290 A Historic Car Held in Trust
One of the first trams secured from Blackpool Transport by the fledgling group formed to launch a tram museum for Fleetwood in 2010 was Brush Car 290. Selected principally because of its role as the very last service tram to have operated from North Station along Dickson Road to Fleetwood in October 1963. Acquired in a garish all-over sponsor scheme for the Coral Island amusement venue on Blackpool Promenade, the car was promptly despatched to the care of HM Prison Kirkham.
Over the ensuing year it was given care and attention by a small cadre of volunteers in the Prison together with work by Colin MacLeod who attended to replacement of the roof and gantry base among other features. Blackpool Illuminations provided special external lighting fixtures to enhance artwork created by two Fleetwood schools and the Blackpool & The Fylde College which adorned each of the saloon windows.
Launched to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - the tram was a welcome presence at the Pleasure Beach turning circle where a short length of track was installed providing a display base for 290 year round. Over three years the car was further transformed into an urban art exhibit and subsequently returned to its more familiar green and cream fleet colours enhanced with metal side 'sweeps' so beloved of Walter Luff - painted by the Author with Colin and some assistants.
The tram is now stored at Rigby Road Depot pending developments at Fleetwood. The potential for it returning for a final display at the new tram terminus at North Station to celebrate that important event remains a possibility given the delay for completion of the extension into 2020 or even 2021. Below : Interior of the car and images taken during its final display on the Promenade complete with window graphics that feature Fleetwood trams over the years.
All Images by Steven Meyer-Rassow