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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Brush Car Trio

The recent attention being given to Brush Car 636 in its test role for a leading UK energy storage technology company well away from Blackpool underlines the strong hold this particular class of Blackpool tram have on the heritage fraternity. So many of these classic cars still remain on the Fylde coast as well as a generous sprinkling of examples elsewhere at Crich, Heaton Park, Beamish (of course) and on the Wirral - that they seem to typify the single deck version of the classic 'Balloon' car. Whereas the 45 examples built by English Electric in the the 1930s far outnumbered their Brush counterparts - but alas none survive in original form.

The FHLT host two examples at their Fleetwood 'depot' both of which are seperately undergoing attention of their respective private owners. Number 288 (as it was) is being internally stripped in initial work in 2016; whilst Number 637 (as it is) is similarly getting the same treatment - although both cars are long term projects. At least one will form part of the Trust's heritage transport display in Fleetwood along with other trams.

Number 290 owned by the FHLT and returned to a rendition of Corporation livery complete with external metal trim on its side panels remains stored at Rigby Road Depot for the time being. A further example formerly owned by the Trust and subsequently purchased on behalf of the Beamish Museum (284) is now safely stored by that venue and awaits a major restoration to 1930s appearance. It will possibly parallel the condition of Number 298 at Crich Museum which has been the subject of extended tlc by a cadre of enthusiasts in the previous century but now is out of view in the Museum's storage facility at Clay Cross. Rigby Road Depot is also home to four further Brush cars one of which is operable for heritage tours. The fourth is undergoing final work in an upgrade of its role as a illuminated feature car (the Trawler). Finally a lucky primary school on the Fylde coast hosts a well restored example used as a classroom fitted out for IT studies and the enjoyment of pupils. This was the subject of a Blog on this site last year.

Number 625 installed at Wyre Dock (formerly 288) now undergoing a lengthy private restoration job. All three images copyright Steven Meyer-Rassow

Number 637 (300) saved from dismantling for spares by the intervention of a tram lover intent on the long process of returning it to a display condition.

A glorious sunset captures 290 on display on the Promenade two years ago.

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