Brush car 621 (284) to join the Beamish fleet!
Here is a statement that may be of interest to blog followers!
In a tri party agreement, the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust have generously made their preserved Blackpool Brush Railcoach 621 (originally 284) available for acquisition, by private treaty, to a small party of individuals who have in turn reached agreement with Beamish Museum to accept the tram as part of their collection.
Tramcar 284 was built in 1937 by the Brush Electrical Engineering Company of Loughborough as the first of 20 such ‘Railcoaches’ supplied to Blackpool, and it served the tramway well for almost 70 years until it was retired and stored in 2004. In 2011 it became one of a number of historically significant tramcars acquired for preservation by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, a registered charity dedicated to conserving trams and artefacts of the Blackpool tramway, and the tramcar has been stored securely since acquisition. A review of the Trust’s fleet during 2014 came at the same time as a third party approach to acquire the tram privately and, following negotiations, it was agreed that a home could be found for 284 at Beamish, where it will compliment their future development to create a 1950s themed area.
Paul Jarman, Assistant Director of Transport and Industry at Beamish, said “We are thrilled to be able to announce that Brush Railcoach 284 will be joining our tramcar fleet at Beamish and would like to place on record our thanks to the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust for their generosity and support in helping this to be achieved. We have gained significant experience of operating former Blackpool streamlined trams in recent years, and have found them to be both reliable in operation, and popular with our visitors.”
John Woodman, trustee of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, added: “We wish 284 well for its future preservation as part of the collection of Beamish Museum. This is a hugely significant vehicle in British transport history, which was a fact that was recognised by us when we originally saved the tram for preservation. We are proud to have played a major role in saving 284 for the benefit of future generations, and know that it will be well looked after in its new home.”
James Millington, who led the private acquisition of 284, said: “Tram 621  is expected to leave its current base at Kirkham shortly, destined for its new home in the north east and a secure future at one of the UK’s premier museums. This is an excellent outcome for this very historic tramcar which will now enjoy eternal life thanks to the outstanding co-operation of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust and Beamish Museum.
So, unexpected news I would imagine! Great thanks to James for pulling all the threads together and making this possible. It is a bit of a time for ex Blackpool trams becoming surplus – Merseytravel having announced that the cars they acquired are now surplus to requirements. As to 621 (or 284 as we shall know it), it will arrive at Beamish very shortly and will be placed into store. We have a fairly fixed maintenance programme over the next 12 – 18 months, but will certainly assess 284 and see what is required to return it to service (including a repaint! I rather favour the 1950s livery which would be appropriate for our developments at Beamish), and then look to amass the spares and replacement components that we require to put 284 back into traffic.