|264 when new. It is thought that the bunting on the trolley was to celebrate the coronation in May 1937.|
Sheffield 264 – Fifty Years at Crich
Sheffield 264 was built by Sheffield transport Department at their Queens Road works and entered service in March 1937. It operated from Crookes Depot until May 1957, was then transferred to Shoreham Street, and ultimately to Tenter Street. It ran in service on the last day of tramway operation, 8th October 1960.
|264 on arrival at Crich on 17th December 1960.|
It was purchased for preservation by TMS member, Eric Holmes from Bolton and arrived at Crich on 17th December 1960. Roger Mercer, a native of Sheffield, had advised Eric to choose 264 on the basis that the bodywork was sound and nearly as built in 1937 with few modifications. Early in 1961 Eric Holmes disappeared and Roger picked up the tab otherwise 264 would have been sold to pay outstanding bills. Roger formed a small group of supporters and opened a bank account for 264. The supporters were Roger Mercer, Richard Lomas, Garth Tilt, Keith Selvin, Mike Ward, John Marsh, David Johnson and Derek Potter who all paid a small amount each week into the fund. The first priority was to clear outstanding debts and to pay £200 for depot accommodation at Crich.
|264 during shunting operations in March 1961.|
|December 1961 standing on Bacon’s Curve between Sheffield 330 and Leicester 76.|
|Summer 1962 in the same location with Richard Lomas, Mike Ward and John Marsh standing on the roof. The salt wagon that had been used to store the compressor can be seen on the left.|
|1962 after the trolley base had been fitted.|
|Under cover at last. December 1963.|
|Richard painting in the summer of 1964.|
|A very shabby 264 late in 1966.|
|Garth washing down 264 at the start of the week.|
|Garth at work later in the week. The uncovered STD monogram can be seen on the right.|
|Garth and David towards the end of the week.|
|264, 510 and 189 in July 1968.|
|264 on its excursion to Wakebridge in August 1968.|
|In the spring of 1969 with south end dash panel completely stripped.|
|Garth at work later in the summer of 1969.|
The paint used was either genuine Sheffield paint or high quality trade paint. The ‘custard’ colour on the inside panels was matched by Masons of Derby.
|In the later part of 1969, 264 was often worked on at Wakebridge.|
|Members’ Day 1970.|
|The workshop early in 1970.|
|Harry Siddons, a retired coach painter, painting the ceiling in May 1970.|
|22nd August 1970.|
|22nd August 1970.|
|Keith Chadbourne took this picture of 264 at the 1970 Extravaganza on its second or third day in service.|
|Kath Lomas driving 264 in October 1970.|
|Sheffield 15, 264 and 46 on 3rd October 1970.|
|The visiting dignitaries standing front of 510 with 264 in the background.|
|Merlyn Bacon (driver) and Roger Mercer (conductor) with 264 on 9th July 1972.|
|264 hard at work at the 1973 Extravaganza.|
|Wakebridge in 1976.|
From 1976 both 189 and 264 were placed on restrictive mileage to defer major overhauls. They were both withdrawn at the end of the 1979 season. Neil Dorsett was 264’s last conductor and he thinks that Kath Lomas was the driver.
|Wakebridge in 1978.|
|1978 with Roger Mercer driving.|
|264 and 189 at Glory Mine in 1979.|
Roger noted that ‘Used Tickets’ was missing from both upper deck ticket boxes and ‘264’ was missing from the inside of the glass upstairs door panels at each end. If 264 ever goes back to the pre-war livery it should have ‘DON’T GET OFF UNTIL THE CAR STOPS’ on the blue panel on the side of each staircase.
From 1985 until 2010, 264 was stored either in the depots or latterly in the exhibition hall. Very occasionally it was brought out and posed for photographs and on one of these occasions the trolley pole was slightly bent in a shunting accident. This has not been repaired and 264 still has a trolley rope which was used in the 1970s for operational reasons at Crich but is not authentic.
|264 now with grey roof, 189 and 46 on display in July 1995.|
|In storage in the exhibition hall in 2007.|
|189 and 264 together again in October 2008.|
|264 on its way for washing and cleaning on 5th March 2010.|
|Top deck interior showing plain glass lamp covers on 5th March 2010.|
|Bottom deck interior showing moulded glass lamp covers on 5th March 2010.|
|David Johnson, Roger Mercer, Richard Lomas, John Marsh, Laura waters and Garth Tilt on 23rd July 2010.|
|In the exhibition hall on 20th July 2011.|
This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of the TMS Journal. I have re-published it with lots more photographs.