Balloon Car 710
The efforts of the FHLT to create a tram exhibition as part of the regeneration of Wyre Dock in Fleetwood have come to nought after a decade of fruitless effort. The Trust acquired several of the surplus tram fleet put up for sale by Blackpool Transport way back in 2011 - with good intentions. These included the very last tram to run in service from North Station to Fleetwood in 1963 - number 290 as well as Balloon car 710 (formerly 247). Number 290 was placed on display at the Pleasure Beach terminus in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - in a special livery. It then gained an artistic rebranding before being repainted by the Trustees in traditional green and cream. After several years of display it was retrieved and placed in store at Rigby Road and now awaits a new (and hopefully) permanent home on the Fylde coast.
The Trust is endeavouring to now find alternative homes for its trams as their storage site in Fleetwood will be needed by the developers during 2022. Expressions of interest have been received for three of the seven trams in storage and the Trust hopes that agreements can be concluded shortly. One of the trams is Balloon 710, now somewhat the worse for wear after its decade long storage outside - but nonetheless eminently retrievable for display given extensive tlc.
A view of 710 on the Scotts low load rig awaiting transfer to Fleetwood includes the two prime suspects responsible for its 'preservation' Colin MacLeod and the author - for the record.
Photo courtesy Colin MacLeod.