Balloon 715 of 1935


The iconic Balloon class is represented in its 1970 form by car 715. Built as 252 in January 1935 it joined the fleet from the new Rigby Road depot operating on Promenade and Lytham Road services. Introduced by Walter Luff, double deckers fell out of his favour towards the end of his tenure in the mid 1950s. His successor,Joe Franklin, preferred higher capacity cars to single deckers and instigated a programme of upgrades which would become protracted. 252 was one of the first to lose the twin destination indicators in favour of a larger single screen in 1956. In 1962, 252 had a brief period operating school specials from Marton depot but returned to Rigby Road when the Marton route closed at the end of that season.

1968 saw 252 become 715 and an overhaul in winter 1976/7 saw the sliding roof removed (one of the last to retain it) and also the curved roof windows were removed. Another works visit in 1981 saw plainer panelling fitted. 1980s livery was applied in 1986, a pantograph was fitted in November 1990. In October 1992 the 1990s livery was applied for the first time. This lasted for 13 years in 2005 when an all-over advert was applied for Pleasure Beach Mystique show. In 2006/7 the car ran in plain white base coat but in 2008 it ran in Metro light blue and yellow. In 2010 it joined the LTT collection and continued in use for the next two seasons, spending 2011 in 1970s livery. It joined the BHT fleet in 2013 and returned to use on 2 May 2015 after a full repaint in its 1990s livery.