JOHN'S BLOG: TRAM TALK TODAY

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Talbot Road Trams and more

Blackpool's town centre leaves much to be desired outside of the heavy footfall Houndshill Shopping Mall. So many For Sale, To Lease, Closing Down and worse detrius abounds in once flourishing streets, no longer attractive for retailing or much else. Away from the promenade (and not far away) a squalid run down malaise is shunned by residents and visitors alike - apart from those in pursuit of alcoholic escape. Talbot Road was at one time a prime destination for shoppers, feeding into Abingdon Street, Birley Street and Church Street, among other busy commercial avenues. It even had a tram service to provide Corporation travel for graveyard visits at Layton Cemetery and a faster journey h

More Colours on the Prom

The Sunday weather made promenade travel something of a washout but today's blustery but dry weather fortunately helped the resort's trading fortunes revive on this final Bank Holiday weekend before Christmas. A frequent airing of the town's heritage tramcars added further colour on the seafront. Dramatic arrival of 701 at Bispham Station. The RBS Branch in the corner is to be closed in that bank's consolidation of its branches - joining hundreds of similar bank branch closures in recent years. On the plus side the Station structure has been leased to a cafe operator and a modest initial opening allows purchase of drinks and icecreams with tables on the inset platform. Full opening of th

Broadway to Blackpool - Available !

The new title from Rigby Road Publishing is going to the printers next week with copies scheduled to become available shortly thereafter. This 120 Page addition to the story of Blackpool's tramway chapters starts in the United States and ends on the Promenade. Hence the title. Its focus is on the exclusive family of centre entrance double deck trams which had origins with the launch of the 'Broadway Battleship' in New York prior to the Great War - and consequent adaptations in design and locale through following decades. The new book will retail at £27.00 plus postage. Naturally the book covers the later rebuilding of the twenty seven examples delivered to Blackpool up to the light

New Colours on the Prom - More

Thanks to James Murgatroyd for an enhanced colour correct image of Flexity 016 in its pink themed sponsor livery - shown off for the first time in service today : and the John Woodman version below : And now for something completely different on the promenade. A delightfully revamped Flexity believed to be 016 in the fleet but without a number present instead a sponsor 'Pretty Little Thing' whose design tastefully and carefully avoids any vinyl cladding over the doors and glazing on the tram. Actually a big improvement on the by now dour corporate style adopted by Blackpool Council (not Blackpool Transport) in 2011. First day out in service for this newly branded car. Just in time for t

More Steam

With a nod to the tens of thousands of steam train enthusiasts images from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and 'Head of Steam' exhibition at Darlington Railway Museum. Transferring lamps at Pickering terminus and Cab closeup Darlington and a famous locomotive displayed at 'Head of Steam' : Plus Derwentwith a glorious smokestack number (built in Darlington) : And a fine 2-4-0 Plus an exemplary model of prototype LNER locomotive design Number 10000 :

Steam Power

The Age of Steam lives on and never fails to attract the crowds wherever a locomotive overwhelms the senses with the auro of hot coal, steam, hot oil and more steam complete with the thundering sounds of moving pistons and steel wheels on rail. A visit to Pickering and the home of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway brought all of the above alive in a fulsome delivery last week. Crowds congregated on platforms, young and old to await the next arrival from Whiby on its scenic filled trip to Pickering. They were not to be disappointed with the sounds, smells and sight of a mainline engine pulling a long train of once familiar carriages in maroon and cream of British Railways - all corridor st

Overhead Cables Across the Tees

Something completely different for this posting. The remarkable engineering construct across the River Tees in Middlesbrough - known as 'The Tees Transporter Bridge' is very much a working monument to industrial England's prowess. Having long had interest in sampling this unusual (but not unique) installation of a floating platform held by cables from a tall gantry over a river crossing - I managed to accomplish this last week. The surprise was just how short the journey was across the Tees - just a few brief minutes from departing the southern platform edge to reaching the north side of the Tees and entering what seems now to be a derelict wilderness. Only a small number of vehicles ca

Back in Time - Contrasting Colours

It is 1935 on Blackpool's Promenade as three very traditional open balcony trams converge close to the Tower in this photograph. Blackpool is in the throes of 'rebranding' its buses and trams from red and white to green and 'ivory' under the management of Walter Luff. One of the new rail coach fleet is just visible heading south towards the Pleasure Beach. The Lytham St Annes 'Pullman' car in pale blue and white complements the Blackpool 'Standard' cars n this classic view of a long familiar location - much changed today, except of course for the famous 'Tower'. The 'Woolworth' building has yet to be erected on the site of the mock timber structure in the background. Image : John Woo

Back in Time

Industrial Blackpool seen from the top of the 'Kop' on Blackpool FC Ground looking north. Gasometers and electricity generating stations dominate the skyline with 'Central Sheds' and varied motive power on hand for avid engine spotters. Probably a Home Match is being played judging from the array of prewar and early postwar private cars lined up behind the football ground. Blackpool Corporation Transport is just out of picture on the far left hand side. A mix of private coaches is neatly lined up in the background on Rigby Road Coach Park - under management of the Transport Department in this era. Image : John Woodman Archive

Remembering Keith Terry Blackpool Brush Car 298

Original Brush Engineering Design Drawing for the 1937 Contract for twenty trams Brush Car 298 installed in the Exhibition Hall at Crich some years past. One of the future 'stars' to emerge from the Work Shop at the National Tramway Museum in Crich, Derbyshire is a restored 1937 rail coach built by Brush Engineering. Number 298 has been the object of extended work and attention focussed on it over many years by a small dedicated team of enthusiasts led by the late Keith Terry. Starting during the 1970s the tram was the subject of a preservation initiative formed by the private group keen to see one of the classic 'Brush' cars returned to its original design complete with opening roof panels

Working to conserve for display, trams and artefacts of the longstanding coastal tramway serving Blackpool, Thornton Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

 

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