Jubilee car 761 acquired by Blackpool Heritage Trust

Since the end of the traditional tramway operation in Blackpool in November 2011, great efforts have been taken to rebuild a collection of trams representing all of the different types of tramcar which formed the running fleet in the final years of the tramway (and some from much earlier) – with one noteworthy exception. With only two Jubilee cars ever built and both preserved by other organisations, it was uncertain whether either would ever become a part of the Blackpool heritage fleet, but happily, that is exactly what has now happened!

Jubilee car 761 was one of the trams which ran on the very last day of the 2011 season and shortly afterwards it was moved to secure storage in Fleetwood, having been acquired for preservation by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust. When the need arose for the tram to be moved again, arrangements were made with Blackpool Transport and the Blackpool Heritage Trust for this unique car to be stored at Rigby Road, and it returned home in December 2013. This was merely a storage arrangement at this stage, agreed by both parties to help conserve this very valuable tram. Since then, there has been continued constructive discussion between both parties who have agreed that a tram as important as 761 really deserves to remain on the Blackpool tramway for good.

761 has now been officially handed over to the Blackpool Heritage Trust, ensuring that this creation of the Rigby Road workshops will be a part of the resident heritage collection forever! This is an event that many of us have long hoped for, and sincere gratitude must go to everyone who has made this possible, not least of all the tram’s previous custodians who ensured its survival at a time when this was by no means assured. Had this not happened then it may not have been possible to celebrate the addition of a Jubilee car to the permanent heritage fleet today. This also assures the class a secure future, with sister car 762 of course preserved at Crich and maintained in running order.

Thoughts will inevitably turn towards the future possibilities involving 761. It is hoped to restore the car in its original green and cream livery at some point and enable its operation on heritage tours, where its massive seating capacity will prove useful. This would follow a lengthy period of service in a variety of advertising liveries, culminating in the bright orange garb for Wynsors World of Shoes which it received in 2008 and still retains today. For now though, just to have another phase in the evolution of the Blackpool tramcar represented in the fleet is a wonderful development and one which deserves to be celebrated!

A recent view of Jubilee car 761 stored in the sanctuary of Rigby Road depot last year, prior to its recent ownership transfer. (Photo by Andrew Waddington, with the permission of the Blackpool Heritage Trust & Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.)


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13 Responses to Jubilee car 761 acquired by Blackpool Heritage Trust

  1. Dave Warner says:

    Yet more good news! So pleased that this tram now has a future in Blackpool. Will be well worth seeing in the green and cream livery once again. Congratulations to all concerned!

  2. DAVE MITCHELL says:

    As previously mentioned not a fan of the fleet that has developed being entirely stock green/cream and as common a large number carried advertising.
    Now as mentioned the other class mate at Chrich operates in full all over very loud colour graphics so I suppose some form of compromise.

    Would it be possible for some form of current billboarding not only to reflect the past but also to sponsor the cost of some of the work on a more informal basis.

  3. Micky says:

    Absolutely fantastic. I really hope that 761 can run in orange just once before any major body work or repaint – I’m sure it would prove a popular fundraiser, perhaps as a one off welcome back event for a tenner? They did it with 718. I know the advert is expired but a bit of tape ove rthe address!!!

  4. Franklyn says:

    Good to see a brighter future for 761 secured. Although I would like to see it in green and cream, I would NOT want to see the original scheme painted over the car in it’s current condition. Over the years various modifications were done to the windscreens, bumpers, light clusters, destination displays and other areas which would make the original livery totally incorrect. This is a problem which 641 also unfortunately suffers from.

    If the bodywork is not to be restored it would be better to carry one of the advertising liveries originally applied after these modifications were made. Also there is a good case for preserving a peroid advert, the likes of which were once an important part of the Blackpool tramway scene.

    • Micky says:

      I have to disagree, whilst some period adverts would be attractive such as Tigeriffic, plastering a metal box ina wrap around will not get Jo public to ride. I have been in Blackpool when 713 has run, and went over purely by chance when it did a Blue service day this year and ordinary people were not riding it because they wanted a proper Heritage Tram. Contravision doesn’t help either! It can legitimately carry fleet livery in this style, though the 90s version it had not the original. Personally I wouldn’t object if it had a non authentic body/colour match for now if it gets the money in.

      • Andrew Waddington says:

        I agree with you, an advert liveried Jubilee car would not attract much custom whereas a green and cream one could well be handy for wet days and busy illumination evenings. I would sooner see the tram in a livery that doesn’t quite suit its current condition than that bright orange vinyl wrap! If it is to be restored, maybe a compromise restoration to near-original external appearance but with the modernised interior, similar to 648, with a view to this being tackled later when resources permit?

  5. Simon Potter says:

    It must be a really difficult for BHT, to decide how to paint there trams. Surely the main thing they must think which one will bring in the most revenue. A tram with a massive Orange advert all over it hardly says “heritage tram”. Which is why Green and Cream has to be chosen. Also Jo public will never notice if a few lights are different to when it carried the livery originally (only the hardcore tram enthusiast will!)

  6. Dazza says:

    This used to be my stalker when weny to blackpool for holidays

  7. Paul Turner says:

    761 did carry green and cream (and grey) in its current condition. Compared to 762 the modifications are easier to address with front skirt, blinds and windscreens changed. The latter is perhaps the hardest to correct assuming the old moulds are gone.

    • Paul says:

      761’s livery history:
      1979 – original “Atlantean” livery
      1982 – original “Atlantean” livery first repaint
      1985 – original “Atlantean” livery second repaint
      1989 – revised post deregulation bus livery with green skirt
      1993 – as 1989 livery plus black window surrounds
      early 1996 – new windscreens fitted (still in green and cream – this is another condition it could relatively easily revert to)
      late 1996 – Cresta advert
      2001 – overhaul, new destination displays, extra seats, ‘707 style’ green and cream (not used 2001, bis 2002)
      late 2002 – News of the World Advert
      2004 – Wilkinsons
      late 2005 – vinyls removed, left in cream base
      late 2006 – Manx 2 advert
      2008 Wynsors

      • Nathan says:

        That’s an impressive list! I’ve seen pictures of it running in plain silver too in 1979. Not sure if it was in service or just a test run.

        • Paul says:

          Are you sure? I have seen a photo of its first test run and its fully painted. 762 certainly ran in bare aluminium in 1982 but I don’t think 761 did in 1979.

  8. Neil A says:

    News of this and 621 is just fantastic. 761 was always full of character – no doubt acquired from some of the wonderful characters who drove her!! Even on the new track, I am sure she will bounce and sway as well as ever… can’t wait.

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