LUPTS reunion, Crich: Saturday 4 September 2010   
to mark 50 years of preservation of Liverpool tram 869     


Over the weekend of 21/22 February 1960, a LUPTS party travelled from Liverpool to Glasgow for a tour on ex-Liverpool Green Goddess tramcar 1055, originally Liverpool 869 (see here). Fifty years on, it was decided to organise an event to mark this occasion at Crich Tramway Village, albeit at a more hospitable time of the year than the original, which had taken place in freezing conditions.

The reunion event had been advertised many months ahead but even so it was a very pleasant surprise that so many people were able to attend – about 80 in total, including LUPTS and MTPS members, partners and friends. People started arriving from about 10:30 onwards and took advantages of the facilities on offer at Crich before we all met up at 12:00 for the first group photograph on 869, just after it had emerged from the depot. We then had a full round trip along the line, pausing at Glory Mine terminus for more pictures to be taken. Back at Town End, there was a special photograph taken of those people who were on both the 1960 tour and the reunion event: LUPTS members Chris Bennett, Neil Cossons, Brian Dutton, Bob Field, Ted Gahan, Anthony Henry, Martin Jenkins, John Ryan and Anthony Warren, plus Brian Longworth who was on conducting duty for the reunion event. [This picture appears on Crich’s website: click here.]

The party boards 869 “… replicating the spirit of the February 1960 tour” in accordance with Martin’s prior instruction. Photo: Alan Murray-Rust


Group photograph at Glory Mine terminus. Photo: Brian Longworth


Detail of commemorative blinds which Jonathan Cadwallader had arranged to have made.
Photo: Alan Murray-Rust

Many of the party took advantage of the opportunity for lunch in the Upper Deck Restaurant, accompanied by members of the Tramway Museum Society board who had their meeting on the same day. After lunch, the whole party got back together again in the same room for a slide show. Martin Jenkins told the story of the tour and the subsequent early preservation of the car, ably assisted by interjections from Ted Gahan, who’d driven the coach from Liverpool to Glasgow and back, and Anthony Henry who revealed the full story of the accident between 1055 and a Glasgow Standard car that day. Terry Martin, Chairman of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society, brought the story up to date with the history of the car after it returned to Liverpool in 1967 for restoration.

The afternoon passed all too quickly, with tours of the workshop for those who were interested, a look at the various exhibitions, further opportunities to ride 869 (including a drive, for a lucky few, under the careful guidance of Ian Rigg, TMS Chief Driving Instructor) and the chance to ride other cars in service on the day. The success of the day wouldn’t have been possible without Laura Greaves, TMS Business Development Manager, who was on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly, as well as the TMS board for allowing the event to take place, and for allowing non-members free access to the site for the day.

Martin Jenkins reads a 1960 newspaper report about himself – “University tram fans covet the last Green Goddess”. Photo: Alan Murray-Rust

Terry Martin concludes the presentation with the story of 869 from 1967 onwards.
Photo: Paul Hollinghurst

In his original invitation, Martin had described it as possibly “… the final opportunity for a reunion of this nature when tribute can be paid to those who were involved in the rescue, subsequent preservation and restoration of this very special tram.” Hopefully it’s not, but it would be very hard for a subsequent event to be anywhere near as successful or memorable as this one.

The following LUPTS members were present at the event:

David Armstrong, Alan and Jean Atkinson, Chris Bennett, Jonathan Cadwallader, David Cope, Neil Cossons, Alan Day, Brian Dutton, Brian Faragher, Bob Field, John Forrester, John Fraser, Anthony Henry, Martin Jenkins, Rob Marsh, Alan Murray-Rust, Keith Nason, Dave Parker, Richard Pearson, Chris Poole, Brian Pyne, David Richards, Alan Roberts, Charles Roberts, Graham Roberts, John Robertson, John Ryan, Geoff Smith, Graham Unwin, Ray Walkington and Anthony Warren. Also present were Elizabeth and Freya McWatt, daughter and granddaughter of late LUPTS member Jerome McWatt.

Apologies for absence were received from: Paul Desmet, Ian Holt, Tom Kane, Tony Kletz, Tom Parkinson, Allan Patmore, Geoff Pullin, Nick Richardson, Peter Stoddart and Mark Telfer.

Towards the end of the day, 869 completes another round trip, the L-plates showing that quite a few LUPTS and MTPS members had had a drive a some stage during the afternoon. Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive

More pictures of the event are available on Paul Hollinghurst’s web site – click here.

A report of the event appears on Crich’s news blog here.

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Last updated: 08 September 2010

Charles Roberts/LUPTS 2009/2010