Open Boat 230 (604) of 1934


This is one of 12 open boat cars built by English Electric in 1934 as part of General Manager Walter Luff’s five year modernisation plan which saw 116 new trams supplied during the 1930’s. After prototype 225, 230 was the fourth of the production cars to arrive in August 1934 and soon entered service on Promenade Specials and the Circular Tour which took in the Promenade and Marton routes.

Stored during World War 2, the boats accrued low mileage as fair weather cars. 230 receive Perspex windscreens in 1959 and a simplified livery was applied in 1962.

The Boats ran from Marton depot for much of their early life but when this closed in 1962 they moved to Bispham Depot but this too closed at the end of 1963 when the entire fleet was kept at Rigby Road Depot. The 12 boats were reduced to 8 in 1963 when four sisters were withdrawn. 230 became 604 in the 1968 fleet renumbering. Two more left the fleet in the 1970s.

604 was repainted in April 1972. Its next repaint, as part of a programme of cosmetic improvements to the boats, took place in December 1989. The car received a red and white scheme based on the livery used on the company’s Routemaster buses – itself based on the pre 1933 livery. The five operational boats now carrying different schemes. In 1998 604 received the standard fleet livery of the era, with a green skirt. 604 was withdrawn in 2010, but returned to use as part of the heritage fleet on 9 June 2012, restored to 1970s livery and named “George Formby OBE”.