Overcast skies on a gloomy March 1st nonetheless did not deter a hardy band of stalwart enthusiasts from gathering expectantly outside the gates of Rigby Road. The reason naturally was the final private tour organised on this remarkable tramcar of the former Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company built in 1914.
Steve Palmer used his considerable charms? to round up an expectant audience keen to sample for the last time a friendly ride to Fleetwood on Box Car 40 before its departure for Crich Museum via Beamish where it will provide a further service albeit of brief duration.
Many familiar faces whose longevity (including the Author's) extended back to days of yore when the tram still retained its final works livery and lingered on in the same depot providing a warm 'den' for staff. Later 'rescued' to become one of the quartet of
historic cars repainted and more to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Blackpool's street tramway in 1960 (see previous Blogs) Number 40 managed to achieve a lengthy sojourn back at Rigby Road over the past two decades.
Called back to celebrate an Anniversary (1959) of the founding of the Crich Museum - it will again be in the limelight in company of other remarkable survivors from the days when Britain's towns and cities resounded to the sight of traditional trams thundering through streets broad and narrow going about their daily duties.
A bespoke run to Fleetwood and obligatory refreshments at the North Euston was an appropriate send off which included photo stops en route (naturally) attracting curious stares from those less fortunate & unable to sample the delights of a former age.
A gathering of Friends of Forty at the start of their journey to Fleetwood on March 1st.
Steve Palmer in his element among an almost full load of senior citizens.
Another senior citizen this time at the controls (the key was not affixed!)
Yet further snapping - this time at Bispham - a long familiar locale for Box Car 40
Farewells on Hopton Road as the Friends disembark (carefully). Thank you Steve for the arrangements (and also to Tony Stevenson)