In a shock development, Blackpool Brush Railcoach 622 was transported back to Rigby Road depot on Thursday 7th November, having been forced out of its former home at the Lancastrian Transport Trust’s base at Brinwell Road. Although 622 is not expected to rejoin Blackpool’s resident tram fleet, temporary sanctuary for the tram was needed before it moves to a more permanent home at Anchorsholme Primary School, after being evicted from the LTT premises.
The LTT’s storage depot at Marton now has a new owner; yet another blow to an organisation which has had a very difficult year. Whilst some of the vehicles on site may be allowed to remain there for a little while longer, the space occupied by Brush car 622 was reportedly needed by the new owners of the building. It may be recalled that 622 was originally acquired by the Totally Transport Community Interest Company back in 2010 to provide useful parts for various other LTT trams, and has been stored at Brinwell Road since September that year. Ownership of the car is thought to have passed over to BusWorks after the aforementioned firm went into liquidation, and it was then sold for use as a static classroom at the local school. A considerable amount of work has already been carried out on 622 to prepare it for its new role, including a full repaint in a striking blue and yellow livery with black tiger stripes on its roof sides, inspired by the famous ‘Tigeriffic’ design it carried to advertise Blackpool Zoo in 1975, which was of course the first of many Brush car all-over adverts.
Unfortunately, the tram had to be removed from the former LTT depot before its transformation could be completed, and as such it has yet to receive the graphics required to complete its livery. With the school seemingly not yet able to accept the tram, emergency arrangements for its temporary storage were made at short notice, resulting in the car being returned to Blackpool Transport’s own tram depot at Rigby Road. With transportation provided as usual by Scotts Heavy Haulage, the car made the short trip back to its old home during the morning of November 7th (not the 8th as reported on the LTT news website!) and once off-loaded, was shunted into the depot. This left Coronation 663 as the sole tramcar remaining at the Brinwell Road site, and there must be some doubt as to how long this car will be able to remain in situ.
The project involving 622 was supported by funds from the local Council. Anchorsholme Councillor Paul Galley said that Councillor Williams has led the charge on this project as he is the governor of Anchorsholme Academy, or Primary as it was at the time when the decision was made, and that he is therefore not aware of all the details surrounding the deal for the purchase of the tram.
Although 622 will be safe for the moment thanks to BTS’ generousity in agreeing to accommodate the tram, it remains to be seen how the outstanding work required will be undertaken as outsiders are not allowed access to the Rigby Road site. One possibility could be that BTS will finish the job, presumably with its previous owners footing the bill. However, for now 622 is back home – something we never expected to see again, and proof that just about anything is possible in Blackpool!