The good news: There is now a team of 6 people who all share an interest in seeing No.31 looked after and so we officially form the Leicester Tram 31 Group.
The bad news: Having now done a deal to obtain 31, the cold light and winter vegetation reveal far more of 31 than I saw back in October. I begin to realise what I have taken on and have convinced others to join me on! The receeding winter vegetation show the East side of the tram (the bit we couldn’t see much of or get to in October). It’s not good news and reveals that the vertical load bearing window struts have given way causing the roof to come in. It was this collapse that probably caused the upper deck to fall off.
Amazingly the tall tree that had provided shelter for 31 and probably ensured its survival this late on after the network closed was struck by lightening in the summer of 2009. The strike caused the tree to fall yet as it fell it missed 31 completely. Instead the trunk now lies in the foregroud of this first picture, directly across the remains of the floor of No.95.
I visited this time with another group member, also a Steve, and we make some interesting discoveries in our brief visit to plan a move of the car to another site.
The most interesting and unexpected discovery was 2 x lower saloon roofs from other leicester trams that were once also on the site. These roofs had been used to repair sections of fencing in an adjacent field! Although we cannot identify exactly which cars they came off, they will almost certainly prove useful bearing in mind we had just discovered the roof collapse on 31’s East side. Steve and I feel more at ease knowing that as well as the remnants of 31’s roof there are at least two others we can use to make one good one!