Correspondence between Andrew Waddington of British Trams Online and the Trustees of the Lancastrian Transport Trust has shed some further light on the ongoing sale of Blackpool ‘Boat’ car 605‘s sale. As I’m sure you will know by now, both Andrew and Gareth Prior were issued a share each in car 605 following our sponsorship arrangement which financed the repainting of the tram for operation at Beamish Museum.
We have now been informed by an LTT Trustee that the majority of 605‘s shareholders approved the plan to sell the tram to San Francisco. This is in spite of the fact that, as shareholders, neither of us was informed about any such meeting or given the opportunity to vote! It is understood that three people own a combined total of eleven shares, and this, combined with the two shares retained by the LTT itself (as stated in the original shareholder agreement), was deemed sufficient to give a majority vote allowing the sale of the vehicle to proceed. A request has now been made for a copy of the minutes of the meeting when this vote took place and the sale was apparently authorised.
Naturally, we remain extremely dissatisfied with the situation and feel that we should have been given the opportunity to express our views for or against the sale going ahead. The LTT claim that the discussions had to be as secretive as possible due to a confidentially agreement requested by the Market Street Railway – who were, it seems, the ones who approached the LTT offering to purchase the tram. Assurances that 605 will be used more frequently at its new home overseas, and that the tram was only sold because it is a duplicate of the four other Boat cars in the UK have done nothing to soften the blow.
Further discussions are currently taking place between the various organisations and individuals concerned although these will not be reported in the public domain. We hope that readers will appreciate the need for some secrecy, however we are keeping those with a keen interest in 605 as well informed as we consider appropriate and we greatly appreciate the support and comments that this situation has generated.