Stormy scene over the Crich Monument

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Charity news

HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester visits Crich Tramway Village

by Geoff Brown

HRH The Duke of Gloucester with other VIPs at Crich Tramway Village

On Wednesday 20th October, HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester paid a visit to Crich Tramway Village, where he is Patron.

Also in attendance were special guests, the HM Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire Mrs Elizabeth Fothergill CBE and Consort Mr Fothergill, Mayor of Amber Valley, Councillor David Taylor, and Consort Mrs Valerie Taylor.

Two Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets, Cadet Colour Sergeant Claudia Gration and Cadet Staff Sergeant William Stelfox saluted the Duke of Gloucester on arrival and departure.

Ian Rigg, Lead Instructor at the museum, shows the Duke how to drive a tram.
Ian Rigg, Lead Instructor at the Museum, shows the Duke how to drive a tram.

The special day focussed on Tramway Museum Society members and offered them a chance to find out more about the latest projects and future plans.

Tramway Museum Society Chairman, Karen Rigg and President Ian Ross, along with Crich Tramway Village General Manager, Dr Mike Galer, met the party on arrival and HRH the Duke of Gloucester officially launched the latest tram restoration project, Newcastle 102, by driving it from the Workshop out onto the track.

After meeting some of the members, the Duke also toured the Exhibition Hall, which hosts a Century of Trams exhibition and an exhibition about History Maker, Michael Holroyd Smith, before taking a further tram drive on Liverpool 869.

Karen Rigg said: “We were very pleased to welcome our Patron to the Museum once again and delighted that he launched our recent restoration project”.

Dr Mike Galer stated: “We were thrilled to offer this special day for our members and take the opportunity to share our future plans”.

Crich Tramway Village closes for winter maintenance after Sunday 31st October and will re-open on 12th March 2022. For details please visit:

Copy provided by Crich Tramway Village

Continued need for Crich Community Pantry

by Linda Philo

Crich Community Pantry

THANK YOU to all those who have topped up the Crich Community Pantry over the past weeks, it has sorely been needed by families and individuals.

With the glut of Harvest from our gardens coming in we are also receiving Runner Beans, Cucumbers, Potatoes, and Courgettes. I am sometimes asked for cooking instructions or hints!

One family told me; "This [the pantry] makes a difference to us, especially while the kids are on holiday. It pads out our meals meaning we can just about get by."

If you can't give anything like tins, packets or fresh produced but want to help just pop some money in through the Vicarage door marked pantry. It'll make a difference.

Rev Ian Whitehead

Community Group Grants 2021/22 - now open for applications

by Linda Philo

Community Group Grants 2021/22 - now open for applications

Community Group Grants 2021/22 - now open for applications

Each year the Parish Council sets aside a small fund to help local community groups within Crich Parish.

The Council is aware that this has been another difficult year for all community groups, with Covid-19 continuing to impact on activities and funding. If you run a community group, or belong to one, have you considered applying for a grant – it might make a little difference to what you can do going forward?

Perhaps there is an item that your group would like but cannot afford, perhaps you need help with running costs, or you want to organise a Covid-19 safe activity? – a Parish Council Community Grant could be the answer.

Closing date 31 October 2021

Find out more and how to apply


The Berlin wall, trams and Crich Tramway museum

by Geoff Brown

Berlin Tramways (BVB) No 223 006-4 seen at Crich Tramway Museum

Information & photos courtesy of Crich Tramway Museum.

60 years ago, on the morning of the 13th of August 1961, the inhabitants of Berlin awoke to find that two thirds of their city had been isolated from the rest by the tearing up of roads, blocking of railway lines and the erection of barbed wire fencing along the 97-mile border the western sector shared with the German Democratic Republic and the 27 miles that divided West and East Berlin. Within 4 days the barbed wire would be replaced by a concrete wall. 

Initially the inhabitants on each side of the Wall were unable to visit or even telephone each other. From the mid 1960’s West Berliners were allowed to visit their relatives in the East at Christmas. In 1971, following negotiations by the four occupying powers the restrictions were relaxed. 
Even then those in the East could only cross to the West for work, important family events and if they were pensioners or deemed no further use to the State. In the first two cases the existence of relatives in the East provided insurance that travellers to the West would return.

It is believed that in the 28 years of the era of the Wall about 5,000 people managed to escape to West Berlin, although at least 140 people died in the attempt. The restrictions on East Berliners travelling to the West were revoked on the 9th of November 1989 and reunification of Germany followed the following year. To those who visited Berlin in the 28 years of the Wall it was an interesting city to say the least.


Berlin Tramways (BVB) tram No 223 006-4 showing the access lift for disabled people
Berlin Tramways (BVB) tram No 223 006-4 showing the access lift for disabled people. Photo by Paul Abell.

In 1996 a refugee from Berlin arrived at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire. It was an East Berlin “Rekowagen” or rebuilt tram which had been built in 1969. Since arriving at the museum, Berlin Tramways (BVB) No. 223 006-4 has been equipped with a lift to enable people with impaired mobility to enjoy a ride on its demonstration tramway. To mark the 60 years since the building of the wall, the National Tramway Museum will be displaying its Berlin tram at the museum on the 13th of August between 10.00 and 17.30. Volunteers will be on hand to tell the story of the tram and what Berlin was like in those years of the Wall and to operate it for those booked on the Access Tram.

Crich Tramway Village hosts training for police search dogs and their handlers

by Geoff Brown

Police dogs Indy and Ziggy with handlers Dean and John at Crich Tramway Village

Derbyshire Police dog handlers and their search dogs have been using Crich Tramway Village as a training ground.

The dog handlers are assessed for their ability before undergoing training to handle dogs.  The dogs typically spend around two weeks with their handler before undertaking a search course of six weeks. 

The dogs live with their handlers and will often serve for 8 – 10 years in the police force, depending on the breed and agility of the dog.

Asked why Crich Tramway Village provided a good training ground, PC Dean Allen said:

“It is a live venue with people around and plenty of places to search.  It is a recreation of the real world.”

Springer Spaniels are known for their intelligence, and for being alert, attentive and active, so it is no surprise that Indy, the 2- year- old brown and white Springer Spaniel and Ziggy, the 2½ year old brown Sprocker Spaniel have just completed their courses with flying colours.  The excitable pair posed for photos with Trainer PC Dean Allen and handler PC John Ashmore at Crich Tramway Village, before undertaking their important roles in searching for drugs, cash, firearms and ammunition.

The police force also use German, Dutch and Belgian Shepherds for other police activity.

Amanda Blair, Marketing Manager at Crich Tramway Village said:

“We’re delighted to be able to offer a venue for police dog training.  Our exhibitions provide a range of indoor areas, whilst the Woodland Walk is a challenging outside search area”.

The venue is currently open to the public Saturdays to Thursdays from 10am but will be open on Friday 4th June for the school half term.  For further information, please visit: or email:

Information provided by Crich Tramway Village



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