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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

I Belong to Glasgow - dear old Glasgow town

Links between Glasgow and Blackpool are considerable given the many millions of Glaswegians who have taken a week or two by the seaside over the past hundred years - especially during the traditional 'Glasgow Fair' holiday.

Blackpool's 1985 Tramway Centenary was host of several visiting heritage trams including of course the 'Coronation Mark II' postwar car preserved at the National Tramway Museum. It performed a wonderful job running along the eleven mile line with few operating issues. A Glasgow Mark I Coronation was also a visitor to Rigby Road, albeit for a relatively short time and stored quietly out of sight at the back of the depot. Number 1245 was an intinerant car, seeing many years stored at the East Anglia Museum in Lowestoft, which ironically is soon to be the new home for a genuine Glasgow Standard Car (488) now undergoing its own restoration to the final appearance of these classic and iconic cars. Eventually 1245 would be welcomed to the Summerlee Museum with its operating line after a brief respite courtesy Blackpool Transport Services, (shades of Southampton 45) at Rigby Road depot.

One particular transport link lives on in the form of TBS13 - a single deck trolleybus built by HV Burlingham as part of an order of ten vehicles for Glasgow Corporation Transport in the 1950s. Number TBS 13 was set aside for the original Glasgow Museum of Transport in the former Coplawhill Works Paint Shop where I inspected it over ten years ago. It then gravitated to the Reserve Collection Store

where I again renewed acquaintance three years ago. The Glasgow Riverside Museum on Clydebank is now a magnificent repository of Scottish transport heritage from ship models to steam locomotives, cars; and of course trams.

FYS 988 prior to delivery to Glasgow with the HV Burlingham builders details in the side windows - and looking very smart. This is 1958 and the trolleybus would be numbered TBS 13. It is now a valued part of the Glasgow Museum of Transport collection - see below.

HV Burlingham built trolleybuses for four municipal UK operators in the postwar years : Portsmouth, Glasgow, Manchester and Reading. The Glasgow delivery were the only single deck examples, and it was pleasing to see the famous HVB trademark transfer still affixed in the interior of the preserved example - a little part of Blackpool's own transport heritage in this great city's trust. I believe there are also preserved examples of Burlingham bodied trolleybuses for the three English systems, including a Portsmouth vehicle contained in the East Anglia Museum, alongside of course Marton Vambac 11 and Standard Car 159.

Having had the great good fortune of riding on Glasgow's tram system in the final years of its operation - and seeing a Blackpool built trolleybus pass my camera on at least one occasion - I definitely have a great affection for this city !

Heading for Paisley Road Toll on service 108. Blackpool built trolleybus TBS15 in the Glasgow fleet and withdrawn in 1967 passes my camera. Below : Preserved TBS 13 - seen here in the Museum of Transport Reserve Store in 2010

Photos : John Woodman and John Woodman Archive

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