‘Antiques from the future’ of the Nottingham tram network donated to the museum

Parts of Nottingham’s tram network are now considered future ‘antiques‘ and are kept in an exhibit in a tram museum.

Following a refresh of the signs that have been put in place since the tram returned to Nottingham in 2004, the original Nottingham Express Transit (NET) signs along the network are expected to be on display at the Crich Tramway Village.

The National Tramway Museum in Crich will present the panels that will one day be memorabilia from the days when the tram returned to the city since the 1930s.

They will be kept for posterity and will be presented along with other tram memorabilia from earlier eras.

The donation to the People’s Museum was a suggestion from tram driver Ryan Breen who, when not behind the controls of a modern NET tram, works as a volunteer in Crich.

He said: “The majority of the museum’s collection comes from the first generation of trams which almost all closed in the 1960s, and opportunities to preserve memorabilia from the second generation systems are, at the moment, very rare. “

“Rather than seeing these old signs being scrapped, it made sense to donate them to the museum in order to preserve some modern history for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Over the past 18 months, NET has replaced the signs between Hucknall, Phoenix Park and Nottingham Station to match those found on the Toton Lane and Clifton South extension, which opened in 2015.

Director of operations Trevor Stocker said passing the signage to Crich also strengthened the links between Nottingham’s tram network and the Historical Museum.

He added, “We have already donated pads that were originally installed at the old Station Street tram stop, and these are now operational at the Glory Mine end of the preserved tram line.

“The fact that we have a number of employee volunteers at the museum in their spare time also reflects NET’s commitment to preserving our transportation heritage while providing the best possible service to customers now and in the future.”

The museum is now seeking to present the panels as part of a dedicated exhibit to illustrate the history of trams in Nottingham, from the days of the Nottingham Corporation Trams to NET, thereby filling a gap in the history books.

New curator of the National Tramway Museum at Crich Tramway Village, Kate Watts, added: “It is important that the museum continues to tell the national story of trams by bringing together material relating to the systems currently in use.

“These NET signs are a welcome addition to the collection and the curatorial team are now planning how best to display them to visitors.”

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