts Fund” outing to the Tram Museum attendees were gathering in the bar area of Middleton Masonic Hall. The weather was not particularly inviting but the coffee, tea and biscuits were as we waited for the coach, or should we say charabanc in line with the topic of the day.


We soon loaded the passengers and set off for Derbyshire in the pouring rain. The journey was soon beginning to appear as a Beatles Magic Mystery Tour as we approached the Museum as we were faced with road closures on roads barely wide enough for the coach, causing our driver the arduous task of reversing his very large vehicle, in very tight places to follow the detours.
The problems persisted in the Museum car park as a very tight manoeuvre caused the coach to be stuck but fortunately near to the restaurant where lunch was waiting.


A glass of wine and lunch, including and choice of sweet, brightened the day as, coincidently, the sun also began to shine. As we finished the meal, Charles circulated the tables giving each of us a guide to the park and a very old penny which would be the fare for a ride on a tram. Mine was dated 1919.


Soon we were meandering into the various sections of the park to see the dedicated work of volunteers in saving many examples of a past mode of transport from the horse drawn tram to the Blackpool streamliners we all know and love. It’s not known how Charles managed it but very nearly all of the guests were loaded on to one tram, upstairs and downstairs, to spend their “Penny” for a ride which must have brought many a memory flooding back from times of yore. No doubt more than one photo would be taken in front of the Blackpool Tram whose destination window showed “Squires Gate” a ride most will have taken at some time.



It hard to imagine that all these fully restored show pieces, which were “Green” modes of transport, were all made redundant and many years later the powers that be are bringing them back.


Four O’clock soon came round and everyone made for the coach who conveniently came down to us for easy loading. The journey back the Middleton was much quicker and uneventful. Arriving at the car park, there were various means of transport waiting to take our guests on the last lap to their own homes, including the Hewlett Court mini bus, and no doubt everyone left the car park with pleasant memories of the day.