Pullman Trams Lytham to Fleetwood
In 1924 Lytham St Annes municipal tramway operation took delivery of ten new double deck and open platform trams numbered 41 to 50. These were to be
the only new trams purchased by the local authority. Their quite luxurious lower deck saloon with deep sprung leather seats with armrests and curtains on the side windows - gave them the title 'Pullmans'. The trams settled down to twelve years running back and forth as far as the Gynn junction from Lytham, and the later terminus at St Annes Square (in the final year before bus replacement).
In 1928 Blackpool Corporation Tramways purchased ten impressive (at that time) single deck trams to operate the Fleetwood service from North Station, Blackpool. These comfortable cars with picture windows and transverse moquette covered seating similarly were officially known as 'Pullmans' - even if this term did not stick for long. Thus it was possible to ride on a Pullman tram from Lytham to Fleetwood - allowing for a connection at the Gynn between these Fylde coast tram operators..
Now that a remarkable restoration project is underway through a private initiative enjoined with the Blackpool Heritage Trust - of former Lytham 'Pullman' car 43 it is timely to reference my brief encounter with an artifact from one of these trams. A private residence in St Annes contained a lower saloon bulkhead panel from a 'Pullman' complete with original transfer of the permitted seating on both decks, together with sepia images of local scenes (much like the railway carriage compartments of yore with the their evocative framed pictures decorating the panelling). Regrettably the item pictured here (in a rushed job) has since moved on with the house owner. I was told it had been passed down to the Owner by her mother and was a family 'heirloom'.
At least we have a visual record for restoration purposes. The definitive book on Lytham St Annes Tramways by John Garnham and Ian McLoughlin includes a lower saloon interior view with the same bulkhead panel (below the stairs) clearly visible.