Saturday 14 October 2023

The Rough and the Smooth on the Irish Sea

The IOMSPC ferry Manxman seen from Cleveleys beach on its way to Heysham on 14th Oct
Two photos of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ferry Manxman taken two days apart, from the same location, showing vastly different sea states. The top photo shows the Manxman about to pass Fleetwood on its way to Heysham on the 0845 sailing from Douglas in the Isle of Man on Saturday 14th October, with rough seas and at high tide. The photo below shows the Manxman on the 1415 sailing from Heysham taken two days earlier on Thursday 12th, with the sea like a mill pond and hardly any wind (unusual for the Fylde Coast). Both photos were taken from the sea front at Cleveleys over five miles distant from the ship. The third photo was also taken on Saturday 14th, showing the ferry still over the horizon making its way through the distant wind farms.

The ferry Manxman on the 1415 sailing from Heysham on 12th Oct with very calm seas

The Manxman (still over the horizon) threading its way through the wind farms on 14th October

Friday 6 October 2023

Former Blackpool Routemaster makes a comeback

Former Blackpool Routemaster 525 purchased for London heritage service (photo courtesy of Philip Higgs)
A former Blackpool Transport Routemaster will be making a comeback on heritage services in London soon. RM1650 (650 DYE) was one of the original Silver Jubilee buses that were repainted in an all over silver livery by London Transport for the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. The bus was subsequently part of a batch that were sold on to Blackpool Transport in 1986, and ran for several years in the resort as fleet number 525. 650 DYE has been purchased for use on the Londoner Buses heritage route and LondonBus4Hire, and was collected from Cornwall on 5th October.

Routemaster 525 heading down Talbot Road on Service 12 to St Annes in 1987

Monday 2 October 2023

Rigby Road Tram Depot Closed

One of the closure notices attached to the fence in front of the tram depot
It was noticed over the weekend that the heritage trams at Rigby Road tram depot have become barricaded in the running shed behind a line of steel fencing. Attached to the fence are notices saying "Pending survey results, the Tram Shed will be closed until further notice. Access may only be obtained with written permission from Jess Brown, Head of Safety & Facilities. Unauthorised access will be classified as a breach of Health and Safety rules and will therefore be treated as gross misconduct". Perhaps an inkling of the impending closure was the appearance of several heritage and illuminated trams down at Starr Gate depot over the last few days. Tramtown tours have also been cancelled at short notice, which is a further clue as to what is happening. The fitting shop, and presumably paint shop, are similarly out of bounds with prohibition notices posted on the doors. In the absence of any official announcement (as of Monday 2nd October) read into this what you will at the moment.

The heritage trams barricaded in the running shed at Rigby Road

There will be nobody queuing up for Tramtown tours for the foreseeable future
Even the red heritage plaque is obscured by the steel fencing
The closure notice on the Fitting Shop door
Presumably the depot cat will be able to wander around the depot unchallenged