Sunday, 22 August 2010

What a difference 7 years makes!

143 is now being worked upon in the fitting shop at Rigby Road depot to prepare the car for operation in September. This view shows '753' on its last visit to the fitting shop when it was cannibalised of parts for Standard car 147.

As fire-damaged 753, the car was moved to the LTT's Brinwell Road depot on 13 April 2003 and many enthusiasts and Blackpool Transport's management were of the opinion that it's restoration was not achievable and that the tram would never run again. Restoration work started in November 2005 after a grant from the lottery supported 'Local Heritage Initiative'.
The scope of the restoration increased after it was found that new underframe sections were required and the total spend by the LTT has been upwards of £80,000. In addition, Blackpool Transport has overhauled the trucks, motors and other equipment which will increase the total restoration cost to around £100,000.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

143 goes to Rigby Road

143 returned to Rigby Road on 18th August after a seven year absence during which it has received a thorough restoration to original 1924 condition.

The move from the LTTs Brinwell Road premises to Blackpool Transport's Rigby Road depot was not without its complications, the biggest of which was manourvering 143 from its position in the corner of the depot to a position in line with the main doorway of the building. The trucks, overhauled by Blackpool Transport, were collected from the Fitting Shop and brought to Brinwell Road, where the car body was raised to allow the bogies to be rolled beneath. Once on its trucks it was winched aboard the the Scotts low loader, and then moved via Brinwell Road, Cornford Road, Clifton Road, Preston New Road, Oxford Square, Park Road, Bloomfield Road and Lytham Road to Blackpools tram depot, where it was unloaded the following morning.

It arrived at Rigby Road at 21:18 on Wednesday 18 August and the low loader was parked on Blundell Street overnight, with 143 finally touching down on Blackpool rails again on 19 August around 11:00.

Monday, 2 August 2010


143 was scumbled today by Phil Anderson, a professional painter and signwriter from Stockton-on-Tees. Phil has recently completed Marton Box 31 at Beamish - and soon 143 and 31 will be alongside each other again at Blackpool. Ironically, both once shared roles as Overhead Line cars.
Scumbling is a painting technique that allows a varnished teak effect to be created on the marine plywood side panelling. Firstly, a coat of eggshell tan colour was applied (see previous post) and then scumble paint (dark brown) is applied. This paint is so thin and heavily linseed-oil based that it allows the eggshell undercoat to show through whilst soft brushes are used to create a wood-grain effect.