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.