Santa to visit trams in Blackpool and Manchester

Two tramways have announced that Father Christmas will be paying them a visit in the run-up to the big day, with both Blackpool and the Heaton Park Tramway preparing to welcome jolly old Saint Nick himself. Although not aimed at tram enthusiasts (unless any small children like trams of course), these events should help to promote the activities of two of the most pro-active tram preservation groups in the country to a wider audience.

First looking at Manchester, and Heaton Park will be hosting a number of events to celebrate the festive season between 13th and 21st December. The festivities begin on December 13th when Santa will take a ride on Manchester 765 (he probably asked for a tram painted to match his outfit!) from Middleton Road to Lakeside, before transferring onto a land train to continue his journey to the special grotto at the farm centre within the park. The Co-Operative Academy of Manchester Big Band will also be in attendance and visitors can also board the hundred year old tram for a ride to Lakeside and then on to the grotto by land train.

The tramway will be opening on extra days to support this event and therefore will be running on the 13th, 14th, 20th & 21st December from 1100 until 1600, although many of the other activities (which include a small funfair, donkey rides and more) will be in operation from the 13th before culminating on the 22nd with the additional activities of Frosty fun for tiny tots and sparkling winter craft for children aged 5-14. Heaton Hall’s music room will also be opened up to welcome some special live music performances on both 13th and 20th December.

Meanwhile in Blackpool, Santa Claus will be setting up camp aboard one of the most distinctive and best-loved trams in the UK on Saturday 20th December from 1000 to 1530. The Western Train 733+734 will be stabled at North Pier during this time, with any adult holding a valid ‘Blackpool1 Ticket’ able to take their child to visit Santa aboard the Train for free, where they can collect a special Christmas gift and present him with their own wish list, plus there will be a prize draw to have a chance of winning a £50 toy voucher. Santa will aim to see as many children as possible on this day, but anyone who wants to visit is encouraged to arrive early to avoid disappointment. There will also be a collection for donations towards the Blackpool Heritage Trust’s projects and, as a special treat, the Western Train will also perform a single passenger trip departing from North Pier at 1600. Tickets will be available to buy from Santa’s little helpers on the tram during the day priced at £5 for adults or £3 for children and this is sure to add some very welcome Christmas cheer to the tramway.

Both of these organisations are to be applauded for engaging with the public in these imaginative ways and hopefully these ventures and the various others at other tram-related locations will be highly successful.

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