Peter Watts has been busy again, providing a set of brand new, traditional-styled destination blinds for two further trams in Blackpool’s operational heritage fleet. The latest beneficiaries of his blinds are Fleetwood Box 40 and Balloon 717.
Some readers will have already seen the new blinds fitted to car 40 which were first shown off at the tramway anniversary weekend last month. This feature some very unusual lettering styles using rounded fonts, as was used on this tram when it was previously restored to passenger service for the 75th anniversary of the tramway in 1960, which were themselves based on an earlier design of blind. This was considered to be the most appropriate option for this tram, as 40 didn’t actually have any destination boxes when it was built in 1914 – but the change is certainly a big improvement on the luminous blinds it has had since 1996.
More recently, 717 has received a set of four new blinds recreating the style of lettering used when the tram was built in 1935. Although this car already had some period-style destinations, these were not quite authentic and so Peter has decided to rectify this and make 717 look even more historic! The restored Balloon car has been a regular performer recently after missing the big September event weekend due to a minor fault, and has often been used on illumination tours of late.
As always, the new blinds feature all of the destinations required for the trams’ present day role on heritage tours, as well as a few long-lost destinations from the routes of the past, and the generic ‘Heritage Tour’ wording. This is likely to be especially useful on 717 as the task of changing all four blinds when the car is on short promenade workings can be rather tedious!