Chesterfield Tramways Company No. 8

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Chesterfield 8

Photo: Jim Dignan

Chesterfield 8 – together with sister car no. 7 – were the last new horse-drawn trams to be added to Chesterfield Corporation’s fleet in 1899, when they cost £125 apiece and, although a further second-hand double-deck horse tram was bought from Sheffield (for £5) in 1903, all three were made redundant by the decision to convert the tramway to electric traction, a process that was completed by January 1905.

Chesterfield 8 in service. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive.

Chesterfield 8 in service. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive.

With just five years in service, the tram was sold off and converted into a summer house in a private garden. Just before this happened, however, horse car 8 was photographed ceremonially with one of the new electric trams, which just happened to be car no. 7. Coincidentally, they were the only two Chesterfield trams to have survived and both have now been reunited at Crich, where they were photographed together again almost a century later, in 1997.

Chesterfield 7 with horse tram 8 depicting 'the old and the new'. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive.

Chesterfield 7 with horse tram 8 depicting ‘the old and the new’. Photo courtesy of Crich TMS photo archive.

Before this could happen, however, the tram was fortunate in being rescued in 1934 by the chairman of the Corporation’s transport sub-committee and transferred to Thornfield bus garage before being overhauled by Chesterfield’s Transport Department. This made it one of the earliest tramcars at the museum to have been taken into preservation, pre-dating the post-war inception of the tramcar preservation movement by over a decade.

Specification

Type of tram
Single deck horse tram
Livery
Prussian blue and yellow
Seating capacity
16
Date built
1899
Manufacturer of body
G F Milnes & Co
Manufacturer of truck
Trunnion
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Withdrawn from service

22nd December 1904

Subsequent history

Converted into summer house

Restoration history

Fully restored in the 1980s. Property of NMSI. On loan to TMS since 1995.

Current status
Restored but not currently operational
Date started operating at Crich
1985
Total mileage covered at Crich
110
Current location
Exhibition Hall
Timeline
  • 1899 – 1904Fully operational on original tramway
  • 1905 – 1934Converted into dwelling or similar
  • 1934 – 1962In storage following complete restoration
  • 1962 – 1970On display
  • 1970 – 1985In storage apart from occasional ceremonial visits including a visit to Crich in 1982
  • 1985 – 1993Fully operational at the Crich
  • 1993 –On display

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.