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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

A Fantastic Book - (in Japanese)

A chance encounter with the North Pier Shop last weekend fortuitously revealed a new book on Blackpool's trams. Full marks to Nick Meskell for stocking some copies of which a handful remain. 'Fantastic Trams in Blackpool' is a fantastic book and a must have title (after my modest efforts of course) for serious followers of the resort's tramway comings and goings.

It doesn't matter if you cannot read Japanese! The book's 168 pages ooze amazing photographs taken by the Author on his visits to Blackpool, seemingly in 1978, 1979, 2013, 2014 and 2015 from a read of all the date specific image captions. Naturally the photography is the result of cameras far exceeding my own 'brownie' model and what one would expect of a dedicated Japanese enthusiast. Not only is the quality of the photographs exceptionally sharp and detailed - but the images from the Tower, the Piers, and in Rigby Road Depot (in the 1970s) and along the line, are far from the standard formats we are accustomed to. Lessons must be learned.....

The book has a detailed fleet summary from day one (1885) and a current list of where Blackpool's trams have gone post 2011. Although a few errors such as the West Yorkshire Transport Museum in Bradford apparently still hold two Trailers are allowed. Full colour throughout with softback covers copies are (or were) on sale at the North Pier Shop at £25.00 and exceptional value for an outstanding book.

The Author Fumio Goto whom enthusiasts in the past years may well have encountered has given Blackpool's tramway a marvellous illustrated time capsule with his dedicated work. I have to confess some envy on the quality of the contents with tips for future titles on our own agenda. Jubilee 761 features notably in the 1979 images I am pleased to see - must have been shortly after its entry into service that year; as do the older illuminated cars and Dreadnought 59 all photographed stored in Rigby Road Depot in 1978 / 9.

I am sure Nick and the Author won't mind my using a sample image and cover of the title with recommendation to put in your order at the Tram Shop tout suite (I can't do Japanese characters). Well done for stocking this notable Japanese title.

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