Lancaster nostalgia: great response to tramcar mystery

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A couple of weeks ago we asked our readers for information on the mysterious tramcar snapped by former Lancaster Guardian photographer Steve Pendrill.

The derelict vehicle stands in a field between Sunderland Point and Middleton Sands.

Since we published our appeal we have been inundated with responses.

Mick Howie got in touch to share his pictures of similar tramcars and suggestions.

He said: “Popular belief is that it is an ex Morecambe horse drawn tram, all of which were withdrawn in 1926.

“The windows on some of the tramcar pictures are too many and the shape is wrong. The first petrol tram is possibly the same or even a Lancaster electric tram, but the details seem wrong.

“Pontins did order several ex Bolton trams in 1940 to make into chalets.

“I recall seeing one in the garden of a house in Longlands Road, in Heysham, when I was a child.

“There is also a picture of the same tram before too much deterioration.

“I am told that a lady lived alone in that tram for years and it wasn’t ex Pontins.

“In my opinion it is a Bolton tram which was either not altered by Pontins, purchased independently, or surplus to Pontins requirements. It is too tram like when it was occupied to have been ex chalet use.”

Stephanie Bruntlett has also shared her thoughts on the tramcar.

She said: “My husband, who was brought up on a farm in Lincolnshire, says that old railway/tram cars were taken off their wheels and put in fields to act as shepherds’ huts, a not uncommon practice that spanned decades – it’s probably one of those.”

Tramcars from out of town are a popular theme with our readers. Judith Brown believes most of the tramcars came from Burnley.

She said: “There were five old tramcars on the caravan site which is now Shorefields in the late 40s to mid 50s.

“I seem to think they’d all been brought from Burnley. They were used for holidays in the same way we use caravans now.”

Ms Brown’s great aunt, Martha had one of the tramcars, which she named Woodbine.

“My parents slept in the main body of the tram and my brother and I slept in the round end, the other end was the kitchen,” said Ms Brown.

“They were all very well kept and their owners were very proud of them.

“We very much enjoyed our holidays there and became friends with other children on the site.

“Most families were from East Lancashire and in particular I remember families from Barnoldswick, Colne and Burnley.

“There was a big aircraft tyre inner tube which the children used to gather at and bounce around on.

“We used to fetch milk in a can from Baxter’s farm, still farmed by the same family.

“A man used to come round every morning selling comics and sweets and chocolates from the back of his van which was a treat for my brother and me as we lived on a farm and our nearest shop was about three miles away. “There was a shop at the entrance to the site and a few penny slot machines.”

Thank you to everyone who has shared their tramcar thoughts, memories and pictures.