Merseyside is now bereft of Blackpool trams, following the departure of both Brush Railcoach 637 and Trailer 681 on Wednesday 10th June. The duo have now joined the two other trams which had previously been stored at an industrial site in Knowsley – Brush car 625 and Trailer 687 – in open storage at Fleetwood fish docks along with the majority of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust’s vehicle collection.
These four cars had been languishing in the open at Knowsley for over four years after being sold to Merseytravel in connection with the Wirral Waters tramway scheme. Although another Blackpool Brush car, 626, was subseuqently sold to Peel Holdings due to its superior condition, the other four were deemed surplus once the company’s involvement in the scheme fell through and all have now been sold to an individual who has arranged for them all to be stored at Fleetwood. This formally brings Merseytravel’s involvement with the tramway scene to an end as they are no longer repsonsible for any trams. As reported previously, it should be stressed that these trams are not owned by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, although this organisation has assisted with this ‘rescue mission’ and hopes to utilise one of the trams in the future. Two others are reportedly earmarked for other uses, but in reality there seems to be no firm plan for any of these trams right now. The emphasis was clearly on buying them and getting them moved, as the previous owners were keen to see them removed from the Knowsley site.
The FHLT is hoping to organise a viewing day for a small number of pre-booked guests, so that both its own large collection of trams and the new arrivals at the Wyre docks can be seen by enthusiasts, presumably in return for a financial contribution to their projects. This is likely to be held over the Tram Sunday weekend and anyone interested in attending is advised to contact the Trust via its own official website. The docks are not normally accessible to the general public and so this should provide a very rare opportunity to inspect old friends such as 625, 637, 678 and 710 – although obviously this is a storage yard rather than a museum and as such the condition of the trams on show is not exactly pristine!