Monday 27 May 2024

Spring Bank Holiday Heritage

Boat 227 and Balloon 717 at the North Pier heritage stops with Flexity 011 heading north
Spring bank holiday Monday in Blackpool saw six heritage trams in use during various parts of the day. The core service was provided by Boat 227 (tram A), Bolton 66 (tram B), Balloon 717 (tram C) and wartime liveried Balloon 700 (tram D). During the afternoon a fifth tram entered service, this being flat fronted Balloon 718, which later replaced Boat 227 which suffered a technical fault. Last of all Brush 631 was noted in service at Little Bispham at 1600, making it the sixth heritage tram that had operated during the day. Note all photos were taken on Monday 27th May.

Balloon 717 passsing 718 at the North Pier heritage stop
Balloon 700 turning out of Pharos Street on the 1300 Coastal Tour from Fleetwood
Bolton 66 heading south along the Promenade at North Shore
Boat 227 and Balloon 700 passing at the Gynn
Balloon 718 turning into Bold Street on the 1610 Coastal Tour from the Pleasure Beach
Balloon 700 passing the Cherry Blossom hotel on Warley Road
Bolton 66 passing Boat 227 at North Pier
Balloon 717 at Cocker Square on the 1455 Coastal Tour to Fleetwood
Brush 631 heading south at Little Bispham at 1600

Sunday 19 May 2024

Morecambe Vintage Bus Running Day

A 1934 Lytham Leyland Lion and 1953 Brighton, Hove & District Bristol KSW6G at the football stadium
The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust held their annual Vintage Bus Running Day at Morecambe on Sunday 19th May. The event comprised of static vehicle displays, sales stalls and free rides on a wide variety of preserved buses, including several open toppers, which proved very popular under the wall to wall sunshine that greeted visiting enthusiasts. The RVPT operated free bus services from Carnforth railway station, Happy Mount Park and Heysham Village to the Morecambe Football Club and Promenade every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the event. There was also a Bare Circular that operated a frequent service from outside the Winter Gardens on the Promenade, stopping at Happy Mount Park and Bare.

Stagecoach ADL Enviro400 MMC 11146 on service 6A with a 1950 Morecambe & Heysham AEC Regent III

1962 Ribble Leyland PD3/5 1775 leaving the Mazuma stadium on the free bus service to Carnforth
1972 Ribble open top Bristol VR 1995 returning to the football stadium
1956 Ribble Leyland PD2/12 1467 loading up for the Bare Circular at the football stadium
1948 Lytham St Annes Leyland PD2/1 10 operating a free bus service
Economic Coaches of Whitburn 1948 Albion Valiant CX39N
1959 Crosville Bristol Lodekka LD6B DLB978 operating on the free bus service
1950 Todmorden Corporation Leyland PD2/1 18 with a Leyland lowbridge body
Barrow Transport Group partial open top Volvo B10M 928 with Ribble 1467 passing
1954 London Transport AEC Regent III RT4548
1958 Fishwick Leyland PD2/40 with a Weymann lowbridge body
1967 Blackpool PD3 512 and former Stagecoach open top Dennis Trident 17012
Morecambe 1951 Weymann bodied 73 and 1950 Park Royal bodied 72, both AEC Regent IIIs
1987 Blackpool open top Leyland Olympian 857
1970 Fylde Borough Transport Leyland Atlantean 77 with Nottingham style bodywork

Saturday 11 May 2024

The Northern Lights over the Fylde Coast

The northern lights shimmering over Mary's Shell on Cleveleys beach at midnight on 10th May
Not a tram or a bus in sight but something MUCH rarer, illuminations, no not the man-made sort, but one of the wonders of the natural world. I thought that the rarity of this unusual local occurence warranted posting the photos on here (they're best viewed in lower light conditions). Due to a recent period of intense solar activity on the sun, a series of unusually strong coronal mass ejections (eruptions of plasma and magnetic energy) were directed towards the Earth, and arrived in our atmosphere on the evening of 10th/11th May. The charged particles emitted from the sun collide with gases in the upper Earth's atmosphere, typically oxygen and nitrogen, generating geomagnetic storms which create vibrant displays of colour in the sky. These dazzling light displays are known as the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, and are usually only visible from higher latitudes, such as Iceland, Norway and Scotland. The colours are caused by the solar wind colliding with gas particles high in the atmosphere, with oxygen generating green light and nitrogen blue or purple light, all this takes place 50 to 200 miles up in the atmosphere. The recent sun spot plasma eruptions generated an S5 solar radiation storm, which is the maximum on the S1 to S5 scale for measuring solar storms, creating the best display of the northern lights seen in over 20 years. This unusually strong solar activity meant that the Aurora Borealis was visibile in many parts of the world where it would normally not be seen, usually being restricted to northern latitudes. These photos were taken from Fleetwood and Cleveleys beaches between 11pm and midnight on 10th May (the colours can best be seen away from bright daylight).

The aurora over Fleetwood radar station and the lower lighthouse which was built in 1840
The aurora from Fleetwood beach looking over the River Wyre towards Knott End
The view from Fleetwood beach looking towards the former radar training station, built 1961
The northern lights over the lower lighthouse viewed from Fleetwood beach
The aurora borealis in the western sky looking towards the Marine Hall at Fleetwood
The colour displays of the aurora dancing across the moon over Cleveleys sea front