This year’s Big Adventure took the whole school to the Crich Tramway Museum near Matlock, Derbyshire.
On arrival the children, teachers and staff members were all given an old penny, to pay the conductor on the tram – in exchange for a ticket which could be used all day. During the day, the children explored various areas of the museum. It was fun to step back in time along the recreated period street where they didn’t have to wait long for the rumbling sound of a vintage tram. The children and staff boarded a tram at the terminus at Town End. They rode the 1 mile journey and passed Victoria Park Bandstand – many of the classes stopped here for lunch, followed by a play at the nearby play area. The tram journey took passengers past the Wakebridge Woodland Walk and the Glory Mine with spectacular views over the Amber Valley and Crich Stand.
Many of the buildings along the main street have been rescued from towns and cities across the UK, such as the Derby Assembly Rooms façade which relocated to Crich after a tragic fire. The Red Lion Pub and Restaurant is from Stoke and was re-built brick by brick. Also there are items of furniture which are dotted along the street, including the Bundy Clock at Town End Terminus and The Exhibition Hall windows which were rescued from the Doncaster tram depot. At Stephenson Place the children had the opportunity to enter the gift shop, old fashioned sweet shop and ice-cream parlour.
The children learned lots of interesting facts when they visited the indoor exhibition. In 2010 the Great Exhibition Hall was re-displayed with the ‘Century of Trams’ exhibition. This took us on a fascinating journey through a hundred years of tramway development, from 1860 – 1960, looking at horse trams, steam trams and electric trams. There was also an opportunity to view many of the working and archived vehicles from Britain and other parts of the world.
The children were surprised to see one of our very own teachers, Mr Waldron from Year 5, driving a tram. He is exceptionally experienced and has been a qualified driver for over 22 years! He can be seen at Crich Tramway Museum at various times throughout the year, driving the trams at weekends and during the holidays – look out for him and give him a wave!