East Anglia Transport Museum celebrates 50 years

Posted by Chris Graham on 13th October 2022

Tim Major reports on the special event organised to celebrate 50 years of the East Anglia Transport Museum.

East Anglia Transport Museum

East Anglia Transport Museum: The line-up of vehicles in front of the depot shows three Lowestoft Corporation vehicles: L-R tramcar No. 14 of 1903, a Thornycroft J type used as a tramway recovery vehicle until the trams ceased operation in 1930 and a 1947 AEC Regent II with a locally-built Eastern Coachworks body.

The East Anglia Transport Museum in Lowestoft, Suffolk, first opened to the public on May 29th, back in 1972, and this year’s special event organised to mark that momentous occasion attracted a record crowd to enjoy an interesting selection of vehicles.

East Anglia Transport Museum

Blackpool Corporation No. 159 standing at the then single-track terminus at Chapel Road. It should be remembered that the tramway was not the length it is now, and traction current was then provided by a diesel generator. The tram crew shown in the picture is James C Malster on the left, former London tram and trolleybus driver who moved to Oulton Broad and offered his services to the museum to train the initial tram and trolleybus drivers at the museum. On the right is the conductor for the first service, Paul Burgess. (Pic: George Moon, now part of EATM archive)

Back on that opening day the tram service was in the hands of Blackpool Corporation tram No. 159, and this vehicle played a part in the celebrations on May 29th, 2022, together with London Transport HR/2 tram No. 1858 and Sheffield ‘Roberts’ car No. 513.

East Anglia Transport Museum

Vehicles gather at Chapel Road terminus just before opening, with 1858 and 159 with London Transport trolleybus No. 1201 and Derby Corporation trolleybus No. 237 behind.

All the cars operated as a three-car service, with cars passing at the loop at Hedley Grove. Also drawn from the depot for display was Lowestoft open-top car No. 14 and, parked next to it, there was an ex-War Department Thornycroft lorry that was brought by Lowestoft Corporation after World War 1, for use as a tramway recovery vehicle. Blackpool Corporation 159 had only just returned to service having had its motors overhauled.

No. 159 pictured on the Friday before the event, showing the car at Hedley Grove.

The event was an overwhelming success attracting over 1,000 visitors – one of the busiest days in the museum’s history. All museum services were operating with trams, trolleybuses, buses (on external services to Beccles and Lowestoft), and a vintage taxi, plus there were services on the East Suffolk Light Railway.

Copenhagen No. 5 was built by Garrett at Leiston in Suffolk in 1926 and is the world’s oldest working trolleybus. The vehicle in the background is Hastings Tramway Company Sunbeam Trolleybus No. 34.

This report comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE



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