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Group Tram Day Out

Posted on 31/08/23 |

Where to start!  Well, many of you will recall the article saying we had organised a day on the last Bolton Tram 66 at Blackpool with lunch at Fleetwood, you can imagine the excitement on the day - and we got the sunshine as I promised.  We had 60 people booked on the trip; all the timing worked out, car parking and the lunch menus, what could go wrong?

Well for some reason or another some could not find the car park meeting place, but that was a minor issue as they found their way to the tram depot on their own, only to be told the Bolton Tram was not booked out that day.  A quick phone call to me advising same and the blood pressure starts to rise!  Then another phone from someone else saying they had missed the tram and been told to make their way to the promenade to catch it.  Chest pains now, stress levels going up faster than an Apollo moon rocket. 

Rushing down to the tram depot to find out what was going on and I could clearly see the Bolton Tram in the depot (so what was all the panicking about?), only to be greeted by the person I arranged the day with to be told the Bolton Tram had a maintenance problem and could not be used so we were going on an old Blackpool Tram in place of it.  Bitterly disappointed but nothing could be done about it we had what we had, not a single complaint from anyone in the group, everyone just accepted it and cheerfully boarded the Blackpool tram with smiling faces.  What fantastic group, just happy to be out on such a lovely day and spending it with friends.  My stress levels were now coming down, followed by picking up our missing two on the promenade.  After another quick stop we were on our way to Fleetwood with everyone on board and me feeling somewhat calmer.  My phone rang, it was the manager of the cafe where we had booked lunch, (Hi Vince it's Sharon, I forgot to tell you were closed today) she was of course having a joke with me.  Not funny at all, I nearly had a second heart attack there and then.

We made it in good time to Fleetwood and into the Ferry Cafe, all 60 of us at once, must have been a tall expectation to think we would all get served at the same time and some had to wait a little longer than others.  Learning curve for me, book a longer lunch period and have a table plan which would have made things easier for the staff serving the meals. Ed;  Those waiters worked their socks off for us!!

  Then our return journey to the tram depot for a tour of the tram shed to look and be told about the old trams, and a chance to get on the Bolton tram and a look at it.  A great tour, very interesting, especially when we were told the only reason we didn't get a ride on the Bolton tram was because there had been a breakdown in communication between the office and the depot and they did not have a driver for the vintage tram that day. 

Despite this everyone had a great day and said how much they had all enjoyed it.  That evening and the following day I received numerous text message and emails all full of praise for the day along with their thanks.

Nonetheless I had a point of issue and wasn't going to settle for being told one thing when it was clearly otherwise.  So I lodged a formal complaint saying that main reason for the day was to ride on Bolton Tram 66 and a breakdown in communications between departments resulting in us not doing so was unacceptable and they owed the group a day on the Bolton tram.  Guess what?  After a little more dialogue they have agreed to do it again next year with a guarantee of getting the Bolton Tram at no additional cost.

Good result, and something to look forward too next year, but for me I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone for just getting on with it and having a great day out, you really are a fantastic group of people.

Vince dover