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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Goodbye to the 2017 Season

A cold but crisp Sunday on November 5th (before the inevitable crackle and pop of fireworks) saw a still busy promenade and town centre with crowds taking advantage of a final sunny weekend by the seaside.

Blackpool's heritage trams were given their final seasonal outing for the dedicated few rumbling between North Pier and the Pleasure Beach. Given the drop in temperature wise minds at Rigby Road determined that two traditional 'Balloon' cars would perform the final duties on the last weekend of the official (for Blackpool) holiday season.

Number 717 shone spectacularly in gleaming green and cream to a style that became familiar in 1934 - whilst sister car 701 provided a nice counterpoint in the former red and white (with black trim) of Blackpool Corporation tramways. Although this earlier fleet livery was never applied to the streamline fleet. Walter Luff ordained shortly after his arrival that green and 'ivory' would become the new distinctive branding for the Transport Department which he took over from New Year's Day 1933. In fact the new colours were first trialled on centre entrance buses ordered in quick succession that year. Rail coach 200 (as it would become) arrived from Preston in June just in time for an important transport industry conference in the resort - where it was showed off on the third track siding at Gynn Square - in the new ivory and green livery. Actually it was a pale cream but for some reason the new Manager preferred it being referred to as 'ivory' - a label which perhaps in today's politically correct world would not necessarily go down well.

So there we have it - 701 in pre 1933 branding and 717 in the upmarket Transport image instigated by new management. A cold day with brilliant sunshine on November 5th - and two exceptional representatives of Blackpool's iconic trams.

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