Brush Car Survivors - 298
One of the 1937 Brush rail coaches surviving at the end of this year is of course Number 298. This tram has been the subject of probably the most extended restoration project in UK tram history - having first been a guest of Blackpool Technical College before being handed over to a core team of dedicated people under the aegis of Keith Terry in 1977.
The tram's claim to fame is its retention of many original features when it was
removed for restoration finally to the Mode Wheel Works in Salford. Efforts by Keith and colleagues ensured that 298 would become endowed with sliding roof panels in both saloons, sliding doors and a multitude of internal details and decor which had vanished from survivors of this class from the mid 1950s onwards.
Most notable were the twin destination blind cab roof domes which add so much style to this design. Similarly the side destination blinds over the centre entrances on the tram are equally a long forgotten feature. Internally 298 has had its ornate
ceiling panels faithfully fitted and painted in the colours prescribed by Brush in their contract with Blackpool. These, combined with polished wood fittings and chromed edged saloon lighting make a world of difference as these brief glimpses taken two years ago easily illustrate.
Great detail light years away from today's other survivors. Such a pity this tram has been shunted away with no consideration for the efforts of a handful of people which it represents - and the considerable six figure 'dowry' which sits in some dormant fund waiting to be applied to 298's completion. Better chance of this happening in Rigby Road than ever being realised at Crich.