BLACKPOOL'S KARRIER BUSES
Way back in 1927 Blackpool Corporation Tramways decided to break away from the limited capacity of its bus fleet and trialled four new three axle versions; two double deckers and two single deck examples. Guy Motors supplied the chassis for a double deck and single deck; whilst Karrier Motors of Huddersfield similarly provided chassis for the matching pair.
The single deck versions (51 - Guy FCX chassis) (52 Karrier chassis) were given rear entrance bodywork with distinctive clerestory roofs with opening glazing to the same design as the 'Pullman' cars which were being built in Preston for delivery in 1928 (167 - 176).
Blackpool's motor bus services were experiencing rapid expansion as the town outgrew its central districts and the new Stanley Park and Victoria Hospital opened further development to the east of Whitegate Drive and the Marton tram route.
None of Blackpool's early buses survive and the three axle demonstrators would not have long working lives, being quickly disposed of by the new General Manager - a certain Mr Luff, after his arrival in 1933.
Through the dedicated work of one bus enthusiast, Geoff Lumb, a very similar vehicle to Blackpool's 52 has been completely restored in a private collection outside Huddersfield.
A painstaking renovation over many years has brought Ashton Under Lyne Number 8 back to display condition in a private museum near Geoff's home.
Posing proudly with his masterpiece, (it is a three axle bus) - Geoff showed me round his extensive collection last year. The interior view highlights the swivelling clerestory roof lights which are an almost exact copy of Blackpool's ruby red clerestory glazing fitted to the 1928 English Electric built trams 167 - 176. This is no coincidence as English Electric built the bodywork for Ashton Under Lyne Karrier number 8 just one year earlier - with their familiar crest on the driver's bulkhead panelling (below).