Glasgow Standard Tram

Preserving Glasgow Tram No.488

It's history and restoration progress in the UK

Horse tram services started 19 August 1872
Electric traction from 13 October 1898 until 4 September 1962
Tramway abandonment's started in 1926, with major route closures from 1956 onwards
Trolleybuses introduced 3 April 1949 - Abandoned 27 May 1967

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Important Announcement

Hugh Taylor would like to say:

I was upset by the comment on Page 3 of Newsletter 245 which stated 'we received a big financial blow when we discovered that money promised for the restoration of Glasgow 488 had run out with the job only two thirds completed'. When a similar comment was made on Page 2 of Newsletter 246 stating: 'since the funding promised for 488's full restoration ran out no work has been done on it' implying that the money that had been available was not now available and I had reneged on the arrangement. I was irked as this is not the case and the money promised was all paid to either the Ffestiniog Railway or the EATMS.

The situation is this: Glasgow 488 arrived at the Ffestiniog Railway in the first part of 2013 for full restoration by the company. The late Ray Maidstone was asked to work alongside the FR and carry out the necessary electrical work. He only attended on three occasions; this prevented the FR from finishing the bottom deck and doing any work on the top deck. The Ffestiniog Railway did a wonderful job in restoring the lower deck but with Ray not attending they had to put it into temporary accommodation at Minnfford for which the EATMS were charged £4000 rent. Although Ray did some work at his home, the top and bottom decks remained at Portmadog.

My co-executor for the Peter Mitchell estate - the late John Fozard and myself - budgeted £200,000 for the task which the Ffestiniog management estimated would be the total cost. The EATMS were well aware that Mr Maidstone had ceased working at Portmadog in 2015 and after a further year should have been concerned about the lack of progress - it would have been appropriate if 488 had moved to Carlton Colville in 2016. I believe that the EATMS took their 'eye off the ball' and it was not until 2021 that both decks arrived in Lowestoft.

Southampton Marine Services have done a very good job since starting work on 488 in 2021 but it has been done at GREAT EXPENSE - almost £64,000 paid in three instalments. Together with what was paid to the Ffestiniog Railway and Ray Maidstone the total layout was £239,000, almost £40,000 above the original costing. If 488 had come back to Suffolk in 2016 everything would have been completed by now and within budget. Because of the delay, an agreement was made, due to inflation, that the EATMS would pay 14% of future work and the Peter Mitchell Account would pay 86%. Despite this, a large amount of money is still required to restore the tram. The Peter Mitchell account is not a bottomless pit and it is well past the budget of £200,000.

As a gesture of good will, I put a sum of my own money into 488, which with gift aid, totalled £12,800, to assist with the situation; effectively I have written cheques for almost £252,000 towards this project! Therefore, you will understand why I am hacked off with the implication that I have failed to honour a commitment to restore 488. If the EATMS had monitored the situation and taken earlier action they would not be in this position. We are ten years on now and the tram is still not restored and is again on the 'back burner'. It is embarrassing and some who have contributed in kind have passed away.

A third party has told me that he has heard two EATMS members blame me for the lack of funds which is entirely inappropriate and hurtful. If the restoration had been completed in the anticipated four years, then the £200,000 would have covered the work. However, Sue Jones, the treasurer has said that the EATMS are grateful for what has been paid so far but this does not match up with the comments that the 'money promised has run out'.

It is therefore very appropriate that the articles inferring that I have let the side down are rewritten to properly reflect what has happened. It would also be appropriate in the next EATMS newsletter to say a big'Thank you' to the Peter Mitchell account for paying £239,000 towards 488's restoration.

Hugh Taylor
Edgware, Middlesex
Tuesday, 4th July 2023

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