Two Dockside Projects
An interesting and useful discussion this week saw proponents of new heritage transport attraction to be sited at Lytham Dock (Street) join together with the FHLT to consider potential shared promotion of their respective projects at opposite ends of the Fylde coast.
Helical Technology is intending to utilise land adjoining its production plant and headquarters which faces directly on to Lytham Creek, and within two miles of BAE Systems aerospace operations at Warton, for a new build purpose designed visitor display and information centre. It will include the company's existing collection presently in private storage.
The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust is nearing agreement with Associated British Ports on an ambitious proposal which anticipates redevelopment of Wyre Dock with
a visionary mixed use scheme. The Trust has now shared its proposals with Wyre
Council ahead of a detailed plan which involves international advisors ARUP, and a specialist urban waterfront design group based in Liverpool. Fleetwood Town Council have already given support for the outline scheme which will provide new year round employment and new skills vocational training in several disciplines.
The Trust plans for some of its trams to operate a visitor service around the scheme, in addition to a workshop and depot display. Fylde coast visitors will have at least three working heritage rail venues; starting with a renewed Lytham Creek steam railway and heritage museum display; the Blackpool Heritage Tours service on the promenade, and a dockside tramway ride at Wyre Dock, Fleetwood. Almost, but not quite, comparable to the marvellous vintage transport offer across the Irish Sea on the Isle of Man. Now only if we could restore part of the former Knott End and Garstang railway link - there's something to dream about.
A marvellous 0-4-0 steam powered winch from Millom docks, part of the wonderful collection of rail, road, sea and air exhibits in the Helical Technology private museum. Below : Tobias Morris, (centre and right) shows the visitors around the company collection and property at the meeting this week.
The view from Helical Technology offices directly overlooking Lytham Creek towards the BAE Systems avionics facility at Warton in the distance. Note the narrow gauge track which runs around the company's site for private guests.