Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 709

Over the years many trams in Blackpool have seen all over adverts applied; some have received adverts pleasing to the eye whilst others have been, shall we say, a bit less attractive. Today’s focus of Picture in Time is one of those trams which has carried many liveries over the years – Balloon 709 with this being one of the designs for Sealife.

709 was built by English Electric in 1934 entering service on 2nd October of that year in its original open top condition. It was enclosed at the end of 1941 and continued operating in Blackpool with a few minor alterations until it was withdrawn from service to be overhauled which saw it rebuilt with a flat front returning to service like this in April 2000.

The tram received its first all over advert as late as 1994 (for Pontins) and this photo shows the second advert 709 carried – and the first of four different designs for Sealife. Applied at the start of the 2005 season the tram featured extensive contravision – a topic as controversial in 2005 as it seems to be today suggesting it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! – and if nothing else was certainly eye catching.

In this photo we see 709 at the Tower on 15th July 2005 whilst working through to Fleetwood.

Photograph by Alasdair MacFarlane

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