Sunday, 12 October 2014

Blackpool running day at Crich - Photo Line Ups

"The Double Deck Fleet" photo line-up, from left to right are Standards 40 and 49, Balloon 711 and Jubilee Car 762
The Blackpool running day at the National Tramway Museum at Crich on Sunday 12th October saw several line-ups of Blackpool trams take place on the depot track fan. The first line-up of the day "The Double Deck Fleet" took place around 11:00, and consisted of Standards 40 and 49, Balloon 711 and Jubilee 762. "The Tramroad Fleet" was the second line-up, which was assembled shortly after 13:00, and comprised of Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2 and Box 40, Pantograph 167 and Brush Car 630. The last line-up "The Seaside Fleet" gathered at 14:15, and contained Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2, Toastrack 166 and Luxury Toastrack 236. During all these photo calls Standard 49 remained on the depot fan, and could be included in the group shots with the other trams that were being assembled at various times throughout the day.

"The Standards", open balcony Standard 40 and fully enclosed Standard 49 pose together on the depot track fan
"The Tramroad Fleet", Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2 and Box 40, Pantograph 167 and Brush Car 630
"The Tramroad Fleet" end profile view, Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2 and Box 40, Pantograph 167 and Brush 630
"The Seaside Fleet", Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2, Toastrack 166 and Luxury Toastrack (Boat) 236 pose together
Box Car 40, Standard 49, Fleetwood Rack 2, Toastrack 166 and Luxury Toastrack (Boat) 236 lined up together
"The Toastracks", Blackpool Toastrack 166 and Luxury Toastrack (Boat) 236 pose on the depot fan
Toastrack 166 and Luxury Toastrack (Boat) 236, with Box Car 40 passing by as it runs out of service

Blackpool running day at Crich - The Cavalcade

Blackpool & Fleetwood crossbench car 2 heads a line-up of trams at Stephenson Place during the Blackpool event
The National Tramway Museum at Crich organised a special event on Sunday 12th October to commemorate the 80th birthday of Blackpool Balloon 711, which had been on loan to the museum for the 2014 season. The event took the form of a Blackpool running day, with all the serviceable Blackpool trams being pressed into passenger service. The day started out with a cavalcade of trams which formed at the museum entrance near to the bandstand, consisting of Balloon 711, Rack 2, Toastrack 166, Pantograph 167, Box 40, Boat 236, Brush 630, Standard 40 and Jubilee 762. There was widespread fog across the country during the morning, and Crich was no exception with bright sunshine and blue skies near the bandstand, yet only a few yards away near the depot the tramway was shrouded in mist!

Boat 236, Brush Car 630, Standard 40 and Jubilee 762 at the tail end of the procession near to the bandstand
Blackpool Toastrack 166 at the bandstand, heading off towards Town End in full glorious sunshine
The line of trams ran one at a time to Stephenson Place, with Box 40 seen emerging from the mist near the depot
Balloon 711 heads up the procession at Stephenson Place, as the line of nine trams trails away into the mist
The mist begins to clear at Stephenson Place as Balloon 711 heads up the procession of nine Blackpool trams

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Liverpool Baby Grand 245 on Display

Liverpool Corporation Baby Grand tram 245 on display outside the Pacific Road building on 5th October
The annual Wirral Bus and Tram Show at Birkenhead on 5th October gave an opportunity for the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society to show the progress that they have made with the restoration of Liverpool Baby Grand tram 245. The tram was built at the Edge Lane Works of Liverpool Corporation Tramways in 1938, and remained in service until the tram system closed down in September 1957. After having been stored at various locations over the intervening years, a decision was made by National Museums Liverpool (NML) to move 245 to the Birkenhead Heritage Tramway where it could be restored to operational condition again by the MTPS. The tram was duly moved to the Taylor Street depot of the MTPS at Birkenhead in 2006, since when the tram has been cosmetically restored to its former glory. Further work still remains to be done on 245 before it can be used in passenger service on the Wirral Tramway. A magnificent line up of former Liverpool Corporation Transport vehicles were assembled together for display in front of the Pacific Road building, comprising of 1946 Guy Vixen tower wagon GKD 317, 1953 Crossley bodied AEC Regent III A36, 1938 Baby Grand 245, 1957 MCW bodied AEC Regent V A267 and 1962 Leyland Atlantean L501. All the vehicles in the line up were contemporary with Baby Grand 245 apart from the Leyland Atlantean, which was delivered five years after the tram system closed.

