Blackpool Centenary car 646 became the fourth of its class to leave Rigby Road depot for good in the early hours of Wednesday 18th January 2012. Its road journey was the shortest of any of the recently departed Blackpool cars, as it moved to the warehouse premises of furnishing company Paul Gaunt – the firm who have advertised on the tram since July 2002 in a number of different designs.
646 is the second Centenary car to have been bought by the Friends of Fleetwood Trams, following on from pioneer car 641 which is now stored at Kirkham Prison. Unfortunately the prison refused to accept another tram, and so instead it was arranged for 646 to go to
Paul Gaunt’s property. Following the normal loading process which took place on Tuesday 17th January, the car stayed on Blundell Street overnight before making the short journey to Squires Gate in the early hours of the next day. There were a few difficulties getting 646 into its new home however, with the low loader struggling to manoeuvre into the car park where the tram was to be unloaded. Further problems arose when 646 was unloaded
straight onto tarmac, resulting in its wheels cutting into the tarmac and leaving tracks where it was moved. However, the car has at least got a reasonably safe home for the time being, until it can be properly housed at Copse Road, hopefully later on this year.
The Centenary car duly became the last of the Friends of Fleetwood Trams collection to leave Rigby Road, assuming of course that no further trams are acquired by the organisation. A summary of the current whereabouts of their fleet is provided below:
Storage yard at Copse Road in Fleetwood – 678, 683, 710, 726 & 761
Kirkham Prison – 621, 627, 673, 641
Paul Gaunt furnishings car park – 646
Of the 10 trams, only the two Brush cars are stored undercover although both 678 and 710 have been completely covered over by sheeting to protect them from the elements. Hopefully it won’t be too long before these precious trams can move into Copse Road Depot, to prevent them from deteriorating too much.