Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 713

We head back over 40 years to Blackpool for our latest edition of Picture in Time and feature one of the iconic Balloon Cars – 713.

This is Balloon Car 713, the first of the as delivered fully enclosed Balloon Cars for the Blackpool Tramway, arriving in the resort in the last month of 1934 with a swift entry into service on 15th December of the same year. By the time the tram was captured on camera at Fleetwood Ferry – with the North Euston Hotel in the background – it had seen its double indicators replaced by a single indicator but other changes which were to follow in the future were still a long way away. In this view the tram is waiting for departure with a service for Manchester Square in June 1972 but it doesn’t appear that passengers are too keen for a trip on board the tram.

Photograph by Bob Hodges

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4 Responses to Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 713

  1. David Butterworth says:

    By this time 713 had received cut away panelling to reveal its bogies; probably for ease of maintenance. It had also lost its ventilators above the lower saloon windows, but still had its curved roof windows-one of the last to retain these features, up until its major rebuild. I remember that cars 700, 703, 721, and 724 were the others.

  2. Tony Stevenson says:

    I remember the hand painted adverts

  3. Paul Turner says:

    This was one of the refurbishments which started in 1966 with 700 (as 237) which featured rubber mounted roof windows, plain panelling, Darvic ceilings single indicators etc, 703, 705, 713, 721, 723 and 724 were also done, then 707 was out shopped without roof Windows. In the 70s refurbishments seemed less extensive with just the neccesary done.

  4. David Butterworth says:

    I had my photograph taken at the Pleasure Beach as young boy in June 1959, with three Balloon cars in the background. They featured the ‘Milady’ adverts and an advert for ‘Empire’ Pools.
    All were in original condition apart from the livery. This was a brighter. mainly cream version rather than the wartime green livery which had preceded it, done under Joe Franklin’s tenure, from 1955. A few could still be seen at that time in the earlier version, but with cream painted upper panels, ready to receive the adverts. 237 was a case in point and if I remember correctly advertised Empire Pools on one side at least.

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