Future ‘antiques’ from across Nottingham’s tram network are being preserved for posterity.
Following a refresh of signage that’s been in use since the return of trams to the city in 2004, original NET signs are to be put on display at Crich Tramway Village alongside light rail memorabilia from earlier eras.
The donation to the popular museum follows a suggestion by tram driver Ryan Breen who, when he’s not behind the controls of a modern NET tram, works as a volunteer at Crich.
“The majority of the museum’s collection is from the first generation of tramways that almost all closed in the 1960s, and opportunities to preserve memorabilia from second-generation systems are, at the moment, very uncommon,” Ryan explained.
“Rather than see these old signs sent to scrap, it made sense to donate them to the museum to preserve a little modern history for future generations to enjoy.”
Over the past 18 months, NET has replaced signs between Hucknall, Phoenix Park and Nottingham Station to match those found on the extension to Toton Lane and Clifton South, which opened in 2015.
Operations Manager Trevor Stocker said that passing on the signage to Crich has also strengthened links between Nottingham’s state-of-the-art tram network and the historic tramway.
“We’ve previously donated buffers that were originally installed at the old Station Street tram stop, and these are now in operation at the Glory Mine end of the preserved tram line,” he explained.
“The fact we have a number of employees volunteering at the museum in their spare time also reflects NET’s commitment to preserving our transport heritage while delivering the best possible service to customers, both now and in the future.”
The museum is now looking to feature the signs as part of a dedicated display to illustrate the history of trams in Nottingham, from the days of Nottingham Corporation Tramways to NET, filling a gap in the history books.
New Curator for the National Tramway Museum at Crich Tramway Village, Kate Watts, added: “It’s important that the museum continues to tell the national story of tramways by collecting items relating to the current systems in use. These signs from NET are a welcome addition to the collection and the curatorial team are now planning how best to display them for visitors.”