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Britain's Preserved Trams (ePub)

An Historic Overview

Colour eBooks Photographic eBooks Transport > Trams

By Peter Waller
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
File Size: 21.9 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781526739025
Published: 26th May 2021


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It is almost 100 years since the first tram was preserved in Britain. In the century since then a great variety of trams have been saved from tramway systems small and large.

Some trams were purchased directly out of service and others were acquired after many years alternative usage, some being summer houses or homes, while others were used on farms or allotments where they served as sheds and out buildings, before being lovingly restored over many years.

The story of tram preservation is not wholly positive. In the early days many trams suffered from being stored in the open at unsafe sites, where the historic vehicles were often subjected to acts of vandalism and suffered badly from the weather.

This changed to a large extent in 1959 with the acquisition of the site of the future National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire, where a comprehensive collection of trams from all over Britain and also foreign tram networks has been assembled to secure a collection of tramcars for future generations.

There are also today fine collections of trams in other museums in Britain and Ireland, which cover much of the rich history of this once common form of public transport.

This book looks at almost 200 of these trams when they were in service, through historic photographs, prior to their withdrawal and eventual preservation.

This book, from the publishers Pen-and-Sword, aims to cover tramway preservation in the United Kingdom. Peter is to be congratulated in compiling details of trams, from examples which are little more than garden sheds to trams which were only recently withdrawn from service. Where possible, there are photographs of the actual tramcar in service.

The photograph credit list reads like a Who’s Who of well-known tramway enthusiasts. I suspect this has more than a little to do with the author’s connections at the Online Transport Archive. Having lived all my life close to Leeds, I was fortunate to have ridden on the last surviving Swansea and Mumbles tram in the short period when it was in use for the Leeds Students rag event. Sadly, it was not to survive, along with other Leeds tramcars. Unfortunately, this was not something peculiar to Leeds, tramcars along with railway coaches would appear to a strong magnet for vandalism.

Returning to happier times many of the tramcars are now secure in the various museums, notably the National Tramway Museum at Crich.

So, in conclusion this work by Peter should be on the bookshelf of any tramway enthusiast where it will be a valuable source of reference.

Bradford Railway Circle

Featured in

Tramfare, November/December 2021

This is a book that well summarises the range of British tramcars that have survived into preservation. The supporting captions add considerably to the value of the book, which should appeal to those interested in a concise history of what has survived of British tramcars.

Tramway Review - June 2022

"This is another worthy addition to the growing library of tramway books from Pen & Sword."

West Somerset Railway Association

"All-in-all, this is an interesting and informative publication. Recommended."

Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

Featured in

Tramways & Urban Transit - Light Rail Transit Association

Peter Waller has written a number of transport books covering a variety of subjects, and this is an excellent addition to his portfolio. He briefly covers the history of tram preservation, before moving to the photos of the trams in service. Each photo has a comprehensive caption detailing the history of the tram and company, and tells us where the tram is preserved. The photos are good quality, subject to their age of course, but are very atmospheric, mostly showing the trams earning their living in historic settings. It is a well presented book and well worth a look.

The PSV Circle, October 2021 Issue

About Peter Waller

Brought up in Bradford, PETER WALLER grew up as the city’s trolleybus network gradually declined. In 1986 he commenced a career in publishing working for a number of years as Ian Allan Ltd publishing books, where he oversaw the commissioning and publication of a wide range of books. The first book he wrote was British and Irish Tramway Systems since 1945, in 1992. Since then he has written a number of transport books, moving to Shropshire where he is a director and secretary of the Online Transport Archive, vice-chairman of the West Shropshire Talking Newspaper, a committee member of the National Railway Heritage Awards and a past president of Rotary Club of Shrewsbury. He became a Council member of the National Transport Trust in 2020.

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