Ballarat Tramway eNews
No. 29,  March 2018
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Horse Tram No. 1

Sunday 8 April, 11.00-3.30

The Horse Tram makes its 130 year celebration trip on 8 April. This is the event that had to be postponed when the weather on Australia Day was forecast to be too hot for the horses to work. As it turned out the day was very hot until a huge electrical storm arrived with heavy rain. Autumn weather is always great in Ballarat, and the Botanical Gardens are at their best following this year's Begonia Festival. This is your chance to see how tourists 130 years ago enjoyed Ballarat, as the original No. 1 Horse Tram, returns to its original tracks.

Dave McCartney (Shed Manager) and Peter Winspur (Secretary) watching the storm on Australia Day. Tram 26 is in the background waiting for the thunderstorms to pass.

The Museum will be marking the 130th anniversary of the Ballarat Tramway, which began service on Boxing Day, 1887.  Although the State Electricity Commission operated tramway system closed in September 1971, the Museum continues to run trams in Ballarat and will be operating some of its historic tramcars on 8 April as well.

Photo Collections

The Museum has a large collection of historic photographs which have been archived and digitally copied. We are always delighted to accept donations of photos or other memorabilia relating to the history of trams in Ballarat. Member and motorman Andrew Mitchell has made his collection available, and his photos will soon feature in future issues of the eNews, our magazine Fares Please, and on our Facebook site.
This photo was taken by Neville Britton (Operations Manager). It shows Tram 40 derailed in Sturt Street, opposite the Post Office, in 1971. On Facebook recently we have been sharing photos from Chris Phillips (Board Member and Roster Clerk).

Please contact the Museum if you have photos you would like to donate or share with us.


We have an extensive range of tram related items in our shop at the Museum including books, DVDs, keyrings, fridge magnets, badges scarves, beanies, toys, postcards , and new in stock, socks. What self respecting tram fan would leave the house without a pair of these fantastic looking socks. Priced at $12.00, you get two - one for each foot!

Next time you visit call in grab a pair.
Trams outside the depot on a busy day

Shed painting

Work began a couple of weeks ago to prepare the outside of the shed for painting. This picture shows Les and Paul (President) removing the sign from the front of the building. Last week the walls were all hand scrubbed to remove the lichen that was growing on the south wall. Tram Tuesday volunteers are just waiting for a calm day to complete the spray painting.

Begonia Festival

March is our busiest time of year, with the tramway carrying thousands of people over three days. The exact numbers have not been finalised, but crews reported the trams were full to capacity, making it impossible at time to issue tickets to all passengers. However behind the scenes there is always preparatory work to do and this photo shows Simon Green cleaning the tracks in the days before the Begonia Festival.  
Thanks to the large crew of volunteers who kept the trams running and the Museum throughout the weekend. The Festival is the one time of the year when most of our active members gather in Ballarat to assist. It was also a great opportunity for some of our long serving members to work with our newer crews. In this photo from left, Ryan, Peter, John, Carl and Reece.


Saturday evenings often sees Tram 671 taking a bridal party to their reception at "Pipers by the Lake." The Museum also makes the trams available for bridal photographs, so send us an email if you want t know more.
The Glasgow Crash 1932

Glasgow was once one of Europe's largest tramways, and the last city tramway in Great Britain, closing in 1962. It started as a horse tramway in August 1872, and the line was first electrified in October 1898. Like Ballarat, there is only one surviving horse tram held at Glasgow's Riverside Museum. This photo shows an accident from 1932 when a bus ran into a tram, fortunately there were no fatalities.

High Tea

Bright Life Catering areoperating a High Tea on Cuthberts 939 on the first Sunday of each month this year. With stunning views across Lake Wendouree and the Botanical Gardens, this has to be the best venue for a High Tea ever. Book a table today!

Bookings at:

National Trust Heritage Festival

On Tuesday 24 April and Saturday 28 April, there will be special "Behind the Scenes" tours of the Museum as part of the National Trust Heritage Festival. Tours will be available between 11.00am and 4.00pm on both days, and entry is by donation. No bookings are necessary.

For more information:

Volunteer vacancies

We have immediate vacancies for volunteers in all areas of Museum operations. Drivers and conductors are needed to help crew an increasing number of visitors and charters. There is always room for another pair of hands in the workshop.
Our award winning function tram, Cuthberts 939 needs another team of waiters and a barista to keep up with the demand from people wanting to hire the tram. The depot and shop need  some extra people to meet and greet visitors. And behind the scenes there is a mountain of administrative tasks that  are needed to keep the trams on the rails. Full training is provided and we are a friendly bunch...

If you are reading this newsletter, thinks about how you could help, and contact us today!

What's On:

* School Holidays March 30 to April 15 - Trams running every day.
* Sunday 8 April - Horse Tram No. 1 - 11.00am till 3.30pm
* Tuesday 24 April - Behind the Scenes Tours
* Wednesday 25 April - Anzac Day Holiday - Trams running
* Saturday 28 April - Behind the Scenes Tours

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