Sheffield Corporation No. 74

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Sheffield 74

Photo: Jim Dignan

Appearances can often be deceptive and the field of tramcar preservation is no exception, Sheffield 74 being a case in point. Thanks to the skill and ingenuity of the workshop team at Crich, this image of Edwardian elegance looks for all the world as if it has miraculously survived intact and unblemished for over a century; but the truth is far more complicated, remarkable and, for some, perhaps, even a little controversial.

Sheffield 74 was originally built as an open-topped tram by the Electric Railway and Carriage Company based in Preston in 1900. The very first electric tramcars had only been delivered to Sheffield the previous year and by 1904 the Corporation’s Nether Edge workshops were already producing their own tramcars to a broadly similar open-topped design. Similar looking cars also operated in Bristol, Hull and Glasgow but all these early designs pre-dated by a couple of years the era of standard ‘off-the-peg’ vehicles that were later offered by established tramcar manufacturers such as Brush and Dick, Kerr.

Gateshead 33(?). H. Nicol. Date unknown.

Specification

Type of tram
Electric double deck 4-wheeled uncanopied tram with short top cover (originally open-topped).
Livery
Prussian blue and cream
Seating capacity
51 (22 downstairs; 29 upstairs)
Date built
1900
Manufacturer of body
Electric Railway and Carriage Co
Manufacturer of truck
Peckham Cantilever
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
GE52 2 x 27 hp
Controller
BTH B18
Current collector
Trolley pole
Modification

1909 short top cover added; sold to Gateshead in 1922 after which it was extensively rebuilt and given the number 33, acquiring conventional-looking canopies and top cover. It also ‘inherited’ the trucks and electrical equipment that had previously belonged to the original Gateshead 33, which was scrapped in 1923

Withdrawn from service

Withdrawn from service in Sheffield and sold to Gateshead in 1922; final withdrawal in 1951

Subsequent history

Lower deck of 74 sold and converted into a garden shed; acquired by the TMS in 1990.

Restoration history

Early 1990s united with top cover of ex-Sheffield 1904 tram 218 and a truck from ex-Leeds tower car no. 2 (formerly belonging to tram 110).

Current status
Restored to operational condition but not currently commissioned for service.
Total mileage covered at Crich
13,398
Current location
Depots
Timeline
  • 1900 – 1922Operational on original tramway
  • 1922 – 1951Operational on a different tramway
  • 1951 – 1990Lower deck converted into garden shed
  • 1990 – 1995Undergoing restoration
  • 1995 –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.