South Yorkshire has two transport museums which grew independently out of an early project to turn the former Sheffield Tramways Company’s Tinsley Tram Sheds into a museum on a nationally significant transport-history site.
At the present time the oldest purpose-built tram depot in the UK is a tile-warehouse, and there are two separate collections of buses and other transport memorabilia within a couple of miles of each other in the suburbs of Rotherham.
The South Yorkshire Transport Museum at Aldwarke is family friendly. There’s plenty for children to do, and much to entertain kids of all ages.
If you’ve lived in South Yorkshire and are over forty this place provides the disconcerting experience of finding once-familiar objects preserved in a museum.
It has a rich collection of buses, most of them well preserved and the rest under restoration, from across South Yorkshire, as well as tower wagons, towing trucks and other vehicles including two milk floats.
Some of the buses are available for hire, and do a roaring trade in weddings and birthdays.
There’s even a matchstick model of a railway locomotive.
Tucked away in a corner is the lower saloon of a Sheffield tram, no 460 built in 1926. It’s a rare survivor, sold rather than scrapped in 1951, and now repainted in an approximation of the authentic livery. Step inside to look at the models and memorabilia and hear an evocative sound-recording of trams in motion that makes up for its incomplete state.
There’s also a café, serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks, and a shop full of souvenirs and arcana to satisfy the most deep-dyed transport enthusiast.
Visitor information is at https://sytm.co.uk/visit/opening.html.