As previously reported on British Trams Online the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust are currently progressing with plans to create a Blackpool FC celebration tram with Centenary 641 due to be repainted tangerine with a gallery of images from the glory years of Blackpool FC also added. Despite recent controversy over the current state of affairs at the football club – with relegation from the Championship confirmed and regular protests against the owners – the plans are still well on course with significant support from individuals and community groups.
The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust is underwriting the costs of the presentation and members of the public, community groups and businesses who would like to know more and offer their support can visit the Trust’s website at www.tramtalk.co.uk or pick up a form from Bloomfield Road ticket office or Club Shop with donations starting at £15.
Work has already started on preparing 641 – which is currently stored in Fleetwood Docks – for its starring role in the 2015 Illuminations and painting will begin later this month along with the installation of the first sponsors’ panel. The tram will then be moved to the display site at Pleasure Beach as the Illuminations approach. The tram will be official unveiled at a special ceremony as part of the “Ride the Lights” event in the week before the 2015 Illuminations switch-on and will remain on display throughout the Illuminations period.
Obviously the controversy surrounding the football club has not gone unnoticed by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust as trustee John Woodman comments: “We first looked into the possibility of using one of the trams from our collection in this way, well over a year ago. We’re all local residents and Blackpool fans too so it’s tough to see the Club struggle but it’s about celebrating nearly 130 years of football in the Town and that means ups and downs. The response so far is very encouraging. The Club has been very supportive with publicity, their archivist John Cross has been sourcing images for the final design and we are also working on joint-initiatives with the Club’s Community Trust team.”