Sheffield Corporation Tramways No. 15

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Sheffield 15

Photo: Jim Dignan

Built in 1874 by the Starbuck Car & Wagon Co. of Birkenhead (in the days before the name had become associated with coffee shops), Sheffield horse tram no. 15 is one of the oldest exhibits at Crich. It actually pre-dated the acquisition of the horse tram system by Sheffield Corporation in 1896, but retained the same number and route colour after the change-over.

The single deck car one horse tramcar was one of a batch of 8 that were built for the Sheffield Tramways Company.  It weighed 29 cwt when built, cost £200 and could accommodate 16 passengers. The car was initially used on the Brightside line and was stabled, along with the horses, at the Tinsley tram depot.

Instead of being scrapped when Sheffield’s tramway was electrified in 1902, number 15 was converted into an electric breakdown car at the Nether Edge depot. In its new Prussian blue livery and bearing the number 166, it was then given a new lease of life towing tram trucks from Tinsley to Nether Edge before returning with partly completed trams to the paint-shop at Tinsley.


War-time image of Works 375 at Queens Road depot junction with Charlotte Road. Photographer: M.J, O’Connor.


Type of tram
Single deck horse tram
Red and cream
Seating capacity
Date built
Manufacturer of body
Starbuck Car & Wagon Co
Manufacturer of truck
4’ 8½”
Current collector

Converted into electric breakdown car no, 166 in 1902, fitted with GE 58 motors, B18 controllers and Brill 21E truck initially and repainted Prussian blue.
Truck replaced with Milnes girder truck in 1913.
Re-numbered as 375 in 1933.
Re-converted to horse car by Sheffield Corporation in time for Jubilee of Sheffield Corporation tramways on 11 July 1946 and renumbered as ‘1’

Withdrawn from service

1902 but continued in service as a works car until 1946.

Subsequent history

No longer used as works car after 1946 conversion back to being a horse car; stored in Tinsley depot for most of the 1950s, while scheduled for disposal.

Restoration history

Bought from Sheffield Corporation in 1959 by local TMS members and delivered to Crich on 21 November. Fitted with genuine horse tram wheels from Glasgow and repainted in original Sheffield Corporation livery as Brightside car no. 15. The tramcar was given a thorough overhaul between the summer of 1993 and spring 1995.

Current status
Restored and operational. Normally forms part of the operational fleet but not commissioned for service during the current season.
Date started operating at Crich
1963. Since 1984 has been used on a restricted basis in 33 seasons, the most recent of which was 2019.
Total mileage covered at Crich
Current location
Exhibition Hall
  • 1874 – 1902Operational on original tramway
  • 1902 – 1946Converted to and operated as a works car
  • 1946Reconverted to horse car (“no. 1”)
  • 1946 – 1959In storage
  • 1959 – 1963Under restoration and then on display
  • 1963 – 1964Operational at Crich
  • 1964 –Intermittently operational at 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.