It is sometimes easy to forget that the northeast of England is home to two significant tram collections. Of course, we all remember about the operational tramway and the trams which operate it at Beamish but a few miles away can be found the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum (NELSAM) which has a number of trams belonging to the North East Electric Traction Trust (NEETT) on display, many of which came from Blackpool at the time of the tramway upgrade. NELSAM has an annual Trams and Transport Day which for 2018 was held on Sunday 19th August. Trevor Hall with the photos.
There are currently five trams on site at the museum: Graz 210, Krefeld 412, Blackpool Centenary 647, Blackpool Twin Car 674+684 and Blackpool Balloon 721. It did also used to be home to further Blackpool trams – Balloon 708 and The Hovertram most recently, but both of these can now be found back in Blackpool; the Balloon car is owned by the Manchester Transport Museum Society and has been in storage at both locations.
When the NEETT first became owners of the Blackpool trams there were a number of ambitious projects announced which seem to have stalled in recent years. A competition was held to create a livery for Centenary 647 with a pseudo Red, White and Teak colour scheme chosen whilst it was planned that Balloon 721 would be painted in a Red and White livery before heading to Heaton Park on loan. Neither of these projects still seem to be ongoing but the two trams – along with the remainder of the fleet – are at least all stored undercover.