On the evening of Monday 7th October, the Lancastrian Transport Trust’s Facebook page was mysteriously deleted. Despite a previous period of inactivity, the page had actually been updated less than an hour before it ceased to exist, adding a rather strange twist to this latest development.
The LTT Facebook page had seemingly been largely abandoned in recent weeks, with no updates being provided and comments criticising the organisation being left for all to see. However, this appeared to change on October 7th, when the departure of Railcoach 279 and Standard 143 from the Trust’s Brinwell Road premises for sanctuary at Rigby Road was reported, accompanied by images of both trams. This was followed by a progress update on Brush Railcoach 622, which is currently in latter stages of being repainted in readiness for its new role as a static classroom at a local primary school. As expected, the tram is receiving a blue and yellow livery based on its famous ’Tigerrific’ design for Blackpool Zoo previously carried in the 1970s, and the black tiger stripes are now beginning to re-appear on the roof side panels.
No sooner had these positive developments been reported, than they vanished without trace, without any sort of announcement. Indeed, the LTT website and blog carry the above news stories but do not offer any explanation regarding the closure of the charity’s Facebook page. One possibility is that Trustees may have decided to close it as the page had been playing host to numerous comments criticising the LTT in the wake of Boat 233‘s sale, and on its final evening several grammatical errors had been a source of some criticism. The Trust had only implemented a new policy last month to remove any posters on its page who were considered to be abusive, but if that was the only issue then to close the page completely seemed to be a major over-reaction. It is also rather ironic that, after weeks of negative publicity, this development followed some very positive news involving vehicles in the LTT collection. It remains to be seen whether the Facebook group will return in some form in the future, or whether this organisation has decided to completely cut off its social media presence, which could well be damaging to its ability to promote future activities.