In Pictures: Blackpool’s heritage trams go on parade for the Coronation

For the second major joyous royal celebration in a row a selection of Blackpool’s heritage trams were used for a Parade from Pleasure Beach to Little Bispham with a stopover at the Comedy Carpet for photos. The parade took place on Sunday 7th May 2023 with eleven trams running which included a late change of trams.

It has been noted recently that the heritage trams have been looking a little on the grubby side but its pleasing to report that ahead of the Parade they enjoyed a good clean and thus looked their best for this special occasion. The Parade departed Pleasure Beach at 1415 – with lucky ticket holders on board for the ride – and it was led by Boat 227. The trams ran in procession as far as North Pier and Tower, with a stop for photos at the Comedy Carpet (as with last year’s Parade for the Jubilee), before they continued on their way north to Little Bispham and then back south again.

As well as 227 the trams involved in the Parade were Boat 600, Brush 621, Railcoach 680, Bolton 66, Western Train, Trawler, Frigate, Balloon 717, Rebuilt Balloon 707 and Balloon 700. Balloon 723 had been originally due to run but it was replaced on the day by 707.

After the conclusion of the Parade there were Coronation Special tours between Pleasure Beach and Bispham. This utilised Boats 227 and 600, Bolton 66 and Balloon 717.

The trams assemble on Hopton Road before heading onto the Prom and down to Pleasure Beach. Boat 227 is at the front with Boat 600, Brush 621, Railcoach 680 and Bolton 66 also queued.

The other end of the queue of trams on Hopton Road with Bolton 66 closest to the camera.

The Frigate comes out of the depot to takes it place in the Parade. Balloon 723 sits on the depot fan – originally due to be part of the Parade it was replaced by 707 on the day. (Photographs x3 by Ryan Hartley)

Pleasure Beach loop where passengers are getting ready to depart on board Boat 600. (Photograph by Michael Morton)

The trams are seen during their stop opposite the Tower. This is the back of the Western Train with Bolton 66 just in front of it.

The very rear of the Parade with Balloon 700, Rebuilt Balloon 707 and Balloon 717.

How good is it to see a nearly full Boat Car? 600 on Pleasure Beach loop when running the afternoon Coronation specials.

Bolton 66 is also seen during the specials after the Parade. This is North Pier and Tower. (Photographs x4 by Ryan Hartley)

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3 Responses to In Pictures: Blackpool’s heritage trams go on parade for the Coronation

  1. Andrew says:

    It certainly is pleasing that at least some of the heritage fleet have had a good wash – 621 in particular looks much better than it has for a long time! However, I would challenge the statement that they ‘looked their best’ – 717 still looks an absolute disgrace, particularly its roof, and 680 has some terrible white streaks down the roof sides which seem to have appeared on a few cars of late (701 being a particularly bad example just before it was quietly withdrawn from service).

    Still, its good to see some efforts are being made to improve the appearance of the fleet and hopefully this is just the start. These trams are wonderful, priceless historic vehicles and deserve to be treated with respect and care.

    • Malcolm Bury says:

      Yes, completely agree about 717 and its black roof. It’s been like that for months, and getting worse as time goes on, with the ‘panto grease’ starting to run down the front and rear upstairs side windows. Also, the garland lamps on 600 have, for quite a while, seemed to have slipped down the supporting cables so that they ‘hang’ from them rather than be neat and taut like the garlands on 227 and look really scruffy. These are simple things that don’t cost hardly anything but a bit of time and effort from the volunteers. Come on BHTT, I fully support you whenever I can and pay to ride on your fantastic collection. The least you can do is return that favour by showing a little love and respect for your collection.

  2. Frank Gradwell says:

    I am glad that I am not the only person who has noted the deterioration in the appearance of some members of the heritage fleet. I do understand H & S concerns and that access to and around the upper decks needs to be done safely and security, but is it really beyond the wit of man that trams cannot be shunted clear of overheads and given a deep clean and touch up to maintain their status as tourist attractions???

    The heritage fleet is an amassador for Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast. Please keep up their appearance to reflect that role!

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