on the right track
The Central Tramway Company in Scarborough is Britain’s oldest surviving tramway company. Constructed and opened in 1881, the 1 in 2.8 gradient Tramway conveniently connects the South Bay Beach to the Town centre.
Over the years we have been involved with the Company in relation to various issues, including building maintenance advice and town planning issues. In 2011, the Company approached us for a critical appraisal and professional advice on how to improve and enhance the appearance of the Tramway and the Station buildings.
A new external decorative scheme was the most obvious improvement required, but there were other matters which, cumulatively, were degrading the character and appearance of the historic Tramway. In particular, the plethora of un-coordinated signage was confusing and untidy and the interior of the top Station was dark, depressing and unwelcoming.
The previous predominantly dark green colour scheme for the top Station and tram cars meant that they merged into the adjacent greenery and trees of the Town Hall Gardens. This obviously did nothing to emphasise or announce the presence of the historic Tramway. We specified a new cream and burgundy colour scheme and this has been carried through, both internally and externally. The quaint Victorian architecture of the top Station and the adjacent Tearoom has now been beautifully lifted and emphasised by the new colour scheme.
Inside the top Station, the old turnstiles and kiosks have been retained, but the interior has been immeasurably transformed by the removal of the dark imitation timber wallboarding and the reinstatement of simple cream painted timber boarding with burgundy highlights. An original 1920’s ‘Rowntrees’ wall poster has been successfully retained, now set off and framed by the new lighter colour scheme. The fluorescent strip lights have been replaced with polished copper pendants with prismatic glass, providing a far more appropriate heritage appearance. The signage has now been rationalised and coordinated, with railway heritage style lettering and signage, all in matching cream and burgundy. During the stripping out works, three sealed window apertures were discovered above the operating kiosk. These have now been leaded and glazed with specially commissioned stained glass from a local specialist glazier.
We provided comprehensive comments and advice to the Company regarding all the internal and external appearance issues. We were pleased to continue giving advice once the works commenced and we were delighted to be present at the unveiling by the Civic Society of the 50th Heritage Trail Blue Plaque.
The Company have continued to carry out further enhancing works, in particular with the addition of a Clock Tower to the roof of the top Station. They have also commissioned and executed a spectacular advertising mural covering the whole of the blank rear wall of the top Station, providing a ray of sunshine to a previously dark and unwelcoming public area.