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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Once upon a time - in 1898

The brand new electric tram service was inaugurated running from Bold Street terminus near the Steamer terminal in Fleetwood and the railway station on Talbot Road in Blackpool. This eight mile long line ran over open fields and farmland after leaving Fleetwood's commercial centre until it reached the Blackpool Borough boundary just north of the original Gynn Inn. As in Fleetwood, the trams then traversed street tracks along to Dickson Road and the imposing Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway terminal building.

The line was privately financed throughout with a twenty one year operating lease. Its main depot with power generating station, offices and private residence for the company Secretary and Manager, were sited amid red clay pits on what became Red Bank Road. Another depot was built close to Fleetwood's railway sidings at what became Copse Road and a much smaller depot built at the very end of the line close to the North Euston Hotel.

The new trams were all single deck but unlike Blackpool's troublesome conduit power operation - drew their power from overhead wires by extended trolley poles. This new technology became the accepted practise for new tram systems throughout the world.

The Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad Company ended up with forty-one trams two thirds of which were of the open sided variety - reflecting the huge volume of leisure riders desireful of a breezy ride over the cliffs to the busy port of Fleetwood and its important fishing fleet based at Wyre Dock. The company energetically promoted this 'day excursion' during the main holiday season (as it was in those days) to the extent that the line to Fleetwood was the most profitable tramway in the entire country for most of its existence.

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