On Wednesday 9th October, the Wirral heritage tramway’s Liverpool 762 made a star guest appearance on the third episode of BBC4 series, ‘A Very British Murder’, which had been filmed in May. Not to be outdone however, one of Blackpool’s most popular trams is set to appear on a television programme which should be seen by considerably more viewers within the next week.
762‘s TV appearance was in connection with a programme telling the story behind an unresolved murder case. One of the main suspects had an alibi that he was riding on a tram at the time the murder occurred, returning home to find his wife dead. As the events took place in Liverpool, it was highly appropriate that Liverpool 762 – now preserved by the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society and based at Birkenhead – was chosen for the film. Co-incidentally, another film on the same subject, titled ‘The Man from the Pru’, was filmed back in 1989 although then the filming took place in Fleetwood, with Hill of Howth 10 (then on loan from Crich) and Bolton 66 masquerading as Liverpool trams. The subsequent restoration of 762 has allowed a more suitable tram to be selected this time, whilst the existence of the Birkenhead tramway gave the option of filming the footage more locally than was possible in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, the results of recent filming in Blackpool should be seen on ITV’s long-running soap opera ‘Coronation Street’ shortly. Popular characters Roy and Hayley Cropper are visiting Blackpool as a surprise treat for Hayley, who is determined to enjoy her life having recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Part of their trip includes an open top tram ride along the seafront, aboard ‘Princess Alice’ 706. A quick browse through a TV guide suggests that these scenes are most likely to be broadcast on Wednesday 16th October, as this episode predominantly features the Blackpool visit. Hopefully 706 will get a decent amount of screen time, although hopefully these scenes won’t lead to people flocking to Blackpool to ride on a traditional tram, as this is not possible during daylight hours at this time of year!
For anyone who missed ‘A Very British Murder’ who would like to see it, the episode in question is available to view on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ftzlq whilst ‘Coronation Street’ is shown on ITV1 at 8:00pm on Wednesday 16th October.