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  • FHLT

Helping Hands

From the early days of the Trust our efforts have drawn on the goodwill and practical assistance of a good many people - sharing our view on the value and benefit of a quality visitor attraction in Fleetwood.

That we haven't so far achieved that goal is not without any lack of trying and our efforts continue even if they aren't publicly posted. What is truly assuring is the ever present support for our modest initiatives from a diversity of public and private principals on the Fylde coast. The remarkable efforts of BHT understandably are welcomed by 'tram enthusiasts', whose enjoyment riding up and down on the working survivors of the former tram fleet is self evident. An expanding horizon of the BTS heritage team will do much to ensure that tram heritage is kept at the forefront of future visitor experience.

That heritage embraces the complex of workshops and depot at Rigby Road which sees alternative development encroaching ever closer. It is of paramount importance for these residual assets to be kept intact and functioning. The FHLT wholly support discussions and studies aimed at a sustainable scheme which brings this about for future generations. Examples of trams originating from Rigby Road's professional skills and craftsmen are well represented in the now substantial collection retained at Rigby Road. The FHLT, having ensured the survival locally of several important trams with private sponsorship, are pleased to be able to contribute Jubilee Car 761 to an eventual long term display through shared arrangements with both BTS and BHT. And no doubt

further cooperative initiatives will ensue. In the meantime Fleetwood is still very much on our own agenda - with exploratory due diligence underway. This may well end up as a partnership with one or two road transport collections but for the moment our current tram 'fleet' is the priority.

FHLT can thank diverse organisations from Blackpool Operational Services to the Illuminations team, Associated British Ports, Builders Supplies (West Coast), Blackpool Coach Services Ltd., Links Signs & Graphics, Supporters of Blackpool's Football Club (admittedly not experiencing the best of times), individual 'enthusiasts' sharing our enthusiasm, our local Members of Parliament, among a great many other people who find the idea of a new tourism project for Fleetwood based on its unique role hosting an electric tram service through its commercial centre since 1898 - to be an eminently desirable and worthwhile endeavour. For the moment though our trams await a more protected environment - one which is being worked on away from incessant chatter and uninformed comments.

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