It was just five years ago when Blackpool's 'Balloon' cars provided enterprising businesses with the chance to promote their wares and attractions through vinyl advertising panels covering most of the bodywork. This was not to everyone's taste of course - but there have been some notably attractive designs - one of which was the dramatic Michelin Man sponsorship (see previous blog). All of the four flat front Balloon rebuilds were given all over advertising before being summarily put on the 'reserve bench' now with extended entrance doorways but retaining their last sponsor's branding from 2011.
With withdrawal of double deck trams from regular service - the economic case for further advertising on examples used on 'Heritage Tours' or intermittent peak service has been lost. Instead it is the BTS bus fleet, and in particular those vehicles assigned to Promenade running services which have benefitted, if that is the right term, from the big ticket sponsors like Merlin's attractions and the Pleasure Beach Company.
Seasonal campaigns see buses appearing with new all over branding - with the 'Tower Dungeon' being a particularly gruesome example seen below passing its own destination. What one loses on the roundabouts therefore BTS gains on the swings - valuable revenue not being completely forsaken.
There may be a case for one or two of the heritage fleet to be provided with period advertising on their mid deck panels recalling some Blackpool favourites :
Waller & Hartley 'Milady' toffee, or C & S X-L Ales for example. Even a 1960s Show with Bruce Forsyth as top of the bill could be a very topical version - just a little creativity to spice up the monotonous green and cream livery. Ideas please ?
EMPIRE POOLS - - A Fortune for a Farthing - ah those were there days. Err what's a farthing ? Photos : Copyright John Woodman