Tim Bayley with his trolley on Upper Queen Street Richmond, the new home of the iconic trolley derby. Photo: Matt McCrorie.

Nelson loses trolley derby to Richmond


Nelson’s iconic Trolley Derby has found a new home in Richmond, after struggling to get local support to make the event happen.

The derby began in Nelson in the 1950s and grew into a huge event, bringing people from all round the region to the top of Collingwood St. Generations of Nelsonians grew up building and racing trolleys down the street.

But, as of next year, Richmond will be the derby’s new location.

The derby came and went several times over the decades before being revived in 2002, lasting 16 years.

The derby was organised by the Nelson Trolley Club, who took over the event in 2010. It was sponsored by South Canterbury Finance for a few years and Fresh Choice before that.

However, the event stalled last year, unable to get sponsorship from local businesses.

After a two-year absence, organisers hope that the move from Collingwood St to Queen St will reinvigorate the event, making its grand debut on February 22, 2020. hope that the move from

The event had been steadily growing each year to one with about 100 entries and a crowd of 2000 to 3000 spectators.

Tim Bayley, one of the organisers, says that the proposed track would be from the Queen Street/Hill street intersection, down to Edward street on Upper Queen Street.

“We wanted a change, and we went to see the Tasman District Council, and they were very positive about having it here. It used to be in Richmond, and we thought it was time to bring it back,” Tim says.

Organisers are still a few steps away from making the event a reality and are looking for more sponsors to make the event happen.

“Richmond businesses will benefit with many sponsorship opportunities and local sports groups and schools can get involved on a great project, to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together,” says Kim Lucas, one of the event organisers.

There will also be building workshops and sessions, where people will be able to get together and swap idea and work with each other on their trolleys.

For those keen to know more about the event visit www.nelsontrolleyclub.co.nz