VANISHING BALLOONS - Err not quite
The great tram cull of 2010/11 managed to achieve most of its aim - finding new homes for the long list of unwanted trams put up for sale by Blackpool Transport. Of the Balloon disposals just two examples were destined to be victims (as it were) of unmerited ends. Blackpool Transport determined that 722 was 'damaged goods' and fit only for scrapping. It was dismantled in the Body Shop and Depot over several months, with some parts finding their way to alternative uses. Number 716 had given up parts for other Body Shop needs over several years - and also provided a convenient store inside the Depot for sundry items 'rescued' for this or that restoration. However it too found a Buyer in 2010 - and was hauled out of its usual resting place on July 1 2010 for a lengthy road trip north. Its removal was caught in action - with notable missing curved end glazing at both ends as well as side windows on both decks . 716 would become the only Blackpool double deck tram to cross into Scotland* destined for an embryonic office scheme by its new Owners. Their plans later run into problems and the tram disposed of, along with the assets of the Owning business. PS : our latest information is that 716 survives and has interest from possible buyers.
* The Hovertram would follow a similar northern road trip - this time to a leading Scottish transport museum, before returning south of the border to the NEETT museum in Co. Durham where it will become a unique illuminated exhibit.
Farewell to 716 - as it starts its final journey from Rigby Road Depot. Above : A Souvenir from sister car 722.