JOHN'S BLOG: TRAM TALK TODAY

Disclaimer :   The opinions and commentary voiced on this page are those of the author and do not have automatic endorsement of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust (Registered Charity) unless otherwise stated.

Follow the regular updates on the Trust's projects, comments on Blackpool's bus and tram network and transport issues around the UK and further afield.

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2019 - Rigby Road New Titles

An impressive display of Rigby Road books (and 2019 Calendar) proudly shown off by the Author at Blackpool Visitor Centre which stocks (nearly all) the available titles for sale year round. Thank you Visitor Centre. Blackpool Transport's Customer Services Office on Market Street also has some of the recent titles on sale in 2019. 2019 will see the special book on Blackpool's buses through the years since 1921 - as well as a further title in the Municipal Transport series - this time covering the decade from 1960 to 1969. Further details on these projects will appear during the course of the year. An update on other titles in the pending tray is promised soon. Best Wishes to all of ou

Christmas In Town

TALBOT SQUARE - Tramway Junction almost complete looking east (above). Note the steel work for a new hotel on the site of the former Yates Wine Lodge. Looking west with the new three way junction trackwork in place, TALBOT ROAD looking east towards Bickerstaffe Square and North Station. SIGNS OF THE TIMES. Bus stop closure on the Promenade where traffic has been diverted due to tramway trackwork. THE SANTA BUS at Central Library terminus of Service 14 to Fleetwood. All Images taken by Steven Meyer-Rassow on December 27.

That Time of the Year

A rare Promenade outing for a classic tram. Birkenhead Corporation Tramways with a special driver by the controller. Seasons Greetings for readers of this blog with heartfelt thanks for putting up with the phobia and frequent rants which make it so different from the usual guff. PS : thank you also to a certain photographer of note for this flattering? image

Santa's Bus

Blackpool Transport excelled themselves with a Seasonal bespoke design on one of the company's buses - 455 which can be seen in service around town. Posed for official photos outside the Sandcastle 455 complete with elf in the driver's cab ! Photo : Courtesy Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

143 Sixty Years On

Standard Car 143 repainted postwar standing outside Marton Depot on Whitegate Drive looking supremely smart. The Indicators had been moved from the earlier position above the top deck end glazing to a lower and more easily read fitting over the driver's windscreen. A wartime adaption on a number of enclosed Standards. Image : John Woodman Archive It was 1958 when Standard Car 143 was selected to become the replacement 'Engineering Car' replacing duties carried out by former Marton 'Box' Car 31 based at Bispham Depot. Required to provide overhead repair duties on the extensive reserved tracks north from Cabin to Ash Street, Fleetwood - the need for a double deck open tram (with gantry)

Sunday - Work in Progress

With a deadline for completion by Tuesday work on completing the track junction connections from the Promenade into Talbot Square is underway over this weekend and into Tuesday. Much of the diverging tram track from Talbot Square onto the Promenade is already complete, although some individual rail sections remain to be installed. But the priority is to free up the southbound line to allow passage of cars from Tuesday next week. In the interim a single track service from North Pier as far as the Cabin allows a twenty minute headway in either direction. A great pity no short workings are permissible inbetween these two points - but omission of crossovers along the entire route except at

Wyre Dock - Way Back When

A rare aerial photo of Wyre Dock taken circa 1918. Unfortunately not sharp renditioning but discerning readers can just note two Tramroad Company cars passing in the centre of the lower edge of the image. Multiple railway lines and sidings cluster around the Fleetwood Ice Company site in the middle centre. The outlet centre occupies land to the north of that business while the A585 follows the lower line of the railway across the image. Sadly the Tramroad Company depot is out of shot on the far left. Image ; John Woodman

Promenade Action

Bright sunshine with colder temperatures found work crews busy connecting up the new tracks leading into (and out of) Talbot Square to the promenade tramway for the first time. Teams were engaged in traditional permanent way activity welding and smoothing the new railhead links on individual conjoined rail. A sense of the activity is evident from these images taken this afternoon by the Author : Securing smooth rail connections between the new track and promenade line. This is the eastbound link nearest to the camera. Above : a closeup detail of the physical track connection for the northbound line leading out of Talbot Square across the promenade with the inbound curve behind. Above :

Lessons From France - And Our Past

Frustration and anger with the permanent political establishment across the Channel has boiled over onto the streets of towns and cities throughout France. Donning yellow high viz jackets a cross section of young and old are taking to protest against the body politic and impact of lowering living standards. Taxes both direct and indirect are making it a monthly challenge for working families to maintain a stable and affordable life year on year. And then there are the young, the unemployed, the socially distressed. The French have form in not meekly accepting platitudes and crumbs from the top table by their governing elite. Massive social resentment at the ruling class brought about rev

Manchester 'Christmas Cracker' Event

As previously announced during the previous week we attended the annual Christmas trade event at the Manchester Bus Museum and saw many familiar faces and even actual readers of Rigby Road Publishing titles - now there's a surprise. Attended mostly by males of a certain generation and despite bad weather, a train drivers strike on Northern Rail (a weekly occurrence every Saturday now), the show was well attended both by bus and rail enthusiasts and traders. Held within the marvellous collection of buses displayed in the Museum it is a perfect setting for meeting old friends with shared heritage interests, whilst at the same time picking through ephemera of former operators. Always on the

Blackpool's Split Parliamentary Vote

Whilst many readers of this blog may prefer fixating on the minutae of whichever tram deserves an 'award' for its appearance or performance over the past twelve months - there are far more fundamental decisions pressing us all on Britain's future and relationship with the European Union: and even more importantly the fate of the planet, if not in our life time, certainly during the course of this century. The Global Conference on Climate Change ongoing in Katowice, Southern Poland - received a sober assessment from Sir David Attenborough in his speech today on the threat to civilisation itself if politicians are allowed to tinker round the edges over hard choices on containing global emis

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

 

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