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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Yesterday's memories


The sight of an empty 'heritage car' trundling between Pleasure Beach and North Pier during the week - drawing curious stares from visitors - is a somewhat poignant scene, given the same promenade location five years ago. The omnipresent sixteen strong purple and white 'Flexity' fleet do not make up for the loss of colour and diversity which Blackpool's tramway provided in its former life. The tradeoff in accessibility is questionable; given the limited seating capacity on these light rail cars and their total unsuitability when it comes to seeing the 'Lights' from a tram and complete lack of any charm. But as clinical people movers they do their job - albeit with noisy clatter from their wheelsets.

Memories of the former diversity of colour, sounds and types of trams rolling up at a lot more tram stops than exist today is fading away; with just the solitary traditional 'tour' car to remind us a touch, of how things were before mandated changes took away a wonderful and unique aspect of Blackpool's tourism offer.

Rigby Road paint shops never knew which colour to apply to the next tram which rolled into their domain in the previous eight years, when 'Metro Coastlines' was the branding flavour. It made for quite an eclectic mix of traditional green and cream, all over advertising 'wrap arounds' and whatever colour of paint was to hand for the next tram in line ! All this now lies in the collective memory bank. The pending Volume Five of 'Tribute to Rigby Road Works' captures moments from a tumultuous six years from 2009. Some vbrief samples of what Blackpool's transport scene was like until orthodoxy took over.

A trio of Centenary cars queue up at the Gynn stop (a road run bars their way). Only one entrance (and exit) on the twin car unit makes for slow loading - the trailer had just as much attention. Ah - such memories.....

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