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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

FHLT - Trams in Care - Brush Railcoach 284 (621)

John Woodman

Another tram given early attention by the embryonic Fleetwood group following BTS announcement of its intention to dispose of many of its extant fleet at Rigby Road in 2011 was the forerunner of the 1937 class of railcoaches built by the Brush Engineering Company in their Loughborough factory - number 284 in the original fleet numbering series. Colin MacLeod paid the asking price for the tram and arranged for its move from the depot to storage inside Kirkham Prison where it joined fellow Brush car 290 - under cover.

Whilst 290 was subject of repair to its roof and internal fittings sister car 284 remained in its as withdrawn condition at Kirkham within one of the Prison's many structures. Some of the tram's corner cab windows had previously been removed during its final months in Rigby Road Depot - so temporary vinyl cladding was fitted over the voids. Permanent placement of the tram was under consideration by the Beamish Museum to which it was consigned however this most desirable arrangement became moot after the Museum's plans for extension of the line to serve a planned 1950s' suburb were replaced by a proposals for a working trolleybus service.

Number 284 was transferred to the private ownership of a Fylde enthusiast during this period: then subsumed into the growing heritage fleet of the Lancastrian Transport Trust (later Fylde TT). It returned to Blackpool from Beamish Museum for further tlc on the Fylde coast before taking its place in the working heritage fleet operated on the seafront line; being repainted into a version of the 1960s (or was it 50s?) green and cream colours. It joins a remarkable collection of this class still extant at Rigby Road - fittingly perpetuating the classic outline of the town's 1930s rail coaches. As a footnote it is worth mentioning that although the much larger (45 strong) fleet of English Electric built rail coaches have either been scrapped or subjected to major rebuilds (from Twin Car motors to OMO units; and even the basis of the Western Train locomotive) - at least one example is now being returned to original 1930s' appearance, to take a rightful place in the Heritage fleet at Rigby Road. The work originated with the Fylde Transport Trust and supporting contractors with expectation that it will be completed on or by 2022.

A weary 621 aka 284 standing in the yard of HM Prison at Kirkham with covered corner cab glazing (illicitly removed) before its removal and transfer to the Beamish Museum. The author looking equally weary poses for the camera.


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