In Pictures: FTS Christmas Tour and Illumination Tours in Blackpool

Saturday 30th December 2023 saw the annual Fylde Tramway Society Christmas Tour which ended up using the Illuminated Frigate HMS Blackpool and Balloon 700 on a complete system tour. On the same day, Balloon 717 was in use on Illumination Tour duty and all three trams feature in this pictorial article courtesy of Scott Spencer.

The FTS tour started with the Frigate running from Starr Gate Depot north to Little Bispham and after a return trip to Starr Gate it was all the way to Fleetwood Ferry. The Frigate ended its day of action with a run back south and after dropping off passengers at the Solaris Centre it was into depot and a tram swap. After a break Balloon 700 came out and Starr Gate-Bispham-Starr Gate-Foxhall-Pleasure Beach-Cleveleys-Solaris Centre and then back into depot.

The Frigate stands on Fleetwood Esplanade during a brief break in the FTS Tour.

Another shot of the Illuminated feature car as it pauses at Bispham.

Balloon 700 – still with Christmas decorations in situ for its use on the Mini Festive Tours – at Harrow Place not long out of depot.

700 again, this time at Pleasure Beach.

And completing the trio of heritage trams out was Balloon 717 which was being used for Illumination Tours. Pleasure Beach loop. (All Photographs by Scott Spencer, 30th December 2023)

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