678 en route into the Paint Shop following repanelling and sundry other attention.
Image : Copyright John Woodman. PS Note the PD3s, Gas Holder and Canteen Building in the background to help date the photo.
PPS I am advised by Tony Armitage that the two images of before and after the Paint Shop were taken in 1984. Thank you Tony
One tram in the FHLT ownership has so far been very much out of the limelight since its departure to Fleetwood storage. Motor Unit 678 unfortunately was the victim of a disfiguring all over advertising scheme in its final years of service - and it continues to bear its lingering black paint job more appropriate to a firm of Funeral Directors.
However despite 'weathering' the tram inside is a 'frozen in time' example of early 1960s Rigby Road Works remodelling - having been rebuilt to pull trailer units from its original state as a 1935 English Electric railcoach. Unlike other survivors in preservation 678 has kept its roof windows, swing back seats, wood panelled interior finish harking back to an era nearly sixty years ago. The Body Shop managed to replace the half drop windows with 'hopper' units; and the cab front end driver windscreens were also replaced with less attractive frames in later life. But all in all 678 is a remarkable survivor awaiting its chance to show off this now vintage style. The bodyframe is not what it should be and will require major work if the tram is ever returned to operation - with emphasis on 'ever'.
Nonetheless the FHLT are considering practical ways of giving 678 a cosmetic 'touch up' in the nicest possible way and welcome expressions of help in bringing this about. The lower image is of the tram emerging in its particularly attractive livery unreplicated on preserved or heritage examples so far. Our aim is to put a similar scheme on the tram for special display, akin to its appearance seen below - with retro windscreens and front end treatment.
Are there any sympathetic Friends of 678 out there ?
Images : Copyright John Woodman Archive