More details are now available regarding the planned launch into passenger service of newly restored Blackpool ‘Boat’ car 236 at the Crich Tramway Village on Sunday 3rd June, as part of the ‘Beside the Seaside’ event being held over the late spring Bank Holiday weekend. Although primarily an event targeted at families rather than tram enthusiasts, the launch of 236 has created the ideal excuse to create some additional interest involving the Musuem’s large collection of Blackpool trams.
The launch of ‘Boat’ 236 is due to take place at Stephenson Place at around 11:30am with the tram expected to enter normal public service afterwards. The first journey of the car is likely to be reserved for invited guests, such as the Fylde Tramway Society committee members, in recognition of their contribution towards its restoration costs – although regrettably there are no plans to let other FTS members ride on this historic trip. There should be five Blackpool trams in service for much of the day, with 236 set to be joined by Fleetwood Crossbench 2, Standard 40, Toastrack 166 and Brush Railcoach 630. Naturally all of these trams will run subject to availability, and in case of the open cars, dry weather. It is also planned that three further Blackpool cars will be posed in the depot yard – these being Standard 49, Pantograph car 167 and Jubilee car 762. Oddly the announcement regarding the event on the official Crich blog does not mention the Blackpool electric locomtive, but if this also appears then there could be as many as nine Blackpool trams out on this day which should be popular with the many fans of this town’s trams.
To add to the occasion, visitors will be able to enter the site an hour earlier than usual with photo opportunities due to start at 9:00am, which should allow photographers to get some good shots before most visitors arrive on site. Refreshments will be available in the tea rooms from 9:30am with tram rides commencing at 10:30am as normal. Hopefully this will be a popular idea and may even pave the way for further events aimed at photographers in the future.
In other news from Crich, 236 is now almost complete following the fitting of its stainless steel end railings in place of the removed windscreens. This restores this feature to a member of this for the first time since windscreens were originally fitted in the 1960s, and will give the tram a different look from its sisters at Blackpool and Beamish.