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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Summer Lee & Blackpool Winter

A joint arrangement between the FHLT and Blackpool's Heritage team provided a useful working visit to Rigby Road and Fleetwood for a group from the North Lanarkshire industrial museum at Summerlee on Monday this week.

The four visiting retired engineers responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of exhibits at the museum expressed interest in practical aspects of tramcar operation and renovation during their four hours on the Fylde coast.

Wheel inspection time in the Engineering Shop. The Illuminated Trawler (633) stands as a backdrop. It is awaiting a major overhaul.

Scottish enclave in Rigby Road with Mick Perrett in orange jump suit (as used at Guantanamo Bay) holding forth. A translator was needed for this part of the visit.

Insightful advice on a range of issues was provided at Rigby Road which included inspections of the FHLT stored trams and engineering shop. Primary objectives

at Summerlee involve repairs to the Brill 21E truck sourced from Oporto for the venerable Glasgow tram 1017 which was formerly used as a driver training car. The ongoing and extensive work on Coronation Mark I Car 1245 is the second priority. Number 1245 has endured a pillar to post existence which includes storage at the EATM museum at Carlton Colville, as well as a couple of years at the back of Rigby Road Depot before finally being accepted for the Summerlee Museum collection. The Coronation had to be seperated into two halves before transport to the museum site due to extremely low bridges barring normal height vehicles.

Further discussions and potential collaboration are likely arising from this highly useful visit.

The FHLT Brush Car 290 stands at the back of the depot with only seagull droppings for company. The missing towing box is evident - now residing inside the tram.

Below: three visitors standing by another Brush car - and one definitely in need of a lot of tlc. Two Blackpool ' specials' frame the group.

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