Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lion roars again!

Former Lytham St.Annes Leyland Lion 34 joined the LTT collection back in July 2008 and has gathered dust in Brinwell Road depot ever since. However, the bus has now been adopted as a project by Classic Bus North West's apprenctice mechanic Joe Higgs who has, within a week, got the vehicle mobile once more. Recently, 34 was given a 75-point safety inspection and now an action plan is being put together to restore the bus for special events and private hire work.

Lion 34 on the hywemas receiving its 75-point safety inspection

Friday, 14 June 2013

Changes at the top!

Following the fantastic news that the LTT and Blackpool Transport are working together to create a new charitible Trust for the combined heritage tramcar collection, Philip Higgs has decided to step down from his role as a Trustee of the LTT.
Philip said "I have every confidence in Bryan Lindop's commitment and energy to develop the new charitible Trust in partnership with the LTT and other organisations. My own business interest in Classic Bus North West is an obvious impediment to the relationship that now needs to develop between LTT and Blackpool Transport. A fantastic opportunity now exists to create a first class heritage tram collection and perhaps a future tramway museum facility in the resort which has been an aspiration of the LTT since it was founded and the realisation of this will still have my full commitment."
Two of the many projects progressed by Philip Higgs during his period as a Trustee; Brush car 632 and Coronation 304.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Coronation 304 & OMO 8 return home!

Ahead of the development of the new Trust which will look after the combined fleets of heritage trams, Blackpool Transport agreed to accept delivery of two vehicles from the LTT collection, with both arriving at Rigby Road on 11th June. The moves represent the first actions resulting from the positive partnership that now exists between the LTT & Blackpool Transport to conserve and showcase Blackpool's tramcar heritage.
The first to move was Coronation Car 304, which moved from its temporary outside storage at Fleetwood. Thankfully, the efficient movement of 304 by Scotts Heavy Haulage allowed time for a second move, with OMO car 8 also returning to Rigby Road depot later in the day from outside storage at Marton.
Back home! 304 is shunted back into its stable at Rigby Road depot on 11 June.
Apart from the Unimog, this could almost me a scene from 1974 when nine "plum & custard" OMO cars were in service in Blackpool.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Blackpool Transport & LTT to merge Heritage Tramcar Collection

Blackpool Transport and the Lancastrian Transport Trust intend to merge their heritage tramcar fleets by the creation of a new charitable trust which will consolidate the combined collection.
This positive move will guarantee a safe future for a precious collection of former Blackpool trams which span the era from the 1920s to the 1970s, and allow them to be seen once again on the Blackpool tramway for the first time in a number of years. 
Eric Berry, Trustee and Founder of the Lancastrian Transport Trust, stated: “Several years ago, when the upgrade of the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway was first proposed, we began to acquire for posterity key types of Blackpool tramcars to ensure that a representative collection would survive on the Fylde Coast for the benefit of future generations. At that time it was unclear if heritage trams would have a viable future alongside the brand new fleet of Supertrams.”
“However, now that the tramway upgrade has been completed we have witnessed Blackpool Transport, and Blackpool Council’s, outstanding commitment to retaining and operating a working heritage tram fleet in the town. We now feel it only correct that the trams which we had saved for the future should return to their home tramway and into the care of the new charity.” 
Head of Blackpool Transport’s heritage tram operations, Bryan Lindop, commented: “I am thrilled that the Lancastrian Transport Trust has recognised the work that Blackpool Transport has done to secure a firm future for the best of the heritage trams in Blackpool. It was always our intention to retain, and continue to invest in, our most significant heritage trams, and to showcase these unique vehicles on the Promenade for the delight of residents and visitors alike. The creation of a new charity for the combined collections will allow us to build on our strengths and fill in the gaps in each collection, allowing us to develop a truly world class collection of heritage trams, right here in Blackpool!”
Bryan continued: “What we now need to do is to work together to mobilise tram enthusiasts, supporting groups and other interested parties into helping us to achieve our aims, for the benefit of all. To see these trams back running on Blackpool’s famous seaside tramway would be fantastic, but it will come at a price!” 
Eric Berry concluded: “We have always seen the Blackpool tramway as the logical home for our collection of Blackpool trams, and are delighted that the creation of the new charity will make this possible and allow transport enthusiasts and the public the opportunity to experience travel on the transport of yesteryear, which has always been the Lancastrian Transport Trust’s main aim.” 
The two organisations will now work together to form a charitable trust to care for the expanded fleet of heritage trams. This will be managed independently of Blackpool Transport’s core business but supported by representatives from both sides, and will allow for the chance to explore funding opportunities not normally available to a commercial organisation. Operation of the heritage trams will be undertaken by Blackpool Transport, as operators of the tramway. 
OMO 8 on one of its rare outings since restoration by the LTT in 2010.
Under the proposals being discussed scenes such as this will once again be possible with heritage trams currently owned by Blackpool Transport and the LTT operating together again on the tramway. Blackpool Transport would be the operator but the heritage trams would be in the care of a charitible Trust.