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Transport Museum

Tramway Managers

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visitors since 21st July 2005

Birkenhead No.7

In 1876 the Birkenhead Street Railway ordered 7 new trams from the local, but internationally famous tramcar manufacturer, the Starbuck Car & Wagon Company, located not far from the present transport musem, in Cleveland Street. This building still exists and there is a plaque on the building noting its previous importance.

The tram has a back to back seat on the roof called a "Knifeboard Seat", this type of top deck seat lasted until around 1886 when the design of top decks changed and the more familiar transverse garden seat became more or less standard.

The tram was usually pulled by two horses, but would be worked by a stud of about twelve horses worked in rotation. You will see the tram is fitted with slatted blinds, very common for for this time, used to keep the sunlight off the passengers. It is very ornately decorated with ornamental mirrors in the lower saloon. The tram is meticulously decorated and lined out.

The tram was sold in the 1890's to the Birkdale and Southport Tramway Company, it is possible that the directors of Birkenhead United Tramways, Omnibus & Carriage Co Ltd (which by 1899 the old Street Railway had become) were the same, namely the Busby family.

The tram ended its days as a lamp store in a coal yard in Southport and then in the 1970's became the first exhibit in the new Steamport Museum in Southport.

In the late 1980's British Horse Tram enthusiasts took on the task of restoring the tram over a four year period and then sold the tram to Wirral Borough Council, the present owners. It is now in the care of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society.

The tram is the oldest double deck tram in mainland UK. The oldest double deck tram in the world is housed in the Brussels Transport Museum and was made, also by George Starbuck, in 1869. Another remarkable survivor.
7 with Slate Roof
7 on Lorry
Inside Roof
Just arrived
7 in 2019
Car 7 in 2019


Birkenhead. 7
Isle of Man 11 & 47