Shame of tram yobs

Furniture company owner Paul Gaunt arrived at his depot on Blackpool Business Park to discover his vintage tram in the car park had been vandalised.
Furniture company owner Paul Gaunt arrived at his depot on Blackpool Business Park to discover his vintage tram in the car park had been vandalised.

MINDLESS vandals have attacked a heritage tram which is one of the last few survivors of its type.

Seven windows have been smashed on the Centenary tram which is a part of Blackpool’s transport heritage.

It is currently on display at Paul Gaunt Furniture’s distribution centre on Blackpool Business Park in South Shore, although eventually it is hoped it will be transferred to a museum.

Staff discovered the vandalism yesterday morning and reported it to police.

Mr Gaunt said: “Someone tried to set the tram on fire last week and we had to call the fire brigade out.

“Then overnight we arrived at the distribution centre to find seven windows had been smashed.

“It is very sad.

“It is one of the last six trams of its kind ever made in Derby so it is a very special vehicle.

“We get a lot of people down here photographing it so these vandals are spoiling the enjoyment of enthusiasts like that, and it’s all because they are a bit bored.”

Mr Gaunt had sponsored the tram for 11 years but it made its final journey last year before being withdrawn from service to make way for Blackpool Transport’s new fleet of Flexity trams.

It was originally being stored at the Rigby Road depot but when space was needed for other vehicles, Mr Gaunt, who also has a shop on Squires Gate Lane, stepped in to store the tram at his distribution centre.

He added: “We are storing it until it can hopefully go on display eventually at a tram heritage museum being proposed for the Fylde coast.

“But now we may have to think about putting a tarpaulin over it to protect it.”

Seven Centenary trams were built by East Lancashire Coachbuilders in 1985, the tramway’s centenary year, which is how they got their name.

There are currently two bids to launch a tram museum on the Fylde coast.

The Friends of Fleetwood Trams are working on proposals, while The Lancastrian Transport Trust is developing a scheme to create a heritage centre at the BAM Nuttall Tramworks compound at Thornton Gate, Cleveleys.

A spokesman for Lancashire police confirmed the vandalism had been reported and was being investigated.

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