Momento marks the golden age of tram travel in the Fens between Wisbech and Outwell

Unveiling of Outwell Tram momento at old tram depot Basin Road, Outwell. also photo exhbition at St

Unveiling of Outwell Tram momento at old tram depot Basin Road, Outwell. also photo exhbition at St Clements Church from Bill's collection. Unveiling by Norman Wenn and Iris Risebrow.Picture: Steve Williams, - Credit: Archant

Outwell's lost tram service has been commemorated with the unveiling of a specially crafted momento made by villager and local historian William Smith.

Two of Outwell's oldest residents unveiled the purpose built by Mr Smith using relics collected from the original tram-yard and other areas of the village.

The momento includes an old junction side which Mr Smith believes came from the Hall Road junction with Wisbech Road. It was discovered rusting in a scrap heap.

There is a wheel from a railroad handcart that was probably used along the tramway, a piece of an old sleeper and it has all been assembled by Mr Smith with sponsorship from a host of people.

Saturday's unveiling was carried out by 97-year-old Norman Wenn and Iris Risebrow, who is almost 89 watched by other villagers. The momento has been installed on a special plinth in The Tramway the site of the former tram depot.


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Mr Smith believes the circular 'county council Outwell' sign at the top of the memento was removed from the village circa 1940 at the time of the Dunkirk evacuations.

It was buried in the Norfolk County Council yard which was located in a corner of Bexwell Airfield at the time.

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The sign, along with many others, was unearthed around 10 years ago. It came into the possession of Mr Peter Dorling who later gave it to Mr Smith with the proviso that it should remain in Outwell.

Competition public buses forced the tram passenger service to be withdrawn on New Year's Day 1928. The Outwell village depot closed on December 5 1962, the Basin depot closed October 1964. The final tram journey took place on Friday 20 May 1966. The official closure was on Monday May 23 1966.

There is very little left of the tramway to see but the memento is a fitting reminder and there are plans for another more substantial reminder of the tram to be installed opposite the Upwell Health Centre.

It was the Wisbech to Upwell tram that inspired the Rev W Awdry to create the Toby the Tram character that features in the Thomas the Tank stories, which have become internationally famous.

Another attraction during on Saturday was a vast selection of historical photographs on display in St Clement's Church from Mr Smith's collection.

Mr Smith has written four local history books and produced a couple of local history DVDs.

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