Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 705

We head back 50 years or so for the next few weeks of our Blackpool archive photo series for some images of a bygone era on the Fylde Coast, starting off with the first of the Balloon Cars to be scrapped.

This photo was either taken in late 1968 or 1969 and shows Balloon 705 heading to Starr Gate and followed by an unidentified Twin Car which is only running as far as Pleasure Beach. The two trams are being halted in their progress by some (fairly extensive) trackwork and it doesn’t appear that the work crew are in any hurry to get out of the way! The location of this image is on South Shore with the South Shore Hotel seen in the background on the right. Selling McEwan’s Scotch Ales this hotel is no longer in situ but it is believed that the Viking Hotel is now on this site. The Queen’s Hotel is obscured by 705 and you can just see the Tower on the extreme left of the photo.

As for the identified tram, 705 had only been renumbered from 242 in 1968 as part of the mass renumbering and would receive single destination indicators in 1971. It would remain in service until 1980 when it was withdrawn following a head-on collision with 706 at Pleasure Beach. Although 706 would enjoy a rebuild into open top condition, 705 was not to be so lucky and in October 1982 it was scrapped on site at Blundell Street.

Photograph by Donald Brooks

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