Bushy’s Brewery will be supporting the campaign to save the island’s horse trams with a ‘Tram Tastic’ design to feature on its TT merchandise.
Bushy’s boss Martin Brunnschweiler said he hopes the ‘Tram Tastic’ design, which will be printed on thousands of T-shirts, 100,000 stickers and 108,000 pint glasses, will help raise awareness of the campaign.
The future of the historic horse tramway has been up in the air since redevelopment plans were submitted that did not include provision for the service. The Department of Infrastructure’s plans follow the rejection of its earlier scheme that would have seen the horse trams relocated on the Douglas promenade walkway.
In January, Douglas Council made the decision to axe the service but it was saved after the government stepped in to take it on, but only for the 2016 season.
Martin said: ‘I’m a real traditionalist and love to see such unusual things survive. So many places in the world are trying to invent and introduce new angles to its tourist attractions and we’ve got one about to celebrate its 140th anniversary and we’re discussing getting rid of it, it’s absolutely unbelievable!
‘It was a similar parallel to a few years ago when certain people decided that the TT wasn’t worth keeping and that the 2007 centenary should be the last one.
‘Every year we try and come up with a topical theme that somehow incorporates TT in the title. We had “Top Tipple” with an Olympic style design in 2012, toilet tax was another humorous theme a couple of years ago, and when I sat down with our graphic artist, Orry Lewin, we came up with the idea of linking in the horse trams.
‘The TT design is really just a bit of fun, but if it helps raise the profile of the trams a little, then all the better.’
Bushy’s Brewery also has a personal connection with the trams having supplied grain for the horses for around 15 years. ‘It’s an arrangement that suits both parties. We have a means to take away the excess cereals and the horses get to eat a totally natural nutritious product.’
In addition, Martin hopes to sort out Bushy’s sticker signage for the trams in time for TT and if the future of the trams is secure he would like to create a permanent sign for the historic tramway.
Martin said: ‘I really love the trams, as well as all the vintage transport on the island, and sincerely hope that what is being experienced at the moment is just a temporary glitch.’