Following the success of the innovative shareholder scheme involving Blackpool Balloon car 715, the Lancastrian Transport Trust have decided to invite tram
enthusiasts to purchase shares in another of their tram collection – Blackpool ‘Boat’ 233 (latterly 605). This tram has of course recently moved to Beamish Museum for a loan period of at least two years, meaning that its supporters will be able to visit ‘their’ tram and receive a number of special privileges in return for their help.
The cost of repainting 233 in its 1930s style green and cream livery has of course been funded by British Trams Online, but it is likely that the tram will receive further attention in the future and money raised from the sale of shares will hopefully allow this to progress. Money raised will also support the rest of the Trust’s tram collection, and is much needed as the LTT are now being charged a rent fee for those trams still at Rigby Road. Shares
are priced at £500 each, and will allow fans of the tram to be involved in any major decisions about it which may need to be made in the future.
In return for their financial contribution, shareholders will receive a colour certificate and a photo booklet celebrating 233‘s launch into service at Beamish. They will also be invited to special events at Beamish during April & September this year, with the latter to include the rare opportunity to drive the tram outside of the Museum’s normal opening hours. The former event should see 233 formally launched at its new home – however this should not affect the car’s earlier entry into service, as it is still intended to have it ready for use ahead of next month’s Great North Steam Fair, subject to the completion of the essential work required beforehand. Full details of the new shareholder scheme are available, along with the option to buy shares online, at – http://www.ltt.org.uk/open-boat-share-issue/
Meanwhile, the workers at Beamish are continuing to prepare their new arrival for operation, and electrical work is now well underway. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 233‘s wiring is in a poor state, but tackling this is well within the capabilities of staff and volunteers there. Thursday 8th March saw the car moved over the pit in the depot so that it can be thoroughly examined, although an initial inspection had been undertaken at Blackpool before departure and indicated that the body was in very good condition despite its age. Preparation of the body for repainting is expected to start next week which will transform its appearance from rather neglected, to that of an immaculate museum piece.