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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Brush Car 284 Returns to the Prom - (well sort of)

Our first inspection of Brush Car 621 in Rigby Road during 2010 - Colin with his prize.

Seven years elapsed since our meeting at Rigby Road Offices when the germs of an idea to save a handful of trams saw its genesis. Steve Palmer, Colin MacLeod and John Woodman were provided with a list of trams being disposed of by BTS - quite a long list.

With modest aims at the time, Balloon Car 710 along with Brush Cars 621 and 627 were given a thumbs up. To be sure that 621 was assured of preservation locally Colin put his deposit for the car on the manager's desk and so began the journey for this trio of survivors . Below : Seven years later Colin McLeod relives his role in the preservation of 621 (284) and its return to centre stage for the 80th Anniversary of the Brush Cars in Blackpool - September 22, 2017

The line up of four of the preserved Brush Cars on Hopton Road line - damp proceedings but nonetheless historic.

With the creation of Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust subsequently emerged a scheme for the development of a permanent tram display on the north Fylde coast which is slowly coming into view in 2017. In these intervening years both 621 and 627 traversed a circular tour which has seen 627 return to its original fleet number (290) and a rendering of green and cream fleet colours in its lengthy display on the Promenade. Both of these Brush cars, 621 and 627, were deposited inside HM Prison Kirkham for a short duration after leaving Rigby Road Depot. Number 627 received a makeover and careful repairs to its gantry base and roof whilst in prison, before re-emerging; initially to celebrate HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Number 621 became the subject of interest by another small group of benefactors and Beamish Museum which saw it journey north to County Durham for a potential makeover and further operation there.

Spurned by Beamish workshop due to pressures on their expanding commitments 621 returned to Rigby Road Depot this time in the care of the Blackpool's Heritage Tram Tours organisation, which by 2016 was well into its stride with an impressive operation - and aims to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Brush cars in 2017. Here it found itself back in the company of 290 which went into storage for the FHLT after its own moments in the sun (so to speak) on static display at the Pleasure Beach terminus.

With further sponsorship 621 became the star of the celebratory weekend and display. Above : A proud Colin MacLeod took his place in front of the reenergised Brush car whose preservation he set in motion by digging into his pocket in 2010 at that initial meeting with BTS management. Another eighty years beckons.......

Proudly standing by a much older cousin on the now historic Blackpool to Fleetwood tram service (B&F Box Car 40 of 1914) and 1937 built 621 (284) inside (just) Rigby Road Depot September 2017

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