We Support Ukraine's Struggle Against Putin's Russia
The harrowing scenes across eastern europe are almost unbelievable in 2022. Lengthening lines of women, children, the aged and infirm giving up their homes and fleeing west from Ukraine seeking sanctuary from Russian bombs, shells and bullets is a sobering sight day in day out on our television screens. One which we comfortably felt was consigned to the previous century. Not so.
In its own small way the FHLT had sought to show support for Ukraine's struggle by displaying our tram on the promenade painted in the colours of Ukraine's national flag. Most regrettably this was not allowed by Blackpool Transport - citing more important priorities at Rigby Road tram depot where the 'heritage fleet' is cocooned. Tram 290 had earlier gained recognition when it appeared on the promenade in a special livery celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. On that occasion the painting was carried out inside Kirkham Prison where readiness to contribute towards a special display was fulsomely at hand.
Tram 290 in its Diamond Jubilee display format at the Pleasure Beach tram terminus, Luke Gray was son of one of the helpers at Kirkham Prison who assist with work on the tram. Photo : John Woodman
Only the Trust's own rendition of how 290 would have looked repainted in blue and yellow is evidence of our intention - so far. Of course Blackpool Transport could have taken upon itself to repaint one of their own vehicles blue and yellow - or applied vinyl panels on a tram or bus, had they given a moment or two of thought towards events and human suffering being experienced elsewhere in Europe - in a country 'of which we know very little'; as Britain's Prime Minister put it on threats to Czechoslovakia by another fulminating tyrant in the previous century.
Below : a rendition of 290 in Ukraine's national colours. Rendition by Steve Meyer-Rassow
Much like the apparent lethargy of Home Office 'civil servants' in dealing with the realities on the ground in Calais and the empty rhetoric of that Department's Minister - Blackpool Transport's pressing concerns at Rigby Road have little or no empathy for the Ukranian people: nor therefore it seems does Blackpool's Council in 2022.