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Built by local entrepreneur Sam Wilson, Shipley Glen Tramway opened on May 18th 1895. It still runs most Sundays and Bank Holiday afternoons throughout the year, thanks entirely to a loyal band of volunteers. As the Tramway, having recently been granted a hundred and twenty-five year lease,  launches a publicity campaign to attract much needed recruits, Trustee
RICHARD FREEMAN tells Sentinel readers exactly what is involved:

All new volunteers receive full training and the chance to 'shadow' experienced volunteers. Volunteers need to commit to a minimum of half a day (12noon - 4.30pm) on a Saturday or Sunday (to suit) once a month. If you are available for more than this we will of course make use of you! These are the voluntary positions available

Motor person: You do not have to be a brain surgeon but you do need to be responsible, cool-headed and sociable. You will join the team of motor people who take it in turns to be in charge of the safe and regular operation of the running of the Shipley Glen Tramway, and you have to deal with the broadest range of members of the public, their enquiries, demands and peculiarities! Swift and complex calculations of ticket money helps, for example: 3 adults and four children, return, and including 2 concessions, oh and a book please; how much change from a tenner?

Bottom Station Controller: Working with and supporting the Motor person to ensure the safe and smooth running of the Tramway you have to have many of the same skills. A loud voice and ample puff to blow a whistle are useful, as is the ability to sell tickets and enthrall people on the treasures of the Edwardian style Shop and tales of the Tramway, which you’ll quickly pick up.

The Old Sweetie Shop: If you love Jelly Babies, Brandy Snap and Humbugs then you will be sorely tempted to staff the Old Sweetie Shop counter. We have temptations by the bag full, resist them but entice the customers and then recommend a work-off with a brisk walk up to Shipley Glen and Bracken Hall Countryside Centre. You’ll need to handle money, replenish the sweet stock and chat to the customers. The trustees are planning to develop the shop in the future so they are also interested to hear from people who are full of ideas.

Museum: Truly a gem, the museum is a peep into the past! See how your great grandparents once lived, then use your skills to retell to people the charm of yesteryear. Help bring to life the Ride of Life exhibition, the days when the top of Shipley Glen was Bradford’s golden mile and conjure up the echo of thousands of feet tramping across the moors to Ilkley. This should entice people with a love of history.

Without our volunteers we would not be able to open. This is a magical place to be involved with, not least because you get to witness the enjoyment people of all ages get when they ride on the tram, reliving memories of yesterday, enjoying the beauty of the area or simply sitting back and loving the gentle ride though the woods.

Interested in knowing more?

Call Richard Freeman on 07773001250 or email us on


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