Blackpool Jubilee 761 – a brighter future?

It has been announced by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust that they are currently in negotiations with Blackpool Transport which could see the Trust’s Jubilee car 761 remain at Rigby Road Depot for the foreseeable future and return to service as part of the heritage fleet from 2016.

The tram has recently had an examination and the work required to return the tram to service has been costed. It is hoped that the work will be sponsored and recent discussions have been concentrating on how this could be achieved. It is hoped that there will be sufficient workshop space for the work to be undertaken over the forthcoming winter period and that it may be possible to return the tram to service at some point in 2016. As part of the work the faded and bright all over advert for Wynsors World of Shoes would be removed although it is not know what livery would replace this.

761 last ran on the Blackpool Tramway on the last day of the traditional tramway – Sunday 6th November 2011 – and was subsequently acquired for preservation by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust. Departing Rigby Road in November 2011 761 was initially stored in the yard of Halsall Toys International before moving back to Rigby Road in December 2013 for secure storage. With the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust aware of the historical significance of the tramcar they have now been in discussions with management at Blackpool Transport to possibly see the large capacity tram running on its home tramway once again.

Both Blackpool Transport and the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust are keen to work together to bring the tram back to service but it should be stressed nothing is yet confirmed. Further details are expected to be revealed later this summer.

The last time Blackpool Jubilee 761 ran on its home tramway was 6th November 2011. It is seen here on that date at Manchester Square preparing to head up Lytham Road and then into Rigby Road Depot. (Photograph by Gareth Prior)

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4 Responses to Blackpool Jubilee 761 – a brighter future?

  1. Christopher Callan says:

    Think people will be forgiven for treating a FHLT published press release with caution. They have after all made various commitments since their inception with few coming to fruition. Struggle to see how the organisation will be able to attract the finance required whilst retaining ownership as their relationship with a key demographic (enthusiasts) particularly for a car of this style is strained to put it mildly.

    • Ken Walker says:

      Couldn’t agree more Christopher. I was one of the many who subscribed monthly to the Copse Road doors appeal. While it is understandable that the Copse Road project fell through, the FHLT clearly consider themselves unaccountable to their supporters regarding what has happened to the money received for this cause. This, combined with the contempt they have shown for enthusiasts certainly ensures that I for one will not be contributing to any appeal for 761 while FHLT have ownership of it or any say in its future.

  2. Paul D says:

    Have to agree with Chris and Ken. Potentially it is good news for the tram herself, however I worry about the detail of the arrangements and the potential for a negative impact on the reputation of the Blackpool Heritage Trust.

    Unless it is absolutely clear that the FHLT have no influence over the car or worse the Heritage operation in general, and the car is BHTs to use as they see fit for a predetermined period, I won’t be contributing to any appeal.

  3. darryl jones says:

    This tram always stalked me when i come to blackpool, everywhere i went it was there!

    https://flic.kr/p/bDBML5