After perusing a great book on restoration of woodframed vehicles I chanced upon an equally great DVD on Blackpool trams. Unlike monotonous and predictable DVDs
covering Blackpool's tramway in recent years it was a true delight to be literally 'transported' back in time to the mid1950s and 1960s. (there is some discretion on the title's content!)
A compilation of material, admittedly varied in quality, but nonetheless fascinating throughout has been painstakingly published by Travel Lens Photographic in the Isle of Man. Using enthusiasts early cine film from varied sources Travel Lens have produced a compelling DVD which should be high on the must have list of all those with interest in Blackpool's trams - covering those great postwar years, well before the appearance of OMO cars, or god forbid - Flexities.
A wonderful tour of the entire system with especial focus on North Station and Fleetwood '1' Service and naturally a great coverage of Marton tram service are just parts of compelling viewing. Among the highlights are closeup coverage of Brush Car 290 (FHLT) entering into Rigby Road Depot and carefully taking up its place at the end of the track: Dreadnought 59 traversing Blundell Street tracks and much more of the system; Engineering Car 3 emerging from Blundell Street Depot on the southern track across Rigby Road and along the side of the Workshops; Standards entering service from Marton Depot and Balloons traversing across Manchester Square to begin Illuminations extras.
Bus enthusiasts are not forgotten, with a tantalising shot of Learner Bus 25 passing along the Promenade (and in colour)!, line ups of rear entrance PD2s at Rigby Road and ever frequent appearances of Burlingham centre entrance buses among the street tram segments (and all in colour). Depot interior views inside Blundell Street and Rigby Road are classics as well as Coronation car 304 pushing a failed Balloon along Hopton Road into the tram depot in closeup. ( Image : John Woodman)
There is a great value for those of us fortunate to remember those halcyon days of the town's tram system - with probability that somewhere you may see yourself on this or that tour (there are a great many - but not dominating the whole production).
The production begins with promenade scenes in the 1920s - black and white obviously. We see Dreadnoughts, Standards, Lytham St Annes open and closed single truck cars passing by together with an ex LUT car heading north - with detail. For the Author the great sequences (among many) were the constant stream of mixed types pursuing each other in proximity up and down the reserved tracks to Bispham and further north. All in all a marvellous production which I add personal thumbs up - (almost as good as Rigby Road's titles!). Our 1950s book (Heyday of Municipal Transport) is now being formatted and this DVD 'Return Ticket - Blackpool Tramways in the 1960s' is a great accompaniment. Copies may be obtained from Travel Lens Photographic. I am assured Brooks Collectables will soon stock the DVD.
Well done Tony Wilson......