THEY will soon be handing over their chains to new arrivals — but a job will be in waiting for two mayors in Heaton Park.

For the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Sue Cooley, and the ceremonial Mayor of Salford, Christine Hudson, were so proficient at driving a tram through the park they have been invited back.

The dignitaries, whose respective years in office finish at the end of this month, visited the park's tramway last Wednesday after expressing an interest in learning about the line, its two depots, the trams and the hardworking volunteers who have painstakingly restored them.

Mrs Cooley and Mrs Hudson were invited to take control of the California Car 765 tram, which was first acquired by the tramway's helpers when they formed their organisation in the 1960s.

Heaton Park Tramway Trust chairman Keith Whitmore said: "They were very proficient with the controls and we were very impressed. They didn't stall it once, and quite a lot of first timers do."

"We have told them that we want to invite them back to join our rota of drivers so they can work one Sunday a month," joked Mr Whitmore.

He added: "It's always appreciated when dignitaries come along to see the enthusiasm and endeavour that the volunteers have for the tramway and to see the vehicles and facilities we have, so to have two in one day is even better."