The Wirral Transport Museum
|Welcome to The Wirral Transport Museum|
|Why a tramway and museum in Birkenhead? American George Francis Train
created the first street tramway in Europe here in 1860. He was quite a
character. It is thought that the fictional character Phileas Fogg (Around the
World in 80 days) was based on him.|
The Wirral Transport Museum is housed in a building that has seen many uses
since it was built. The original part of the building (1892) was used for
stabling horses in transit from Ireland. This was unusual in that the stabling
was over two storeys. The stables area now houses our model railway. The next
occupant of the building was Moorhouses Minerals. Used as a manufacturing
facility for their range of carbonated soft drinks. The company was taken over
by Birkenhead Brewery in 1951. In the late fifties the company was taken over
by Threlfalls Brewery and again in the sixties by Whitbread Brewery. Moorhouses
lemonade then became R Whites (Whitbread Minerals division). All production
ceased in 1983. Wirral Borough Council later purchased the building to replace
Pacific Road as the home of The Wirral Transport Museum.
Wirral Borough Council created The Wirral Transport Museum as a visitor
attraction at Pacific Road in 1995, mainly through European funding.
Road also became home to the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society
formed by a group of Liverpool University students in 1960 to preserve
Liverpool Corporation Tramways car 869. Two Hong Kong tram cars were
and shipped to Birkenhead coutesy of P&O ferries. The Hong Kong
together with some of the restored heritage fleet operated a service
Woodside and Pacific Road. The tramway was extended to Egerton Bridge.
Following a decision to convert the rear of Pacific Road into a
theatre, the line was further extended to Taylor Street, the line
opening on 10th February 2001. The
Museum and Tramway then completed the move into the Taylor Street
Between 2008 and 2011 the future of the Museum and Tramway hung by a thread.
There was constant talk of closure due to budget constraints. The Museum and
Tramway were put up for sale by Wirral Borough Council in 2009 / 2010 and were
almost bought by Merseytravel. They withdrew their interest at the 11th hour.
In 2013 Wirral Borough Council officers approached volunteer groups with a view
to inviting us to manage and operate the facility on behalf of the Council
under an asset Transfer. A business plan was presented to the officers and
Councillors unanimously approved, sadly the three WBC staff who had operated
the facility were made redundant or took retirement. We started operating and
managing the Museum and Tramway in January 2014. No real progress has so far
been made with regard to completing the Asset Transfer so we now approach the
end of our third year of operation.
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