Tramway Miscellany...

Tramway Miscellany…

Peter Barlow, from the Beamish Tramway Group, has been sorting though his images, taken over a period since 1969.  As a result, here are some photos that might be of interest to readers…

The planned mini-gala featuring Blackpool trams is scheduled to take place on the  1/2 March – this being the first of our enhanced transport weekends of the season (which take place on the first full weekend of each month, March to November).

Below: Starting with an obvious candidate – Blackpool 680 (currently running at Beamish as No.280).  It is seen here in the 1990s livery in which it will ultimately run when it makes its way to the Heaton Park Tramway.  Following repairs to its compressor fuse the tram is available for traffic this weekend (it was pulled out of service during the week, with 196 substituting).  BTS have been very supportive with parts for this tram (being non standard in our own fleet and therefore not something that the tramway staff have in stock) – for which we are very grateful!

r680 Bispham#2

Below: Two views of two north east trolleybuses in action at Beamish.  Here we see NCT 501 (LTN 501) and TRTB 5 (GAJ 15) undertaking test runs at the Museum (in the 1990s) during their respective restorations.  At some point in the future we hope to repeat scenes like this, with the development plan allowing for a 1.5 mile trolleybus route around the Museum, avoiding the Town, featuring a loop at what will be the edge of the 1950s area and allowing for some decent ‘country’ running on the open roads between Pockerley and the Town area.

r501-5#01 r501-5#02

Below: Back in Blackpool, circa 1969 and we see Balloons 726 and 720.  Contrast their end styles, with 720 in the later single destination box guise and 726 with what I feel was their far more attractive appearance, with split destination boxes.


Below: Coronation 644.  Peter recalls:

“Several from my early Blackpool collection – you have the picture of 614 at Fleetwood 1969 – these others are untimed, undated, the Kodak processing date is part of the filename. There are more to come. (pre 1978 camera Ilford Sportsman, film Kodachrome 25, possibly 65 – very slow but great colour in good lighting)
I first visited Blackpool in 1969 – a weekend away with school friends and before Beamish. A time for exploration, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the doubtful quality of the ‘digs’! I saved up for later visits and stayed at the North Euston, Fleetwood – rather more civilised”.

r1969-Coronation-664-Central Pier

Below: A busy prom and a twin set making its way south towards Pleasure Beach.


Below: Balloon 718.

r1973-Balloon 718

Below: OMO 7 heading south towards Starr Gate.  Peter notes “Connections with the Blackpool engineering staff were made during the early 1980s culminating in the 14 month loan of 513 for the centenary and selection of 754 (31) for preservation at Beamish as part of the loan deal. Much help with hardware has been given over the years – for instance, Sunderland 16s sanding gear is from one of the scrapped OMO railcoach conversions”.

r1973-OMO 7-Bispham