It seems only yesterday when 'Metro Coastlines' was plastered all over Blackpool Transport's vehicles. Not quite a distant memory but definitely fading from view.
Now just a handful of trams in various places manage to retain the once familiar logo and examples of diverse colour schemes which were a hallmark of Steve Burd's years of Management. Five of the 'Progress TWIN-CAR' sets were each given their individual colour branding. The remaining two sets being withdrawn in earlier BTS cream and green livery. Several 'Balloon' cars were also treated to a makeover in Metro Coastlines colour branding - with some quite exotic examples. Just one Balloon Car remains 'as is' - the FHLT's 710 continues to carry its final (and obviously weather beaten) distinctive plum (or is it purple?) and the yellow branding - immortalised by Corgi with their celebratory 'Balloon Car' model set.
The prevalence of many preserved trams now restored to variants of Blackpool's green and cream livery is certainly welcomed; especially when they replace the wrap around commercial advertising which marred the tram fleet in later decades of operation. Just think of the contrast between the final advertising condition of the Trust's Brush Car 290 when it left Rigby Road in 2011 - and its appearance today. Similarly reversion to traditional fleet/operator livery from incessant all over advertising was a definite plus in Hong Kong, Lisbon and the rump operation in Porto judging from then and now images. However the transient 'Metro Coast-lines' era in Blackpool's transport history is equally worth recording in tangible form, and we are pleased to retain at least one or two cars bearing the distinctive logo of previous management. Standard Car 40 carries the red, white and teak branding of Charles Furness. It will be interesting to see Standard 143 emerge in this equally distinctive fleet livery of the 1920s - a livery which was swept away by new management from 1933 in favour of green and 'ivory'.