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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman


The seasonal festivities are almost behind us with thoughts turning to the year ahead. We are finalising War and Austerity and expect to publish this title in February, along with a short run of the Blackpool Corporation Tramways Motor Bus story from 1921 to 1933. Volume Five of Tribute to Rigby Road Works is now waiting for some further new developments on the bus side of Blackpool Transport which may take us to Easter. Much of this title has been formatted but the final months in 2014 and pending news awaits official sanction. The book will follow the same format as Volumes 1 and 2. Attention will turn shortly to both Blackpool’s Desert Bus – the story of how (and why) a Blackpool Corporation double deck bus managed to traverse overland from the UK to Pakistan and back. A further title scheduled for 2015 involves revisiting the HV Burlingham story with an expanded album of photographs and material originating from the early partnership years in the 1920s to the demise of this famous coachbuilder in 1961. In the pipeline are two further titles covering vastly different decades of Blackpool’s transport scene. The first deals with the 1910-1919 era which is naturally tram dominated and involves three distinctively different tramways traversing the Fylde coast. The second will be a continuance from War and Austerity taking coverage of Blackpool’s tramway and bus (and coach) history through the 1950s. Both books will incorporate many rare and previously unpublished images. We welcome contributions from readers of personal stories and material – all of which will be credited. Elsewhere on the Rigby Road site there is a now an additional section devoted to the tram scene on behalf of Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust. This is to provide an online reference point to the Trust’s work and related issues. The Trust’s website is being taken offline for the time being. An inordinate amount of coverage is available on social media and specialist sites covering Blackpool’s trams. Rather than duplicating incessant updates elsewhere, it has been decided to limit the Trust’s news output to essential material through a seperate column on this site. Of course the Trust, like other bodies similarly engaged in conserving old vehicles, has plenty of demands to keep it busy, without maintaining a weekly newsreel of updates. There is also requirement for confidentiality in emergent projects or developments with consequent need to avoid incessant online ‘chatter’. I wanted to use the Header ‘Tram Stuff’ but was told to keep it simple. 2015 looks set to be an action-packed year.

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