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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman


The long awaited follow up to 'Municipal Transport in Transition' the title recounting Blackpool's transport revolution during the 1930s' will shortly be available this month. 'War & Austerity' deals with Blackpool's trams and buses during the war years and the immediate postwar aftermath up to 1949.

Published to the same A4 Landscape format with 120 pages, mostly black and white, the title has many rare images as well as some familiar ones from this decade. It includes a contribution from Ian Yearsley and a local resident who grew up as a schoolboy in the 1940s with his father working as a BCT bus driver.

This new title will be available at the North Pier Shop in addition to Rigby Road Publications - and can be ordered online. It forms part of a continuum of titles taking the story of Blackpool's transport through successive decades, not always in sequence. The 1950s will be dealt with as the next book in this series for publication ; while material is being assembled covering the decade beginning in 1910 when three tramway systems dominated local transport along the Fylde coast. The latter is scheduled for publication in 2017.

Blackpool's VE Day Victory Tram posed at the Pleasure Beach terminus - taken in 1945 by a visiting allied serviceman. Seeing the flags of the USSR, Republic of China (nationalist China) alongside those of the United States and Britain would have made a colourful contrast. The signwriters and paintshop have been busy with a bucolic pastoral scene on the tram's main panels. This is the former 'Bandwagon' which appeared in 1937 and would be later substantially rebuilt to become the 'Progress' car for the 1949 Illuminations display. Underneath are the framework, trucks and controllers of a former Tramroad 'Rack' which became 141 in the BCT Fleet after 1920.

Photo : John Woodman Archive

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