It is most definitely the end of the line...
A vintage tram: It's not the sort of thing you'd expect to find in a farmer's field in Sunderland Point, Lancashire is it?
Sunderland Point lies on a narrow strip of land; surrounded by water. Water defines this place and at high tide envelopes it; making it largely inaccessible to the outside world.
To the east and south lies the Lune estuary. At high tide, the river covers the one road in and out and of the village and laps just yards from its single row of houses. At low tide, the retreating waters reveal the glistening mud which provides a vital feeding stop for wading birds.
To the west is the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay, an ever-changing panorama with the Lakeland hills its backdrop. From Sunderland Point you can see Helvellyn, the dockyards of Barrow in Furness and Blackpool’s famous Tower.
The coastline to the west of the village is a maze of muddy creeks and inlets, with the sea seemingly always at arm’s length. A strip of shingle provides a walking route to the sandy beach at Middleton, a popular spot for caravan parks.
The environment here is harsh and unforgiving. The weather can change as quickly as the tides. It takes a hardy soul to set up home in a place like this.
So it isn’t the sort of place you expect to find a vintage tram, sat incongruously in a farmer’s field.
The Tram at Sunderland Point
The tram at Sunderland Point is believed to originate from Bradford. Though some say Burnley. It was built as a double decker and was believed to date from around 1902. When it was taken out of service, like many trams it was converted into a holiday chalet – the top deck being removed, but the basic structure unchanged.
The Sunderland Point tram was used, along with a number of others, at a caravan park in Middleton. After years of service, the owners elected to replace it with a purpose-built caravan. But a neighbouring farmer decided to purchase it, so it could be let for holidays on his land.
RUST TO RUST:
BASHES TO BASHES
Over time, the converted tram fell into disuse and slowly, the elements began to take over. The exterior, battered by the weather in this exposed location, began to decay. But the hardwood shell has stood the test of time and today it maintains its lonely vigil – looking out at the view once enjoyed by visitors to this special place…
Did you ever holiday in a tram at Middleton? Get in touch - We'd love to hear your story 🙂
(LuneTube visited the site with permission of the landowner – please respect that the tram is located on private property.)