A tramcar in the National Tramway Museum (NTM) collection at Crich Tramway Village, which originally ran in Derby, is to return to its spiritual home as part of an exciting new project.

Derby Corporation tramcar No. 1, which was built in 1903, will be loaned for display as part of Derby’s new centre for classic motor vehicle restoration – ‘Great Northern Classics’ – at the former Victoria Ironworks foundry on Osmaston Road. The building has a long history of industrial engineering use and most recently served as the Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre. Most significantly for the display of the Derby tram, at one time the building was used by Derby Corporation as a depot to house trams and trolleybuses. This ambitious project has re-purposed the building to house new commercial units, workshops and showrooms for classic motor vehicles, alongside running an Apprenticeship programme for engineering skills.

Dr Mike Galer, General Manager at Crich Tramway Village said:

“I am thrilled that after many months of work and negotiation, Derby 1 is returning to its once home and that doesn’t happen very often. It will be able to be enjoyed by a brand-new audience who can appreciate Derby 1 in its original setting.

“We would like to thank Arts Council England and Museum Development East Midlands for the support for the Derby 1 tram loan project.”

Derby 1 Arrives at Crich Prior to Refurbishment-Photo Dean Sharp -
Derby 1 at Crich - photo John Huddlestone
Derby 1 Departs Crich for Derby -Photo John Huddlestone

The founders of Great Northern Classics are keen to maintain the link with Derby’s heritage of transport and engineering and will be opening to the public in November 2023.

Abigail Whitt, Sales & Marketing Lead at Great Northern Classics, said:

“We’re super excited for the tram to return to its original home, that will sit among a wonderful collection of vehicles in our storage facility. The tram will be on display overlooked by our mezzanine and café for all of Derby to see. We’re really proud to have such an important piece of Derby’s transport history here at Great Northern Classics.”

For more information about the project see: www.greatnorthernclassics.co.uk

Kate Watts, Curator at Crich Tramway Village said:

“Back in June 2021, Derby 1 was moved from Crich to the museum’s off-site storage facility as part of an essential move around of trams. On 31st May this year, we were happy to bring Derby 1 back to Crich to prepare it for the move to its new temporary home in Derby – Great Northern Classics. Once this fantastic new venture opens, this will be a great opportunity for people to enjoy seeing this tram again, and in an original Derby tram depot.

To prepare, the Crich workshop team first carried out some conservation work to improve Derby 1’s condition, including replacing rotten wooden floorboards on the upper deck, repairing seats, and repainting some internal areas. After a couple of months displayed in the depot, the time came for Derby 1 to leave Crich again, and on 21 August the tram was delivered to Great Northern Classics thanks to Scott’s Heavy Haulage. After several hours of tricky manoeuvring, Derby 1 is now in position at Great Northern Classics, sitting below what will become a glass-walled viewing gallery for visitors. It will be in esteemed company surrounded by other historic vehicles, including beautiful classic cars.

I’d like to thank all the workshop team members who have helped with the various stages of this project. Particular mention must go to the those who got it safely into position in Derby, as this was no mean feat! Challenges included limited door height clearance, followed by a tight turn through another door, and finally having to be moved across a large floor area. All achieved smoothly thanks to meticulous measuring and planning by those involved.”

Specific enquiries can be emailed to Crich Tramway Village: enquiry@tramway.co.uk

Derby 1 at Great Northern Classics and the team from Crich Tramway Village -

Crich Tramway Village is a brand name for the National Tramway Museum (Accredited with Arts Council England), solely owned and operated by The Tramway Museum Society, incorporated in England with liability by guarantee (no. 744229). Registered charity number 313615. Our ICO number is Z6700136.

Share This