LAST TRAM TO KYIV - Cancelled
Against the backdrop of the violent assault on towns and people of Ukraine - global support is both loud and overwhelming. The House of Commons this weel stood in applause for the Ukraine Ambassador who was a guest in the Visitors Gallery - to hear Prime Minister Questions, most of which concerned his country. Blackpool Tower is already lit up in the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine and its national flag recognising the importance of this moment in Europe's history.
The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust offered their car ' Brush 290 ' for a special display to show Blackpool and Fylde support for the people of Ukraine. The tram was to be repainted in the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine's emblem and placed on display on the promenade from the 17th of March.to coincide with the Conservative Party Spring Conference taking place in the completed Conference Centre adjoining the Winter Gardens on Leopold Grove opening in March 2022.
This would have involved volunteers working on the tram in the tram depot at Hopton Road (avoiding shunting of other trams to move it into the Paint Shop). Like the Trust's other displays on behalf of HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee (also involving 290) and in support of Blackpool Football Club using Centenary Car 641 - this is a not for profit initiative. Side window panels were to have been made available at cost to local companies, organisations and individual families in the Fylde wishing to identify with the people of the Ukraine in their struggle against aggression of the Russian Federation by adding their names and businesses on vinyl additions.
An image of Number 290 with its original 2011 window display treatment - still in situ.
Rendition of the tram's Ukraine colours has been produced by Steven Meyer-Rassow for the FHLT,
Postscript March 3rd : Blackpool Transport have declined to assist with the repainting of 290 citing other priorities involving heritage operations at Rigby Road. Accordingly this initiative has had to be shelved by the FHLT. The Trust greatly regrets decisions taken -against the backdrop of increasing civilian deaths from Russian shelling and bombing of Ukraine communities and the overall trauma impacting that country. A tragedy already causing over a million refugees fleeing their homes for safety of EU countries.