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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Balloon Car 710 - Further Update 10 November

John Woodman

An agreement has been reached that will please many readers we trust. The FHLT's Ballloon car 710 aka 247 is to return to Rigby Road to become a valued part of the planned Tram Town display. Arrangements are in hand for the tram to be transferred from its outdoor storage site in Fleetwood later this month. It will then come under the care of the Blackpool Heritage Transport team where it will receive considerable tlc before being placed on display., After a decade of outside storage the tram's condition has understandably suffered external and internal wear and tear, plus the antics of uncaring and unwanted visitors. Alternative arrangements have been made between the FHLT, Blackpool Transport's Heritage team and the Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum for a Blackpool Balloon car to be made available for the museum's own plans onsite. Details of this linked agreement will be published during November by the two Parties.

A television filming crew from Blackpool Television visited Wyre Dock today to record an interview with Heritage Tram Operations chief Paul Greenwood for a special programme aimed at raising funds for the retrieval of 710 from Fleetwood and its return to Rigby Road for restoration to its green and cream appearance when it featured in the famous Coronation Street episode which saw the character Alan Bradley coming to an untimely end on the promenade tram tracks. Number 710 was used in the episode watched by the largest viewing audience in the Granada soap's history -thus this balloon car gained immortality. The tram was acquired by the FHLT in 2011 with the funding assistance from Frank Heald - a long time supporter of the Trust's original efforts to create a visitor attraction at Wyre Dock, Fleetwood. Further trams were acquired for this project and are now being disposed of after a decade of fruitless effort by the Trustees,

Above : Paul preparing to go in front of the cameras amid the savannah wilderness at Wyre Dock and Brush car 637 in the background (still looking for a caring home). Below : On camera with Balloon Car 710 as background and intrusive foliage for special effects. Twin Set 673 and 683 get in on the scene as extras. Photos : John Woodman



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