' This Way to Trams' points its finger at Brush Car 290 as it carefully eases its way past the former Inspector's Cabin at Pleasure Beach en route to its date with destiny - at Rigby Road overnight on the 25th/26th of August.
Confounding sidewalk 'experts' predicting collapse and ruin after three years on the Promenade - 290 made a marvellous sight loaded by Lee and Mike with the help of the Trustees and David Umpleby who bravely stuck by the handbrake wheel. Quickly transported to the familiar siding at Rigby Road 290 was swiftly unloaded just thirty minutes later. The entire procedure was filmed by Nick Meskell productions and his team.
John Houghton's BTS Unimog reacquainted itself with 290, this time on home turf. With John Woodman sneaking a cab ride - it was very tidily shunted onto one of the Depot storage tracks where it found itself in once familiar company. Here it made a brave sight - a damn sight better than when it left nearly four years ago.
Tow bar (and pin) still in place a much relieved Trustee smiles for the birdie at five in the morning. Number 290 retains its Walter Luff side 'moustaches' - the only Blackpool tram to have a feature which was once a mandatory part of rail coach livery. After three years on public view the sum total of wear and tear is a dismantled coupling cover, slightly battered lifeguards at one end and one metal screw working loose on a side panel. This 'pile of rust' seemed ready to go on the road according to the Depot Engineer - but we will save that for another time! Thank you Calked Heavy Haulage (Mike and Lee); Thank you BTS (John Houghton and management colleagues) Thank you David Umpleby and the Nick Meskell film production crew who, together with two stalwart photographers braved the elements to record this long awaited (and previously aborted) exercise. A good night's work with yet another Brush car now set for some tender loving care.
Photos : John Woodman / Colin MacLeod