Operating History: Liverpool Corporation Passenger Transport, a department of the city government, took over the city’s horsecar lines in 1897 and soon electrified them. In 1939, just before the start of World War II, Liverpool built its last group of trams – a fleet of double truck and single truck streamlined, double deck cars. Liverpool No. 293 is one of these four-wheel, single truck trams. It was known in Liverpool as a “Baby Grand” to differentiate this type from the larger double truck versions known as “Streamliners.” Both types were also called “Green Goddesses” reflecting Liverpool’s green paint scheme adopted in 1933. No. 293 made the last trips over Liverpool’s rail lines before their conversion to bus in 1957. For the occasion, Liverpool gave No. 293 a special last trip green and cream paint scheme with “1897 – Liverpool’s Last Tram – 1957” lettered on the sides.
Museum Ownership: Blackpool No. 144 was Seashore’s first British double deck tram, acquired in 1954. Seashore sought a streamlined Liverpool double deck tram which would be a contrast to the older, non-streamlined Blackpool car. The Liverpool Corporation agreed to sell No. 293 to Seashore for a price less than scrap value. After retiring the car, Liverpool temporarily stored it until Seashore could raise the funds to purchase and transport No. 293 to Maine. With assistance of supporters in Britain, No. 293, along with a quantity of spare parts, came to the U.S. in 1958. British Consul General Robert H.K. Marrett presented No. 293 to Seashore at Kennebunkport’s 1958 Memorial Day parade. When cleaning out the car’s refuse box, a Seashore member found this note:
Treat her gently.
From the last tram driver in Liverpool.
G. Brown, LC.P.T”
Seashore operated No. 293 briefly and stored the car outdoors and later in Central carbarn. No. 293 is one of four British double deck trams at Seashore. Another Liverpool “Baby Grand,” No. 245, is owned by the Liverpool Museum and is on loan to the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society. Seashore’s trustees have turned down repeated requests from fans in Britain to move No. 293 back to the Liverpool area.
Current Condition: No. 293 is currently in storage awaiting restoration.