DIscussions and agreement between Blackpool's transport management and Heritage Tram Tours with FHLT Trustees recently affirmed mutual intent to see the Trust's Jubilee Car 761 retained at Rigby Road for the forseeable future.
Left: 761 in its final appearance, Wynsor Shoes advertising familiar towards the end of its service.
An examination of the tram has costed the work needed to allow 761 to return to operating condition - under sponsored arrangements. The FHLT with BTS and the Heritage Tram Tours team will be considering how best this can be organised in 2016.
FHLT are aware of the importance of the tram within the long story of Blackpool's transport and its tramway; particularly as an example of the output of Rigby Road Works as a centre of tramcar innovation and specialist engineering during the 1960s and 70s.
This was the prime reason for the Trust's acquisition of 761, to ensure it was saved and remained locally on the Fylde coast. The tram's immediate offsite storage was through the goodwill of Halsall Toys International in Fleetwood who provided accomodation at their premises for several of the Trust's collection (as well as a temporary home for Coronation Car 304).
As the largest capacity tram (seating that is) on the Blackpool tramway - 761 has serious revenue earning potential, particularly during the Illuminations, adding to BTS Heritage Tram Tours resources. Such a role would naturally see removal of the now worn wrap around advertising for Wynsor Shoes. Both the Trust and BTS are keen to work jointly in realising this shared objective. Further details will become available over the course of the summer from both Heritage Tram Tours and the FHLT.
Left: The Cresta design with amended windscreens, revised headlamp configueration plus metal fender.
Above: In the 1979 Blackpool fleet livery and appearance - as many would wish to see it returned.