The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust’s Brush Car 290 (ex-627), which is currently undergoing a repaint into a special livery celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, is to be displayed on a specially constructed section of track at Pleasure Beach for the 2012 Blackpool Illuminations it has now been confirmed. Work on the tram is currently progressing well at HM Prison Kirkham under the supervision of volunteers from the FHLT and further images have now been released on the artwork which is to feature in the windows of the tram.
Over the past few months work has been progressing well on 290 inside one of the Prison
Workshops carried out by Kirkham Enterprises, a business arm of the Prison Service. As we have reported previously 290 is receiving a specially designed livery which bears a resemblance to the stylish original livery carried on these trams although featuring a white and gold colour scheme. The trams windows are receiving murals designed by students
at Fleetwood High School, Cardinal Allen Catholic High School Fleetwood and the School of Art, a unit of Blackpool and the Fylde College. In addition the Blackpool Illuminations design team are responsible for special illuminated features which are to be fitted to 290.
It is planned that 290 will be moved to its temporary home of a few months during August. Unfortunately it is not possible for 290 to operate on the tramway because only trams which have had special dispensation applied for are legally allowed to be used in any form of public service. However with the position of the track being closed the Pleasure Beach loop the tram will be able to see several old friends passing by whilst they operate the heritage service. During the Illuminations this will operate on a nightly basis from Pleasure Beach with no boarding possible at any of the other heritage stops although alighting will be allowed at North Pier, Cabin and Bispham.
Following the Illuminations 290 should become one of the first trams to be moved to the historic Copse Road Depot in Fleetwood. The Trust are currently preparing plans for the renovation of this building which will allow up to six of the trams currently in their custody to be displayed to the public. The Fleetwood Tram Museum will also contain a workshop unit which will provide space for renovation work on two trams. Although it isn’t possible for this Depot to be connected to the light rail network the Trust are also
looking at the possibility of developing a heritage tramway of their own in Fleetwood, this is part of their long-term strategy which would also include an international tram exhibition and other transport themed projects.
The next steps for the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust will see them working alongside Wyre Council to take forward an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and this is planned to take place this summer. In addition BAMNuttall have recently donated a supply of tram rail which will help with the tram museum development and an appeal has recently been launched to raise funds for a set of doors on the Museum.
- To find out more about the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust’s plans and how you can help visit their website at http://visitfleetwood.co.uk/.