Highly significant collection of tramcar drawings acquired by the Blackpool Heritage Trust!

The Blackpool Heritage Trust is pleased and very proud to be able to announce the acquisition of a significant collection of tramcar drawings that have very generously been donated by their creator – Ian Stewart.

Ian’s work will already be well known to many, having graced the covers and pages of many publications over the years including:

The Glasgow Tramcar (STMS, 1987)
The Tramways of Birkenhead and Wallasey (LRTA, 1987)
Lanarkshire’s Tramways (NB Traction, 1993)
The Regenerative Braking Story (VPL & STTS, 2006)
The Golden Miles (VPL, 2006)
Glasgow Tram Services (STTS, 2008), and
Scottish Tram Services (STTS, 2014)

Ian’s professional career was in the construction industry as an engineering consultant specialising in building services for hospitals. He has used draughtsmen’s skills gained in the course of his original training to produce highly detailed scaled coloured drawings of trams and buses illustrating long forgotten liveries. These were originally displayed in an exhibition at the Glasgow Museum of Transport, although the range of drawings has been expanded considerably since then!

The drawings comprise side and/or front elevations of their subjects based on original general arrangement drawings enhanced by the addition of livery detailing including lettering, embellishments, light and shading. Where appropriate, period adverts are also featured. They are all drawn to scale, generally ¾” or 1:20, and prepared on boards 800mm x 520mm. Several drawings have been used as prototypes to ensure accuracy of the actual vehicles depicted, and a number are in the collections of the Riverside Museum, Glasgow, and the National Tramway Museum, Crich, as well as with private collectors.

We are indebted to Ian for his generosity in transferring ownership of the Blackpool collection into our care. Although a priceless collection as far as the Trust is concerned, the actual value of this donation is significant, and we will now be examining the best way to conserve these irreplaceable drawings for the benefit of future generations to enjoy. As part of our commitment to make Blackpool’s tramway heritage accessible to the public, we will also be working towards achieving the best means by which to display selected items of Ian’s outstanding work for the interest and education of all.

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