© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 "It's a lovely sunny day - let's go out somewhere and take a picnic" suggested my wife. "That's a good idea - I can think of just the place". I'm not certain that the venue for the picnic was quite what she had in mind, but the view across the Mersey from Woodside to Liverpool's striking skyline was most impressive on this day of clear skies and sunshine. Birkenhead was apparently the first place in Europe to operate a dedicated passenger tramway. I didn't realise that until I began investigating this setup, which is well documented on the web (see below), but it does make the recent developments seem nicely appropriate. Our picnic over, we managed a few photos of a departing service before packing away the remains of lunch, joining the next tram for a ride skirting the former dockland. The tramway follows Shore Road to the still-operable (apparently, though it didn't look as though it had seen action recently) Egerton bascule bridge. Here, a sharp left takes the tramway across a main road and around the back of a pub ("The Old Colonial") to the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society's depot and museum in Taylor Street, where a number of vehicles ancient and modern are on display. Two new cars, built in 1992, were imported from Hong Kong for the opening of the line; today's service was in the capable hands of Birkenhead No. 20, built in 1900 for the electrification of the original tramway. The line isn't long, and after a good look around the depot, we walked back. I was hoping to get one or two photos along the way, but failed miserably - we were back at Woodside before the tram. Tram-riding over for the day, we turned to the ferry terminal. We'd seen the ferries plying back and forth - we ought to have a ride (not the right word, I know), if only to prove whether it's possible without Gerry and the Pacemakers. It isn't! Apart from a little musical accompaniment, £5.60 a head buys a trip across to Liverpool, then out towards the sea for a little way, before turning back to Seacombe terminal (where we nearly got off in error!) and finally returning to Woodside - with an informative commentary throughout. Great fun, concluding an excellent day out, hugely better than "we went to Birkenhead" would suggest, when comparing notes at work the following day... Link: Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society Object of admiration - car no. 20 at Woodside Departure for the museum, Woodside "Frequent electric trains" - and tram Who'd want to ride inside on a day like this? Liverpool no. 762 Hong Kong no. 69 - and Lisbon 730 Contrast in body styles - Liverpool 245 and Wallasey 78 A fine pair of half-cabs Horse tram - Liverpool 43 245 and 78 again... Through the dock gates Woodside departure "Royal Daffodil" - our ferry approaches That "striking skyline"