SHIPLEY Glen Tramway has appointed its first female tram driver in its 119-year history.

Kathryn Pitcher completed a "rigorous" training programme to become the first woman able to take the controls at the popular tourist attraction, which opened in May 1895.

The 33-year-old, who is mum to ten-year-old Jamie, said: "It is a fantastic feeling to know that you have created history. My confidence is sky-high at the moment - it is a really, really good feeling."

She added that she wasn't the only person delighted with her new role - her train-mad son was also very happy about it.

"He is absolutely elated that his mum is now driving the tram," said Kathryn. "He is well into his trains."

David Bainbridge, who trained Kathryn, said: "It is quite momentous. The tramway has been going for nearly 120 years and, to my mind, we have never had a female driver, so it has to be something special, and one in the eye for the anti-women's libbers."

David trained Kathryn for about a year. He said she carried out various jobs on the platform before progressing to driving.

"We have done sessions just me and her, then ultimately she drives with passengers under supervision, then drives on her own," said David. "It is quite rigorous because safety is paramount.

"She is very good. She learned the job very quickly. She has a good eye for driving - I am quite pleased."

Kathryn, of Bingley, volunteered at the tramway when she was a teenager. She returned to help out about a year ago after being asked by her dad.

"It re-ignited a passion," said Kathryn. "And I asked if there was any chance I could give driving a go at some point, and then someone was willing to train me.

"I am looking forward to getting on and doing my first solo shift after Christmas."

Richard Freeman, of the tramway, said: "Everybody is absolutely delighted. It is nice - we are delighted for Kathryn. She has been a volunteer for quite some time.

"It is a big thing - I take my hat off to her."