Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Shipley Glen Tramway


After a long period of closure for repair and renovation, I'm pleased to report that the famous Shipley Glen Tramway is regularly open again... though on the day I took these photos there seemed to be few other visitors. We had the ride to ourselves but it's a lot more fun when you can wave to the people riding in the opposite direction when the cars pass!

The Tramway was originally opened on 18 May 1895, built by a local entrepreneur, Sam Wilson, who developed a large area of Shipley Glen with a series of pleasure rides to draw and amuse the Victorian crowds.   In those days Shipley Glen was 'a good day out' for hundreds of working class families from Bradford and the surrounding area.  It's still a lovely area for walks and picnics but the tramway is the only surviving ride.  It has the distinction of being the oldest working cable tramway in Britain and runs up and down a pretty little track through woodland, replete with bluebells at present.  It saves the exertion of a steep climb up from Saltaire to the moors and open spaces of Shipley Glen.

Provided the volunteers can be found to operate the tramway, it should be open every Sunday in 2012 from 12 noon til 4.15pm - details and information on their website.  It has two 'toast-rack' tramcars at present, though there are plans to add two more, to restore it closer to the original.  It's great fun but it's no good unless people use it - so come on local folks, take your kids and grandchildren for a ride!  It's not expensive and you can buy a family season ticket for £12.50, which gives unlimited travel.  I'm looking forward to taking Elodie when she's old enough to appreciate it.

My blogposts from November 2 to 6 2009 had some old photos of the rides on Shipley Glen and there is a wonderful piece of film archive from Easter 1912 here, which always amuses me.

7 comments:

  1. What a great idea to restore this! I hope a lot of people will come to help volunteers to go on their fabulous job!

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  2. Looks like a great idea, I hope people will rediscover it. (A bit too far away for me I'm afraid...) I enjoyed the old filmclip. I've been struck with lately how the early 1900's was like an explosion of this kind of thing and people very keen to go on outings on their days off. Well I guess nowadays each takes their own car, and some of us just stay home in front of the computer...

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  3. How expensive? Because £12.50 for a season ticket doesn't seem like much. I'm planning to get to Saltaire again sometime this year and I'd like to have a go - but Sunday afternoon we'd have to be on our way home! It would have to be one of the very early afternoon trips.

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  4. Fantastic photographs and the interesting entry. I am greeting

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  5. Having walked down the path which follows the tracks (roughly), I am definitely hoping for a ride on this :)

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  6. An adult ticket costs £1.00 single or £2.00 return

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  7. An interesting year 1895. During that auspicious year, the National Trust was founded: the Diesel engine was invented. "The Importance of being Ernest" debuted: the first Rugby League match was played: and Roentgen discovered X-Rays!

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