In Pictures: A Centenary car reunion

A welcome bonus in the placing of pioneer Blackpool Centenary car 641 on the display siding at Pleasure Beach, has been the possibility of creating some photo opportunities with members of this often undervalued class. With both 642 and 648 now part of the tramway’s own heritage fleet, it has been possible on a small number of occasions to see all three trams gathered together again for the first time since 2011 when they bowed out of regular public service.

Being less popular than some of the more traditional trams in the fleet, the two Centenary cars don’t run together all that often but this did happen on the tramway’s 130th anniversary celebration weekend in September, and then again on the final day of the main operating season – Sunday 8th November – when poor weather restricted which trams could operate on the enhanced heritage service. During the morning, both serviceable cars were briefly seen together on the Pleasure Beach loop, with the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust owned car 641 providing an appropriate backdrop. The trams certainly make a colourful sight together – 641 its orange and white garb promoting the history of Blackpool Football Club, 642 in a rather faded yellow colour scheme which was applied as a temporary stop gap between advert liveries but which has now endured for almost a decade, and 648 in its stylish original green and cream livery which was faithfully recreated in 2013. Hopefully one day at least one of 641 and 642 will also present a more dignified appearance; but for now at least all three survive and allow us to enjoy scenes like this, something few would have dared hope for when the traditional tramway operation came to an end four years ago.

Dismal weather cannot stop the Centenary car fun as 648 leads 642 on the Pleasure Beach loop whilst 641 looks on in the background from its temporary display position.

Another shot from the same angle, but with 642 now dominating the scene as 648 is seen passing by on the main line heading north. (Photos x 2 by Joe Savage)

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5 Responses to In Pictures: A Centenary car reunion

  1. Howie B says:

    Never been on a Centenary but watching you tube footage where there is sound, these cars seem to give off a high pitched squeak when accelerating – rather like the noise of a dog’s squeaky toy. Am I imagining this or is it for real and if so what causes it?

  2. Joe says:

    Yes the centenary cars really do make this sound. I’m not an expert but I think this sound is due to the chopper control system that these cars are fitted with. The jubilee cars also make this sound whilst accelerating and they are also fitted with chopper controls

  3. Kev says:

    Yes it is a characteristic of the chopper control. I’m sure a technical bod could tell us why!

  4. Peter G says:

    My Nephew used to call them “Sweep” Trams after Sweep as in Sooty and Sweep because of the almost identical Squeak.

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