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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

FHLT Trams Galore

John Woodman

While attention has recently been given to the safe transfer of the Trust's solitary trailer unit to the care of Rossall School, it is timely to point out the not inconsiderable work and effort which the FHLT and its vsmall cadre of supporters have devoted to other survivors from Blackpool's traditional tram fleet since the upgrade a decade ago..

The Trust was fortunate in gaining support of Associated British Ports in providing at nominal cost a fenced property on Wyre Dock on which to store trams in FHLT 'care'. This followed on similar practical assistance a short distance away at the premises of a Fleetwood importing business;, and previous to that the role of HM Prison Kirkham whose staff authorised transfer of several of the Trust's initial acquisitions to be stored within the Prison's extensive site.

Kirkham Prison also provided enclosed space within one of its several large hangars which gave cover to the two Brush railcoaches (284 and 290) brought from Rigby Road for safekeeping. Although it was a tight squeeze for the two cars to fit within the hangar, the facility allowed remedial bodywork to be carried out on 290). This was work intended to allow the tram to be placed on display on the Promenade celebrating HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Colin MacLeod together with two volunteers from the Prison repaired the tram's trolleybase and roof as well as other external panelling.

The Prison also allowed for Twin Set 673 and 683 together with Centenary 641 to be parked on open ground. They were to have been followed by Centenary 646 but a change in management at the Prison put a stop on further deliveries with the consequence that 646 would instead end up in open storage at the rear of the warehouse of Paul Gaunt furnishings at Squires Gate. This was to prove fatal for the car as it attracted the unwanted attention of local youths who found it an irresistable 'playground' out of hours with inevitable internal damage to the tram's bodywork. FHLT in consultation with the sponsor - Paul Gaunt -, it was decided to dispose of the tram to a metal salvage firm.

Above 621 is towed out of Rigby Road Depot for its journey courtesy of Scotts to Kirkham Prison.

Below : Brush Car 621 (284) enters HM Prison Kirkham 'at Her Majesty's Pleasure'.

Brush Car 621 / 284 has entered the Prison workshop (just) with a pleased training foreman standing by the arrival. No marks for guessing the moving company. All Images : John Woodman


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