A Balloon on Whitegate Drive !
This rare sight of a Balloon car (726) crossing Whitegate Drive this week was caught by intrepid Colin MacLeod who followed its journey from Wyre Dock to Rigby Road Depot as reported in the previous Blog.
Balloon cars were familiar sights on Whitegate Drive during the days of the Marton tram service. A handful were on hand at Marton Depot to provide additional capacity for school workings in the morning and during the afternoon. There were several schools along the tram route providing need for double deck workings at a peak time. The sight of a Balloon car turning back at Royal Oak was limited to one or two times during a school day. However in the summer peak holiday weeks, the Marton depot would issue forth both Balloons and Standard cars in the direction of Talbot Square to provide Promenade services with 'Extras'. It was not unusual for the trams to pick up passengers as they ran towards Talbot Square, nor the reverse on their return to the depot, duties completed.
Even boat cars were similarly drafted into service along Whitegate Drive as they entered service or returned to Marton Depot in the late afternoon.
A few hundred yards further south from the image of 726 above - Balloon car 241 with its swivel head trolleywheel heads past the Oxford Hotel stop on its school special duty towards Royal Oak. Image : John Woodman