Welcome to Crich Tramway Village News, where you'll find all the latest news and information from the National Tramway Museum.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tower Wagon 4

TW4 arrived at Crich this week.  The tower has been specially built in Wakefield and replaces the previous vehicle which no longer complied with modern regulations.  It will be used for repairing and maintaining the overhead line.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Stone Workshop Discovery & Learning Centre Update - February 2011

History of the Building Part 1

The Stone Workshop is the largest building which has remained from when George Stephenson’s metre gauge quarry railway was here in the 1800’s. It is believed that the position of the building, its size and the remains of a forge, which can still be seen in the Scothern & Williamson Bookshop, means the building could have been used by the limestone quarry’s blacksmith to mend tools and wagons, and could also have been the stables for the horses which pulled the wagons loaded with lime, along the railway. There are no other buildings along the route of the quarry railway which would have been able to provide the size of building needed for these activities.

History of the Building Part 2

From a possible forge and stables, to perfect undercover storage for trams. When the Tramway Museum Society was looking at the site as a possible home for their museum, the Stone Workshop building provided them instant storage. However, the building may have been big enough to get a tram in, but a few minor alterations needed to be made to actually get one in. First a large door was needed in the north end wall, and then the first floor needed to be taken out. From then on the building was used for the restoration and storage of trams for a number of years.

In recent years the building hasn’t been used, due to concerns regarding the safety of it as the roof had begun to sag.

The Future – HLF Funded Project

In 2010 the Heritage Lottery Fund, agreed to help fund a £1million restoration project, which would not only preserve a unique and historically important building, but would create a whole new exhibition and learning centre.

The building will link through into the already popular Workshop Viewing Gallery, creating a large under cover exhibition space for visitors to explore.

Behind the Scaffolding

Our building team from Tomlinson’s started work on the building in late October.

It’s been an eventful few months, as first they had to bring in the mini diggers to break out the existing flooring ready for the new concrete floor.

Then the snow came! Despite inches of snow and a week when it was impossible to get to the site, work continued on the floor.

At the beginning of January work began on constructing the scaffolding which you can see surrounds the building currently.

All the roof tiles needed to be removed from the neighbouring roof of the Scothern & Williamson book shop as rotting roof timbers needed to be replaced.  The tiles were all removed, the timbers repaired and the tiles are now all back in place.

January also saw a steel frame work structure inserted into the building. This will create the structure to support the first floor and the new roof, which will correct the problem of the sagging in the old one. The stairs to the first floor exhibition are now in place, and the walls for the toilets in ground floor learning centre have been taking shape.

Work has now started on the north end wall to replace the stone to help create stability in the building.

Discovery Centre

The first floor discovery centre will provide a new exhibition area, where visitors will be able to discover what there is to see at the tramway village, how the Museum started, as well as the early history of the site during George Stephenson’s involvement with it.

We’ll also be exploring how public transport in the 19th century was struggling to cope with the increased demands of the expanding towns and cities, and how trams were the solution to moving the masses.

The exhibition has been designed to provide a diverse range of learning experiences, incorporating audio, hands on and visual elements. We hope you’ll come back later in the year to see the completion of this exciting project.

Bringing Education into the very Heart of the Village

Our new Learning Centre which will form the whole of the ground floor of the Stone Workshop will bring learning right into the centre of the tramway village.

The centre will provide an improved and larger facility for the delivery of our diverse range of education sessions.

Our education department has been busy working on new activities which will take advantage of the new Discovery Centre Exhibition on the first floor.

Our popular holiday craft sessions will be easy to find with the central location of the Stone Workshop and everyone is welcome to pop in and say hello and see what fun crafty fun is going on.

Don’t forget to drop in to our fun children’s craft sessions which will be taking place this Half Term.  Details of Curator-led talks and behind the scenes tours can be found on our website.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Go Behind the Scenes this February Half Term

We have lots going on this February Half Term including exclusive behind the scenes tours, Curator-led talks and children's craft workshops, so why not come along and join in!  Find out more on our website.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Stone Workshop Roof

Work is currently taking place on the roof to take the weight of the roof off the original walls and place it on steel supports.  The photos show how the roof sags in the middle due to this problem.