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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

More signs from yesterday

The most prominent remnant of Blackpool's former tramway heritage rests outside the BTS Offices (themselves listed?). Blundell Street Tram Depot which was the town's original edifice housing its tram fleet, workshop, paintshop and offices - was torn down following damage to its roof in the 1970s. I well recall wandering through the former storerooms and small workshops that once resounded to craftsmen repairing the early fleet. This was after the building had been finally vacated by the Transport Department with only the bare tracks exposed at the southern half of the depot as silent witness to Blundell Street's historical importance. (The northern half of the depot had been given over to Blackpool's ambulance service which was a municipal operation with white painted all British vehicles and crews in official tunics).

Still awaiting their removal is the single line track along Blundell Street and the truncated section on Princess Street which until two years ago continued across the Promenade to provide an emergency connection for trams needing access to and from Rigby Road Depot. All this is now history. The track remains as silent witness to an era which passed in 2011. Destined for complete redevelopment Blundell Street itself will soon be overtaken by bulldozers and social housing construction - forever removing the origins of this part of Blackpool.

The future of Rigby Road Depot and the adjoining works (and bus garages) are themselves subject of planning proposals. Safeguarding the historic role and unique heritage on this site is an objective of both the BHT and FHLT together with allied transport heritage groups in the Fylde.

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