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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Trams Exit Wyre Dock

John Woodman

While matters have seemingly gone quiet in 2022, the FHLT are encouraged by exchanges with Principals expressing interest in the Trust's trams. Four units have identified potential new homes offered as we approach Easter; with the remaining cars awaiting offers. Among the latter is Balloon Car 710 / 247. While evidently needing a comprehensive makeover 710 brings with it a great pedigree from its role in the Coronation Street episode in which it was responsible for bringing about the end of a 'villain' in the form of Alan Bradley in a Promenade sequence watched by over ten million viewers - the highest number of any episode. The tram unusually retains its chrome hand rails, swing over seating and half drop windows. The Trust is also waiting for interest in Centenary 641 which deserves to be placed on a pantheon in Lancashire as the final all British tram design - British built and prototype for the subsequent short series delivered during the 1980s. Sadly the National Tram Museum spurned the chance to acquire the tram to complete their collection when it was on offer from Blackpool Transport. Not unusual for Blackpool when one considers the loss of rail coach 200 and prototype Vambac 208 when the Marton tram service ended in 1962. Fortunately we can thank Phiip Higgs and colleagues for the preservation of prototype Coronation 304, not to mention the much awaited relaunch of Standard Car 143 in its open ended original format as well as the remaining all Blackpool design OMO car from the 1970s.

Brush Car 290 will be going to a good 'home' with date for its removal from Rigby Road Depot still to be confirmed.

A sad lineup of FHLT cars amid encroaching greenery - at least one aspect of our contribution towards dealing with climate change has born fruit ! Below : Stalwart Colin MacLeod stands next to privately owned Brush Car 637 still remarkably in one piece while it await a one way ticket out of Fleetwood, (he always manages to get himself front and forward during photographic studies).

Details of these moves will be advised in advance on this Blog, once confirmation of collection is received. The FHLT is hopeful that the Wyre Dock site will be finally cleared during 2022 after a fruitless decade (and more) of effort and costs aimed at bringing about a worthwhile heritage visitor attraction on Fleetwood's riverfrontage.


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