Baby Grand 245 flanked by 1953 AEC Regent III A36, and 1957 AEC Regent V A267
Liverpool line up, Guy Vixen GKD 317, AEC Regent A36, Baby Grand 245, AEC Regent A267 and Atlantean L501
Liverpool horse tram 43 was also on display in front of the Pacific Road building, parked behind Baby Grand 245
Baby Grand 245 with Liverpool horse tram 43 and Guy Vixen tower wagon GKD 317
Former Liverpool Corporation 1946 Guy Vixen tower wagon GKD 317 on display at Pacific Road

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Blackpool Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally

A Showman's Engine and fairground organ reflected in a pool of water left over from the early morning heavy rain
The weekend of 4th and 5th October saw the debut of a new event on the rally scene, when the Blackpool Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally was held on Blackpool South Car Park. The first day of the rally seemed to be fairly poorly attended given the amount of work that that obviously gone into the organisation of the event, which also included a travelling fair. There were a variety of exhibits, ranging from traction engines, fairground organ, steam lorry, miniature traction engines and steam lorries, tractors, commercial vehicles, military vehicles, cars, old motorcycles and static steam engines. For anybody interested in any of the above, the rally would be well worth a visit if it took place again next year. The only niggling drawback was the same affliction which has beset the Heaton Park rally for many years, the lineup of traction engines etc were all parked facing north, so although the Saturday saw plenty of sunshine, it was not possible to photograph the front of the vehicles due to the way they were parked. Obviously the organisers of the event like the ones at Heaton Park are not interested in photography!

The lineup of traction engines, rather unfortunately parked the wrong way around for photography!
A Sentinel DG8 steam lorry and traction engine
A miniature Foden steam lorry
A miniature traction engine
A miniature Foden steam tractor
A miniature Foden Steam Lorry
A miniature bus that was being used to give children rides
An immaculate John Deere tractor
Some of the preserved lorries that attended the event
Three World War Two Jeeps

Sunday, 28 September 2014

More Flexity Adverts

Flexity 015 passing the Hilton Hotel carrying a new advert promoting the BTS Blackpool1 discount travel tickets
More of the Flexity 2 trams have received new adverts this week, 014 is carrying a red advert inviting businesses to advertise on the trams and buses, and Flexity 015 is now advertising the Blackpool1 Tickets which are available for discount travel on the buses and trams of Blackpool Transport. Both trams previously carried Pleasure Beach advertising, 014 had a photo of the Big One rollercoaster on the centre section and 015 used to advertise Nickelodeon Land.

Flexity 014 at North Pier with a new advert which is promoting advertising space on the trams and buses
A close up of the centre section on Flexity 015
A close up of the centre section on Flexity 014

Friday, 26 September 2014

701 Launched

Newly repainted Balloon 701 and former Blackpool Routemaster 521 pose together at Fleetwood Ferry
Balloon 701 was officially launched into heritage fleet service on Friday 26th September, with a short ceremony taking place on the loop at North Pier to mark the completion of the repaint into Blackpool Routemaster style livery. Some short speeches were made by Harold Blythe, the Chairman of the Fylde Tramway Society, and Bob Mason, Director of Delivery for Blackpool Transport Services, before the tram loaded up with passengers and performed a special round trip to Fleetwood Ferry and return. After the tram returned to North Pier it then ran out of service to Rigby Road depot, where the crew took their crew break before 701 emerged again to take its place on the evening Illuminations Tours, operating from the Pleasure Beach loop.

Balloon 701 approaching North Pier on its way from Rigby Road depot to take part in the short launch ceremony
FTS Chairman Harold Blythe and BTS Director of Delivery Bob Mason shake hands after the speeches at North Pier
Three generations of vehicles lined up at Fleetwood Ferry, Balloon 701, Dennis Trident 322 and Routemaster 521
Balloon 701 posing for the photographers in the late afternoon sunshine at Fleetwood Ferry
Former Blackpool Routemaster 521 drawing up alongside Balloon 701 for a short photo session
Balloon 701 loading up at the Pleasure Beach for its first Illuminations Tour of the evening

Monday, 22 September 2014

Flexity 005 receives new NHS advert

Flexity 005 in Pharos St showing the new NHS sponsored advert about memory loss that the tram is now carrying
Following the recently applied new advert on Flexity 006, sister tram 005 has now received an NHS sponsored advertising campaign asking "How Good is Your Memory?", on a blue background along one side of the tram only. Flexity 005 still has its existing advert for the Big Blue Hotel at Blackpool Pleasure Beach on the opposite side of the tram.

The NHS advert on Flexity 005's centre section with the slogan "How Good is Your Memory" below the windows