News from our British brethren.

Blackpool Brush 630 awaits access to the Town End terminus at Crich Tramway Village during the tram’s launch day, Sunday, 12th May 2012. Photo courtesy Jack Gordon, editor of Tramways Monthly.

Ah, dear readers. Too much time has elapsed since my last post, but such is life. So many positive and interesting developments have emerged in the past two months, and we’ll jump back in with a few happy notes from the UK — by no means a definitive account of what has been happening on Britain’s modern and historic tramways, but hopefully an enjoyable peek for you.

The first item I’d like to mention was the public launch, on 12th May, of Blackpool Brush Railcoach 630 at its new home, Crich Tramway Village. The modernised 1937-vintage tram, constructed by Brush of Loughborough, Leicestershire, entered service at the museum in 1990s livery — complete with distinctive period fleet logos — courtesy of a Blackpool Transport repaint before it departed the Lancashire resort last year. Tramways Monthly Editor Jack Gordon was kind enough to send the photos seen here. For more on the car and its Crich debut, see:

A long way from the seaside, Blackpool & Fleetwood ‘Rack’ 2, Blackpool Brush 630 and Blackpool Jubilee 762 pose together on the Crich depot fan prior to 630’s launch. Jack Gordon photo.

Heaton Park Depot Appeal

Blackpool 623, Stockport 5 and Manchester 765 are seen outside the Heaton Park Tramway’s current depot, constructed from an original tramway shelter. Plans for a purpose-built tram depot near the boating lake are under way. Photo courtesy of Joe Savage.

From Crich, we head to the home of another preserved Blackpool Brush car, namely Manchester’s Heaton Park Tramway. Readers may recall seeing photos of Brush 623 at Heaton earlier this year, in my post about driving another one of that facility’s trams. Many thanks go out to tireless museum member Joe Savage for sending out regular emails full of photos depicting the goings-on at this growing operation.

The latest item of note is Heaton Park’s big push to raise the final £10,000 for its new depot, as described here. That was the amount required as of 11th May, when the page was updated. Surely some new donations have come in since then, but no doubt the organisation can still use more help in reaching this worthwhile goal.

As you may recall, operations are currently based out of a cramped depot built from a vintage tramway shelter in the park. The new depot will be at the opposite end of the line, near the boating lake.

Purple Caterpillars on Parade

And it has been so long since I last blogged that I have yet to mention perhaps the biggest news in the world of British tramways this spring, namely the April launch of Blackpool’s new Flexity 2 low-floor trams. In this, I owe particular apology to enthusiast Dave Monaghan, who was kind enough to send me some pictures of the new cars — which some have dubbed (derisively or not, I can’t quite tell) purple caterpillars — as far back as April 9. Below are two of Dave’s Good Friday images, with my thanks.

A Starr Gate-bound Flexity is seen in Fleetwood, passing the aptly named Kelly’s Tramway Cafe and Grill (right) at Pharos and North Albert streets. Dave Monaghan photo.

Bound for Starr Gate, Flexity 008 is seen passing Yates’s on the Promenade between Shaw Road and Britannia Place. Dave Monaghan photo.


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