Tram museum has memorial to Lilian
THE 26-year-old conductress hailed a hero when she died days after trying to stop a tram from overturning in Burton is immortalised at a tourist attraction.
Lilian Parker, who lived in Newhall, is represented on one of five permanent structures on display at Crich Tramway Village dedicated to those who worked on the trams around the First World War.
The Burton Mail is appealing for families of victims of tram car 19 to come forward as part of plans for a memorial to be erected in Burton commemorating the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.
It is hoped some of the original tram tracks recently pulled up from Burton Bridge following a recent revamp could be used in the memorial.
Miss Parker died after the Burton and Ashby Light Railway tram heading from Burton to Swadlincote slipped on leaves on the tracks and slid back down Bearwood Hill Road before overturning.
She tried to help driver Charles Insley apply the brake but was trapped under the tram as it overturned. Her leg had to be amputated but she died six days later.
Passenger Caroline Hughes died en route to hospital.
Following her death, the community of Newhall paid for Miss Parker’s headstone at St John’s Cemetery.
In a list of employees of the Burton and Ashby Light Railway stored at the Magic Attic, in Swadlincote, it records Miss Parker living in Main Street, Newhall, at the time of her death.
She had been an insurance agent for Britannic Assurance Ltd before she joined Burton and Ashby Light Railway on November 6, 1918.
She was later recorded as having “died [on October 14, 1919] from injuries received from Bearwood Hill Road disaster.” Miss Parker became a conductress during a shortage of male conductors as a result of the First World War.
Now, Crich Tramway Village, in Derbyshire, has used her tragic story in its own memorial to those working in the industry during the war.
Jan Barratt, learning and participation manager at Crich Tramway Village, said: “We managed to get international artists Musson+Retallick so we are really lucky to have them.
“They wanted something that looked like a tram rail as part of the structure so we got some track from our stockyard and formed five different pieces and one is for Lilian Parker.”
A plaque dedicated to Lilian Parker