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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Cadmium orange

Few British tram systems opted to use orange as a principal livery but Glasgow was THE exception. Halifax was so taken by the Glasgow colour scheme that it decided to change its fleet livery to a similar green, cream and orange style after seeing a Demonstrator bus in Glasgow's colours. Halifax trams (and buses) were an uninspiring dark red fleet livery and the trams would remain in their traditional style until final withdrawal early in 1939.

Glasgow's livery was certainly unusual but in the final years of the 'caurs' they had taken on a very weatherbeaten look with scuffs and scrapes abounding on their bodywork. Nonetheless they still showed up well against the soot darkened tenement and industrial streetscape through those years. The shade of orange was itself distinctive and known as 'cadmium orange'. Examples are in evidence at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow and Crich Museum. From 1961 both Coronation 1264 and a Kilmarnock bogie approaching Central Station underpass best exemplify the later years (and shades) of Glasgow's most iconic transport livery - ever. The begrimed exterior of 1125 typifies the city's trams towards the end of their working lives and was very much the norm - quite different from the museum pieces which survive in a pristine display state. Both images : John Woodman

The relevance of this focus on shades of orange one might ask ? Well the Trust's Centenary car 641 is finding itself treated to a touch up job on its bodywork using the special shade of orange (oops tangerine) which is immediately identifiable in the Football League with Blackpool Football Club. This came about in the 1920s I

believe, when Blackpool played against a Dutch side which naturally wore national colours - and decided they were so distinctive that tangerine and white was adopted for the team's strip, and this has been the case ever since. Martin Brown Paints on Dickson Road prepared the exact shade for the Football Tram project now in its final stage of preparation.

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