The sight of internal roof insulation material wafting around Starr Gate terminus in January boded ill for the tram operation. Strong overnight gales had finally peeled away a section of the tram depot to expose its underlay of insulation to the elements. Tufts of yellow material were a highly visible feature clinging to the perimeter fencing and parts of the overhead wiring around the building. All tram movements south of the Pleasure Beach turning circle were halted with a cortege of trams slowly making their way to a premature short working there.
Opportunistic work on the Trust's Brush Car 290 allowed me to investigate matters more closely and having recorded the scene with blocked roads and unhappy contractors and BTS staff - my return to the Pleasure Beach was by means of a unique (and brief) replacement bus service along South Promenade's tramtrack.
A BTS 'Solo' bus with conductor was hurriedly rushed down from Rigby Road to provide a shuttle service to Pleasure Beach from Starr Gate, stopping at the tram platforms to pick up a handful of waiting passengers before depositing them on the Pleasure Beach loop.
Above : Trams turning short at the Pleasure Beach. Connecting bus service to Starr Gate from the Heritage Stop where southbound services terminated.
Waiting for a tram and catching a bus !
The depot roof from a distance with its mangled sheeting requiring emergency contractor crews to repair still in high winds. Whoever came up with the idea of putting a brand new tram depot by a seawall immediately facing the Irish Sea?
It certainly won't be the last time that the elements impact on this ill-favoured location (at least for electronics, trams and structures).
All Photos : John Woodman