Chesterfield Corporation No. 7

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Chesterfield 7

Photo: Jim Dignan.

Chesterfield was one of the first towns in England to use electricity to light its streets, in 1881, but this early experimental initiative only lasted for a couple of years and it was not until 1904 that Chesterfield Corporation decided to build an electricity generating station with a view to electrifying and extending its existing horse-drawn tramway.

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Chesterfield 7 in Stephenson Place. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive.

Chesterfield 7 led a charmed – and celebrated – life. Originally built in 1904 as an open-topped double decker by the Brush Electrical Engineering Company at Loughborough, it narrowly escaped destruction in a severe fire which gutted the Corporation tramshed in October 1916. Car 7, which was damaged in the blaze, was restored and a top canopy was added later at the start of 1919.

Chesterfield 7 at Brampton terminus, date unknown. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive

Chesterfield 7 at Brampton terminus, date unknown. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive

In common with many other tramway undertakings at the time, receipts from fares barely serviced the loans taken out to build the tramway and when the trackbed and components began to wear out, replacement – initially by trolleybuses – afforded a cheaper option than renewal of the tramway.

Specification

Type of tram
Electric passenger tram of the 'Aston' type – double deck; top covered tram with open vestibules (originally built as an open-topped tram)
Livery
Carmine red and primrose yellow
Seating capacity
56 (34 on top deck; 22 downstairs)
Date built
1904
Date entered service
23 December 1904
Manufacturer of body
Brush Co.
Manufacturer of truck
Peckham P22 (originally Brush, Lycett & Conaty radial truck)
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
BTH RGE20 2 x 40 hp (originally 2 x 25hp Westinghouse motors)
Controller
Westinghouse T2C
Current collector
Trolley
Modification

1st January 1919 – Brush top cover fitted; destination boxes removed.

Withdrawn from service

23 May 1927 on closure of the tramway

Subsequent history

Sold as holiday cottage and sited in Two Dales, Derbyshire

Restoration history

1973 – Semi-derelict property purchased by TMS
1993-6 – Restored to operational condition

Current status
Restored in operational condition. Commissioned for service as part of the operational fleet during the current season.
Date started operating at Crich
1997
Total mileage covered at Crich
15,625
Current location
Depots
Timeline
  • 1904 – 1927Fully operational on original tramway
  • 1927 – 1973Converted into dwelling
  • 1973 – 1993In storage awaiting restoration
  • 1993 – 1997Undergoing restoration
  • 1997 –Fully operational at the Crich

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.