Strictly Come Tramming

The Blackpool tramway has gained a bit of welcome exposure this month via BBC television. Earlier this month, the illuminated Frigate 736 appeared on ‘The One Show’ in connection with publicity for the broadcaster’s annual Children In Need appeal, and then just over a week later, Brush Railcoach 631 made a brief appearance on one of the BBC’s flagship programmes, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

631 was out on the tramway for filming on Thursday 13th November, with one of the dance show’s contestants, pop singer Pixie Lott, and her professional dance partner Trent Whiddon being filmed taking a ride along the promenade on the Brush car. Only a few seconds of footage actually made it onto the programme which was broadcast two nights later, with 631 seen approaching in the distance followed by a shot of Pixie and Trent on board. However, it is nice that the BBC wanted a heritage tram to be part of the popular series’ yearly Blackpool special – and as the pre-show publicity featured some views of Flexity trams passing by this was another good reminder of how new and old trams alike are much valued as part of today’s Blackpool experience. The use of car 631 was slightly surprising but welcome as the tram is not usually a first choice for such filming assignments… perhaps Pixie Lott is secretly a Brush car fan!?

631 is enjoying quite a busy month as the tram was then called upon for driver training duties on both Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th November. In a blast from the past, the car was fitted with ‘L’ boards on its ends although these covered the coupler boxes, whereas in the past they were normally positioned slightly higher up. Presumably the tram is being used to familiarise more staff with the controls of a heritage tram and hopefully this scene may become a more common one. For now, 631‘s various outings have been a nice break from the usual diet of Flexities and once again this tram – which was a frequent winter service car in the past two decades – could be considered a winter Railcoach to some extent.

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10 Responses to Strictly Come Tramming

  1. David George says:

    As well as being (maybe) used “to familiarise more staff with the controls of a heritage tram” could 631 also not have been used for TDE? In August 2011 I was privileged enough to drive 630 (in Karting 2000 livery) on a Tram Driving Experience course under the supervision of Chris Davies & “Duggie”.

    PS. I would love to do a TDE on the full length if the tramway. In 2011 it was not possible to visit Fleetwood due to reconstruction works. Does Blackpool Transport Services still offer TDEs? They were only meant to be curtailed until the Flexitys became firmly established.

  2. Ken Walker says:

    No. 4 at Seaton!

  3. David George says:

    The TDE wasn’t cheap but well worth it. And you got a ‘free’ Fish & Chip lunch @ The Bispham Kitchen restaurant.

  4. Melvyn Whatmough says:

    TDEs at Beamish offer the chance of driving a choice of exBlackpool trams

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