Saturday, 27 July 2013

The London Horse Drawn Tram

Looking back over the years at a few visits to Caister Castle in Norfolk.

This was taken in 1981. From somewhere the castle - they have a large motor museum - had acquired a London horse drawn tramcar. In fairly poor condition, it had been severely chopped about with the driver's platform removed along with the brakes and the entire top deck folded flat with a tarpaulin over it. It looked as though someone had saved it from disappearing altogether by using it as a shed...

Every bit of paint had worn away and the woodwork was in a state of distress. It needed a lot of work to restore it.

The next time I remember seeing it was ten years later in 1991. A superb restoration job had been done on it. The driver's platform, controls and staircase had been replaced and the top deck had been opened up. The woodwork had been restored and the whole given a brilliant paint job of red and cream with gold striping over the red.

A few weeks ago we were back in Norfolk and we visited the castle again. The motor museum has grown in size but I wanted to see the tram to see how it had fared after another twenty odd years had gone by.

It is now housed under shelter, which is good. It looks as though it could do with a tidy up - years spent out in the open never does anything to help the brightness of red paint whether on a tramcar, a motor car, or a house! It has to be expensive to try to maintain anything of this age in anything like good condition and Caister has a massive collection of cars, a Welsh mining locomotive and, let's not forget, a 15th century moated castle with a 100 foot tower that is still sturdy enough for visitors to climb.

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