Tuesday 29 April 2014

A Balloon in the Park

702 passing the Middeton Road gates at Heaton Park so that it could turn around at the M60 junction roundabout
Blackpool Balloon 702 has finally made it in to undercover accommodatation. On 29th April Scotts Heavy Haulage made an early morning departure from Blundell Street in Blackpool, where they had delivered Pantograph Car 167 from Beamish the previous day. Scotts were bound for the East Lancashire Railway at Bury to collect Balloon 702 from open storage, and transport it the short distance to the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester where it can now be kept undercover and dry in the new Lakeside Depot. After a tricky loading at Bury due to not being able to get the trailer close enough to the tram, Scotts set off for Heaton Park. The approach to the park was made from the south along Middleton Road, the low loader having to continue north past the entrance gates and turn around the M60 junction roundabout in order to return south so that it could swing across the dual carriageway at the Middleton Road entrance gates and gain access the tramway, 702 passing through the park gates at 13:05. The unloading process was completed with the aid of a tractor from Manchester Parks Department, and 702 was then towed by replica Vanguard 619 to the new depot at Lakeside with photo stops being made along the way. Balloon 702 was pushed the last few yards into the depot building by Brush Car 623 at 15:20, thus completing the successful retrieval of 702 from its years of exposure to the elements while being stored at Bury.

Balloon 702 returning from the M60 roundabout along Middleton Road on the final approach to the park entrance
Scotts low loader swings right across Middleton Road before entering the gates of Heaton Park at 13:05
Scotts low loader entering the park along the old Manchester Corporation Tramways spur line
Scotts parked up at the unloading position on the straight section of track between the park gates and the old depot
 702 being unloaded from Scotts trailer with the assistance of a tractor belonging to Manchester Parks Department
Balloon 702 being pulled off Scotts low loader by a Manchester Parks Department tractor
Replica Vanguard 619 towing heavy Balloon 702 up the steep hill behind the old depot building
Replica Vanguard 619 towing Balloon 702 towards its new home in the depot at Lakeside
Replica Vanguard 619 towing Balloon 702 to the new depot with Brush car 623 following closely behind
Before 702 entered Lakeside Depot it was posed with replica Vanguard 619 and Brush 623 on the depot approach
Balloon 702 being pushed into the dry secure storage of the new Lakeside Depot at 15:20 by Brush Car 623

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