FHLT - Trams In Care - Centenary Car 641 (more)
Following its storage at Kirkham Prison 641 was transferred to Wyre Dock where the FHLT leased open space capable of storing much if not all of its burgeoning collection by 2014. Here it was the subject of a promotion on behalf of Blackpool Football Club (BFC) which at the time was undergoing a torrid chapter in its ownership by the Oyston family. Purchase costs of 641 had been personally underwritten by a Fleetwood professional and long time supporter of BFC. Agreement was reached with the Club and its Owners to place the tram on display at the Pleasure Beach tram terminus, replacing Brush Car 290 which itself had undergone three external transformations during its time on the special display track.
Number 641, with public support and participation of BFC's youth group, was repainted in tangerine and white and emblazoned with tributes to former Players and highlights in its long history. With removal of Brush Car 290 to Rigby Road Depot storage (this time under cover), 641 took its place with formal unveiling by one of the Team's leading Players. In its bright new format the tram gained sustained public attention.
A key part of rebranding 641 included protective metal panels affixed over the driver's cab windscreens at both ends. Here preparatory work is underway with panels covering one of the cab ends. Below : The finished display version installed on the Pleasure Beach tram terminus track.
The seaward facing side of 641 with its eclectic vinyl panels on windows and sides. Noteworthy is the image of 'Princess Alice' affixed to the trolley gantry. This was taken on the promenade parade celebrating BFC's promotion to the Premier League (sadly short lived) with the team standing on the top deck of the open tram watched by thousands of Blackpool visitors and residents.
Images : John Woodman