Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Midweek Coastal Tour

Balloon 715 in Bold Street, Fleetwood, on the 10:45 Coastal Tour from North Pier
Balloon 715 was spotted in Fleetwood on the Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours 10:45 Coastal Tour from North Pier on Tuesday 22nd June.

Balloon 715 returning to Blackpool along The Esplanade in Fleetwood
Balloon 715 passing the Corner Cafe as it turns into Pharos Street
Balloon 715 and the Pharos Lighthouse in Fleetwood
Balloon 715 southbound on North Albert Street in Fleetwood

Friday, 18 June 2021

Strange Tracked Vehicle on Cleveleys Beach

The Lankelma UK8 with the Manx ferry Ben-my-Chree passing by on the way to Heysham
Since the beginning of June an unusual tracked vehicle has been spotted on the beach between Cleveleys and Fleetwood during periods of low tide. The vehicle in question has been conducting soil testing in association with future planned coastal defence upgrade work. The tracked vehicle is operated by Lankelma, and is a core penetration testing vehicle, designated the UK8 Tracked Crawler. The bodywork containing the test equipment is mounted inside the dumping body of a Japanese Yanmar C80R tracked dumper, fitted with rubber tracks to enable it to operate over soft ground or delicate infrastructure, such as sea walls. The machine works by pushing an instrumented cone into the ground at a fixed rate, using a series of metal rods, to determine the properties of the soil. The crawler is often accompanied by a mechanical excavator, in case further ground investigation is needed.

A rear view showing the rubber tracks and cutout in the dumper body for access steps
The UK8 crawler on Cleveleys beach, with an excavator which has trundled all the way from Fleetwood
The metal rod of the cone penetrator device visible in the sand between the tracks
The crawler and excavator relocated along the beach to the next test site
A front view showing the test probe in the sand between the crawler's tracks
X marks the spot, "CPT39" or Cone Penetration Test 39, spray painted on the sand
A Yanmar C80R tracked dumper moving firewood at Poulton-le-Fylde in November 2018

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Tram and Ferry at Fleetwood

Balloon 726 at Fleetwood Ferry with the Stena Pioneer in the River Wyre channel
Coastguard liveried Balloon 726 and the Ro-Ro ferry Stena Pioneer arriving at Fleetwood together on 9th September 2009. This was the only occasion that I was lucky enough to catch a tram and ferry together in the same shot during my many visits to Fleetwood.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Lytham Road Running Day

Blackpool PD3 516 at Tyldesley Road on route 5A to Halfway House
A heritage bus running day was operated in Blackpool on Sunday 13th June by the Fylde Transport Trust. Services 5/5A to Halfway House and 11 to Squires Gate Airport both ran from North Pier, using Blackpool PD3s 516 and 529, London Routemaster RM1583, Lytham Atlantean 77, Fylde single-deck Atlantean 7 and recently acquired Blackpool Optare Excel 225.

Blackpool PD3 529 on Lytham Road on route 5A to Halfway House
Fylde 7, a Paladin bodied Leyland Atlantean, northbound on route 11
Lytham Atlantean 77 southbound at Manchester Square on route 11
Former Blackpool Optare Excel 225 at the Royal Oak
London Routemaster RM1583 on the Promenade on route 5A
Balloon 715 and Fylde Atlantean 7 meet on Lytham Road
Routemaster RM1583, Blackpool 459 and Stagecoach 15565 line abreast on Lytham Road

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Balloons on LRT Service Specials

Balloon 707 northbound on the Promenade heading for Bispham
Saturday 12th June saw Balloons in use on specials in Blackpool, supplementing the normal Flexity LRT service. Three Balloons were in use throughout the day, displaying various destinations such as Starr Gate, Pleasure Beach, Bispham and Little Bispham. Flat fronted green and cream Balloons 707 and 718 were in use, as well as purple Balloon 711, with the top decks closed off as only one guard was rostered.

Balloon 718 and Flexity 005 at Starr Gate
Balloon 711 at St Chad's Road heading for the Pleasure Beach
Balloon 707 loading at the Tower with Flexity 006 heading south
Balloon 718 at North Pier waiting for its departure time
Flexity 014 at Gynn Square with Balloon 718 at the Cliffs Hotel tram stop
Balloon 707 approaching St Chad's Road on its way to the Pleasure Beach
Balloon 718 on a crew break at Starr Gate

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Strange Perspectives

Two trams near the Gynn with the Ben-my-Chree ferry on the 14:15 sailing from Heysham to Douglas
A few shots of Flexity trams in Blackpool from unusual perspectives, all taken on 8th June.

Flexity 006 heading north at Norbreck
Northbound Flexity 006 arriving at Little Bispham

Monday, 31 May 2021

Blackpool Heritage Trams Return

Balloon 715 at North Pier with Boat 227 passing by on a Promenade Tour on 30th May
The Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May saw the return of Blackpool Heritage Trams to the Promenade, and because of the Covid pandemic, pre-booking, social distancing and mask wearing were the order of the day. The format for the three day weekend was a Promenade Tour every hour, starting at North Pier then running via Little Bisham and Pleasure Beach back to North Pier, with no intermediate boarding or alighting. The second option was a Coastal Tour, again commencing at North Pier but running all the way to Fleetwood, before returning via the Pleasure Beach and finishing at North Pier again, three of these tours ran on each day, operated by either a Boat, a single decker or a double decker. Saturday was a rather dismal and overcast day, but the Sunday and Monday saw warm weather with wall to wall sunshine from morning until night, with the Promenade being extremely busy with visitors on the Sunday in particular.

Balloon 715 southbound on a Promenade Tour at the Gynn on 30th May

Brush Car 621 heading north past St Peter's Church in Fleetwood on the 12:45 Coastal Tour on 30th May

Boat 600 passing St Peter's Church in Fleetwood on the 10:45 Coastal Tour on 30th May

Balloon 715 arriving at Bold Street in Fleetwood on the 15:30 Coastal Tour on 31st May

Balloon 717 passing Tiffany's Hotel on North Promenade on a Coastal Tour on 30th May

Boat 227 at Anchorsholme crossing on the 10:45 Coastal Tour on 31st May

Brush Car 621 on the last leg of its 12:45 Coastal Tour at the Tower on 30th May

Brush Car 621, Boat 227 and Flexity 003 at North Pier on 30th May

Boat 227 at Lowther Avenue on the last Promenade Tour of the day on 30th May

Boat 600 at North Albert Street in Fleetwood on the 10:45 Coastal Tour on 30th May

Balloon 715 at Fleetwood Ferry on the 15:30 Coastal Tour on 31st May

Centenary 642 at Bold Street in Fleetwood on the 12:45 Coastal Tour on 29th May

Balloon 717 passing Flexity 017 at the Foxhall on 30th May
Bolton 66 on a Promenade Tour passing Flexity 011 at North Pier on 29th May