Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 717

Another trip to Blackpool for Picture in Time today as we take a look at Balloon Car 717.

At the time of these photos 717 was just another ordinary member of the Balloon Car fleet being used regularly throughout the summer either on timetabled service or the numerous specials which were still operated in 1996. As can be seen from the photos it carried the standard 1990s green and cream style of livery; it was also carrying different “T” side adverts on each side including one for Walls Ice Cream. 717 had started off life as Second Series Balloon Car 254 in 1934 (entering service in December of that year) with the renumbering taking place in the mass renumbering of 1968. Single indicators followed in 1977 and a pantograph was fitted for the first in 1990. Withdrawn from service the 717 we know today came out following a bequest with saw an overhaul/restoration to a condition akin to original with it entering service like this in 2008.

Our first 1996 image shows 717 having just departed Gynn Square heading for Pleasure Beach.

And then in this second photo we are at Bispham as 717 drops passengers off on the way to Fleetwood. Another Balloon is seen on the centre track.

Both Photographs by Gareth Prior

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