Picture in Time: Blackpool Centenary 643

In today’s edition of Picture in Time we take our regular peek into the past of the Blackpool Tramway with this image of Centenary 643 dating from 30 years ago in 1987.

Delivered to Blackpool in November 1986, Centenary Car 643 was the first production car to arrive on the north west coast (only preceded in arrival by prototype 641 and GEC test bed 651). Following commissioning and test running 643 entered service in February 1987 (the third Centenary to carry passengers) wearing the 1980s style of green and cream. The tram continued in service until the very end of traditional tram operations in November 2011 and was then sold on for further use at a caravan park. This use didn’t last too long before 643 was on the move to the Wyre Dock facility of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust and then it was off again in 2016 when it went south to Rugby where it is in use at a school in the town.

In this image we see 643 during its first year of use – 1987. It is running along North Albert Street having just started a journey through to Starr Gate and is running on the timetabled service as depicted by the red 5 in the windscreen.

Photograph by Noel Downie

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