Sunday, 7 January 2018

44 on its travels

44 when stored at Keighley (Mark Whitehead)
Fylde 44 has been on its travels since it was retired by Irlam Royalettes Morris dancers in June 2015. It was initially stored in a yard in Bolton, soon moving to First Manchester's Bolton depot, pending rectification of a blown head. In 2017 it was moved to Keighley Bus Museum on tow as it wasn't felt appropriate to drive it.

It was then moved to a yard in Bingley for further storage and has since moved onto Autotec where a donor engine is expected to be fitted and 44 will return to use once more, now in the capable hands of Mark Whitehead.
44 shunted at Bingley (Mark Whitehead)

Friday, 8 December 2017

Fylde 7

On Friday the 1st December 2017 Fylde 7 took a big step forward in its restoration to use.
It was fitted with a brand new set of batteries which is something it has lacked for some years now. Promptly once fitted it was started (on the button I may add) and was found to have a suspected air leak in its handbrake non return valve. In the new year it's hoped that the valves can be stripped off and repaired or replaced. And the process of bringing this unique icon back to the Fylde's roads can continue.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Happy 40th Birthday 71

71 as Fylde 85 as originally delivered, but seen in 1983 as part of the transport for the Rotary conference at Winter Gardens (Brian Turner)
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Fylde 71's registration. Back on Friday 18th November 1977 it was licensed as EBV85S, carrying fleet number 85 - the first of a batch of four (85 to 88). Its first day in service is not recorded, but it would have been soon after. Like its sisters it entered service in blue, white and yellow - regularly on the 11/11A group from Blackpool to Lytham. 

It was an early recipient of the revised blue and white livery in 1983 and received the first version of the two tone blue livery in April 1989. A major refurbishment took place between July and October 1991 with 85 emerging with a new identity as 71 (OJI4371). It was back in use in early November in the new mainly light blue livery.

In winter 1993/4 it gained a partial advert for Starr Gate Go-Karts, covering the offside and rear and it retained this when Fylde was absorbed into Blackpool becoming their 471. In January 1997 it received green and cream fleet livery which it carried until withdrawal in May 2004.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Looking Back at 374

Its 2000 and 374 is nearly six years old as it swings out of Bold Street at Fleetwood while working on service 14. It still retains its as delivered coat of green and cream  (PT collection)

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Collection Round Up

374 snug in its new home near Accrington (Mark Whitehead)

2017 has seen some house moves and two of the collection out on the road. Blackpool Volvo Olympian 374 has seen most use, most recently at the Blackpool Tramway Anniversary event, while Fylde Atlantean 71 returned to use at RVPT's excellent Lytham Hall event. Both are now awaiting winter work ready for a full event season next year. 374 also has a new home at Town and District Transport Trust's premises near Accrington.

Fylde Atlantean 44, preserved in 2015, has been on the move this year. After storage in Bolton it moved earlier this year to Keighley and more recently Bingley. It is expected to receive a replacement engine over the winter to allow it to return to use, initially in its current black livery pending a future repaint.
44, sadly is only mobile under tow presently. Hints of BTS green and cream are visible on the front. (Mark Whitehead)

Fylde 'Paladin' rebody 7 is due for inspection soon to determine the work needed to return this unique vehicle to the road. 

The firth collection vehicle Fylde Seddon RU 47 - one of only two RUs left remains in store for now but we hope work can start on this in due course.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Blackpool Tramway Anniversary Weekend

71 parked up in Blackpool Transport's yard (Paul Turner)

Two members of the collection were booked to provide vintage bus rides at the annual Blackpool Heritage Tram's Anniversary weekend on 23/24 September. A 15 minute frequency free bus service ran from Rigby Road Depot to Blackpool Airport via Pleasure Beach and Starr Gate. Olympian 374 was booked for both days; Atlantean 71 for the Saturday.

Sadly 71 suffered air system problems on its way to the event and missed its turns. Its now being fixed. 374 ran on Saturday morning and all day Sunday as planned. Another Fylde Atlantean - the last of all - 45 (B75URN) also ran both days, while Blackpool 364 (B364UBV) made its event debut after restoration.
374 between trips (Richard Hughes)

Saturday, 16 September 2017

71 returns to the road

Next Departure: 71 is ready for its passengers for a run into St. Annes, alongside is Fylde 45 - originally 75 - the final mainsteam production Atlantean to enter service back on 1st October 1984 (Paul Turner)

After a successful first MOT test in at least six years, 71 was taxed and returned to the rally scene at the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust's Lytham Hall Running Day. 71 worked in service from St. Annes to Lytham Hall and the did two more round trips on the free bus service. A further trip was scheduled, but Mike Brady generously offered his ex Fylde Atantean 45, so we took that instead! 
Sometimes you can get a near timeless image on runing day, here Don Penney has captured 71 as if it was pulling away from Lytham Square stops on its way from Wesham to St. Annes Square on the 193 service (Don Penney)