Standard 143 of 1924

143_01 AR

Standard 143 in it’s former life as the Engineering Car at Blackpool Transport.

Standard 143 was built by Blackpool Corporation in 1924. It was one of 42, mostly built in house from 1923-1929. Like most sisters it started life as an open balcony car with open vestibules (windscreens). Various modifcations took place with the vestibules and top deck balconies enclosed in late 1929. New in red/white livery, the new green/cream livery was applied in June 1934.

Withdrawal of the standards was protracted, starting in 1940 and ending in 1966. The enclosed cars lasted longer – many retained open balconies and were withdrawn earlier. The Standards were often kept at Marton depot and were associated with the town routes as well as Promenade specials. Most were redundant by 1954 with the arrival of the new Coronation cars, but several were reinstated in 1956 to meet an additional requirement for trams following the launch of Illuminations Tours that year. 143 was one of these but only lasted until 1957.

It was then converted into an overhead line inspection car, with the centre top deck removed to accommodate an inspection platform. Renumbered 3 in the works series, the car was also fitted with a bus engine as a generator to power the motors when the overhead was isolated. In 1961 the top deck ends were removed and the car continued in this guise, albeit renumbered 753 in 1972 until June 1990 when a fire in the generator caused the tram to be withdrawn. Later preserved by LTT restoration commenced in 2005 to return the car to original condition. Work is quite advanced but needs further funding to complete.