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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Wyre Dock Empties (of trams) - er not quite

June 7th saw a mass? evacuation of trams heading south to the more secure confines of Rigby Road Depot, adding to the ever increasing lode of Blackpool traditional trams now clustered? back in their old surroundings. This time it was Balloon Car 726 and yet another Brush Car 625 both in private ownership which found themselves cajoled onto the low loader of Scotts Heavy Haulage at Wyre Dock.

Seen through the savannah grasslands of Wyre Dock, Balloon car 726 prepares to very carefully reverse out of the FHLT compound for pastures new. Not without a lot of hard work by a very patient crew from Scotts aided and abetted by the vital involvement of a certain Workshops Manager and his trusty Unimog.

The considerable effort and expertise in removing 726 from its resting place onto the low loader rig is exemplified by this view of the team at work. This included the ever present Martin Strickland who has become a singular expert in dealing with all manner of Blackpool trams requiring special transfers to and from Rigby Road.

Free at last. Balloon 726 safely esconced on Scott's rig awaiting the green light to depart from Fleetwood today.

Because of the varied positions of trams within the compound it was necessary to shunt trailer T7 and 673 to release Brush car 625 (in the background) from its close proximity to the fence line (in the image). Martin is seen having aided the return of T7 to its former position. Below : Brush Car 625 is released from jail and emerges into the broad sunlight of Wyre Dock edging very cautiously on to the service road.

Another Brush car requiring shunting in order to free space in front of Balloon 726 was the tram with nine lives - 637. It is seen here having been moved away from its previous position and 726 being edged away from the rear of the yard. This involved an angled approach to the low load trailer of Scotts which was patiently dealt with by John Houghton with the Unimog (and Scott's team with Martin).

Meanwhile United Nations Observers (out in force) recorded these movements for the benefit of global audiences :

This is trailer 683 in the background, itself having been moved away from its earlier storage position. The arrival of 726 and 625 will no doubt be covered elsewhere. Both Colin MacLeod and John Woodman were somewhere to be seen during quite a hectic 48 hours but on this occasion taking a well earned back seat....

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