London County Council Tramways tramcar no. 106 is to be transported on a journey of over 150 miles on loan to East Anglia Transport Museum, in Carlton Colville, Lowestoft. This will be the first time that a tramcar from the National collection at Crich Tramway Village will operate on loan at East Anglia Transport Museum.
The vehicle was built in 1903, as one of 100 ‘B’ Class tramcars for the London County Council Tramways. Not long after entering service, the reversed staircases were replaced by direct stairs at the behest of the Public Carriage Office of the Metropolitan Police. The ‘B’ Class, along with other open top LCC trams, were fitted with top deck covers by 1914. In 1926, after being withdrawn from passenger service, it was converted into a snow broom (No 022). In this form it last saw active service during the winter of 1951-52. After escaping the one way trip to the scrapyard and many years in storage, the London County Council Tramways Trust commenced restoration work in 1970, at their Bonwell Street workshop in East London. There followed 13 years of hard dedicated work by Trust members. In 1983, 106 was transferred to Crich Tramway Village, where it has since covered in excess of 10,000 miles in passenger service.
LCC 106 was withdrawn from service in 2010 for more restoration work, including the replacement of three body corner pillars, which was a major job to achieve without completely dismantling the whole body. The gears were replaced along with motor pinions and associated work was carried out on the axles. A complete truck overhaul was required and the motors were overhauled. The finishing touches included re-painting and sign writing.
Peter Bird, Rolling Stock Engineer at Crich Tramway Village said:
“The job to replace the corner pillars was a major challenge without dismantling the whole body and roof. Our Coach builder, Richard Stead, devised a method of carefully taking the weight off the roof by jacking the joints apart one at a time. Following remedial attention, the new pillars were carefully inserted before being secured and prepared for painting. It is great to see one of our popular open topped tramcars returned to service looking pristine, knowing that the work we have done will last for years to come”.
The tram was re-launched into service on Saturday 13th June 2015 after 18 months of extensive overhaul in the Crich Tramway workshops, with funding support from London County Council Tramways Trust.
Now LCC 106 is to make a guest appearance at the East Anglia Transport Museum’s London Event from Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th July 2016.
John Crisp, Chairman of East Anglia Transport Museum, said:
“We are extremely proud that The National Tramway Museum has agreed to loan us their beautifully restored London County Council ‘B’ Class Tramcar No. 106, built in 1903. The vehicle will arrive only a day or two before the event and will be leaving immediately afterwards, so please don’t miss this opportunity to see and ride on it in East Anglia. We are also pleased and excited that the London Transport Museum together with their Friends organisation has arranged for a number of unusual and historic vehicles from the Capital to be used at this event.”
Preparation for the trip will involve assessments, de-commissioning, servicing, lamps and trolley mast removal. L.C.C.T.T. Chairman and Board Member at Crich Tramway Village, Ian Ross, who has been involved in the ”restoration of the tramcar since 1983 said:
“This is an excellent opportunity to see 106 running at another transport museum in company with other historic London vehicles. When 106 was first restored I didn’t think that any of the Workshop team expected that, after more than thirty years, they would see this tram taking a short ‘holiday’ in East Anglia. I hope that 106 will give visitors to the East Anglia Transport Museum a new tram riding experience.