In Pictures: Heaton Park Tramway End of Season Gala

Having started their season at the end of March with an event seeing Blackpool 619 officially relaunched into service, Sunday 1st October saw Manchester’s Heaton Park Tramway mark the end of the season with another special event. Unsurprisingly, it was called the End of Season Gala and whilst things didn’t quite go according to the planned plan an enjoyable event was again provided by the volunteers at the tramway.

The initial plan had been that all five of the operational trams at the tramway would run in service at some point during the day. Unfortunately, Blackpool 619 was failed on the morning of the event which meant things were changed up a bit with the remaining four trams all seeing use – Stockport 5, Hull 96, Blackpool 623 and Manchester 765.

The day started with Stockport 5 and Hull 96 in service. Visitor numbers were initially relatively low, probably due to the poor weather on the previous day and at the start of 1st October, but as the trams came out to run things started to improve with the weather with it staying dry and being reasonably warm.

5 was taken out of service to be replaced by Manchester 765 whilst 96 was then replaced by Blackpool 623. 5 was stabled on the depot access line at the museum with 96 on the museum depot siding. As the afternoon started to come to an end a three car service was operated using 5, 96 and 623. Passenger numbers picked up during the day with some cars running well-filled and some visits travelling a considerable distance to attend the event.

Stockport 5 stands at Lakeside terminus with Manchester 765 and Blackpool 623 behind in the depot with lights already on and waiting to come into service.

Hull 96 runs downhill towards the Museum stop on a working from Lakeside.

An almost full Manchester 765 leaves a pursuing jogger well in its wake as it approaches the Museum on a working from Lakeside to Middleton Road.

Prospective passengers hurry across the grass as Blackpool 623 approaches the Museum stop on its journey down to Middleton Road. (All Photographs by Donald Brooks, 1st October 2023)

  • We’ll have more photos from this event in a future update of British Trams Online.
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