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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

ADL and the phantom hospital

Mrs Woodman has to get in on the act. A first day image for Blackpool's new generation of buses on the 9 Service. Clifton Street is getting a makeover.

Monday 25th July saw the new ADL in their striking PALLADIUM branding begin to operate the 9 Service from Blackpool Town Centre (ie Clifton Street) to Cleveleys, together with the recently introduced 9A which runs to Victoria Hospital from Cleveleys. Whilst the Mercedes Citaro certainly made an impression launching the PALLADIUM fleet colours last year - the impact of the Alexander Dennis double deckers is more than twice as great.

The transluscent top deck rear dome is very evident.

Talbot Road now boasts both PALLADIUM services 5 and 9 along its length to Layton Cemetery making a change in the character of BTS image and definitely dating the Trident and DAF double deckers.

One notable blip in the passenger experience is the onboard announcement that buses on both the 9 and 5 Services stop at 'Devonshire Road Hospital'. Once upon a time there was indeed a hospital at the junction of Talbot Road and Devonshire Road. In fact it was originally the town's 'Isolation Hospital' for infectious diseases built before the Great War and remaining part of the NHS up to some ten years ago. Long demolished the site is now a car park with not a doctor or nurse in sight! Just across from the hospital on the facing corner along Talbot Road was an equally important structure - Catterall & Swarbrick's Brewery, a famous Blackpool ale sold in all quality establishments as well as being advertised on Blackpool's buses in the 1950s and 60s. This too met a melancholy fate many years ago; the property now an anonymous housing estate.

After the initial novelty of these enormously smart buses wears off no doubt their appearance will involve no second glances, but for the moment they are reason to be proud of our municipally controlled urban transport system.

Tailpiece : Clifton Street in 1960 not a bus in sight - parking on both sides of the street. The rail coach is on the four minute frequency Marton route from Talbot Square to Royal Oak. Some vintage period cars in view and the splendid G.P.O. which is itself now needing a new role. All photos copyright : John Woodman

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