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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

The Way We Rode Our Trams

Not so long ago. The tram ride to the Pleasure Beach or north to Fleetwood was a memorable event partly due to the varied types of trams operating in the final years of traditional tram service up to 2010. Quite apart from the spread of colours adorning the trams themselves which ranged from green and cream, to Metro Coastlines brand, to plain all over solid white, yellow or black; all as a precursor to a further advertising sponsorship, plus the annual array of seasonal advertising which either added to or disfigured the fleet, depending on your point of view.

Not only were the trams themselves varied and distinctive, but equally the variation of services which saw short workings along the line terminating at Cabin, Bispham, Little Bispham, Cleveleys, Thornton Gate and Ash Street in Fleetwood. North Pier, Tower, Pleasure Beach being frequently used short working points during the season.

Understandably there were far more tram stops along the whole eleven mile line. The upgrade to light rail eliminating a good many familiar (and convenient) points for both residents and visitors. Spacing between the new platform stops consequently being extended (not to suit travellers) but reduce capital costs and improve scheduling. At

the same time the emergency turn back facility of crossovers spread along the entire route were similarly to be culled, removing the chance of more flexible working due to broken down tram or some incident or other. Information for the public being provided through Duty Inspectors whose small cabins were seen at Pleasure Beach, Tower, North Pier, Bispham, Cleveleys (but no further north).

Centenary cars mingled with the remaining 'Twin-Sets', Balloons and open 'boats' to give a sense of real seaside pleasure, even for those with other thoughts on their minds. Friendly conductors then (as now) roamed the trams collecting fares and providing advice on hotels, bars, attractions and the next stop. All in all the trams really made a great visual performance from dawn to closing time. Below : Jubilee 761 Lower Deck

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