Back to the Fifties
Now that the story of Blackpool's transport during the war years and up to 1949 has been published, outline work will start on the following decade for a 1950s sequel in the series : Municipal Transport in Transition 1933-1939 : Municipal Transport in War & Austerity 1939 - 1949; with 'Municipal Transport in Blackpool's Heyday 1950 - 1959' to follow next year. Above : Not a great deal has changed in
sixty years from the above scene of a Blackpool bus about to leave Rigby Road Garage for service (except the bus of course!). Below : In contrast unloading at North Pier and the Coronation tram, then brand new, have been long gone. (The pier remains, and is being refurbished in a phased investment by its Owners).
This will cover the arrival of new buses and trams and change of General Manager in 1954. New illuminated trams, Progress Twin-Car, busy street tram routes, expanding bus services and the first rear entrance open platform buses since 1932. Scrapping Standard Cars, here there and everywhere; changes to the green and cream livery (naturally), and plenty of tales from Rigby Road Workshops which were decidedly larger than the setup in 2015 - all part of that great story.
Oh - and not to overlook the new lease of life for 27 'Balloon' cars.
Unpublished photos of trams and buses with accompanying background will be
particularly welcome from readers. But please no tour photographs. Images can be forwarded to my attention online as jpeg attachments together with text and credit information email to : firstname.lastname@example.org
So if you like our coverage of the 1930s and 40s, Municipal Transport Heyday -Blackpool's buses and trams 1950 - 1959 will be sure to rekindle memories of a
period when Blackpool stood out from every other remaining UK tramway - in not scrapping its trams for buses. As well as operating a distinctive fleet of buses which were unique in Britain - nearly all being built locally by HV Burlingham.
Images : John Woodman.