A Tale of Two Shelters
Whilst there is incessant fixated attention given to individual heritage trams - there is equal importance in giving air time to the fixed infrastructure serving a tramway which originated well over a hundred years ago. Of course most of the early artifacts and principal features such as three depots on the Blackpool to Fleetwood line have all been demolished or removed. However two interesting remnants from the halcyon days of the route remain as prominent features - at Bispham and Little Bispham.
Built by Blackpool Corporation and designed in a period when styles were changing radically from Edwardian and 1920s norms - both tram station structures were intended as 'statement' buildings to enhance and underpin the importance of the localities they served.
Bispham Station has benefitted in the past year from internal renewal as the result of a lessee now operating a cafe that utilises the former staff offices and parts of the platform - still providing passengers with access on to the light rail service northbound. External refurbishment has seen the structure improved all over with addition most recently of a clock in the roof roundel facing the Promenade.
Little Bispham Station similarly has received tlc from Blackpool Council including extensive treatment to the brickwork and roof. New glazing with replacing frames at both ends has just been fitted. The missing clock in the roundel on the roof frontage is still missing but glazing has been inserted in the frame to improve the appearance of this classic structure. In this case it is not known who the benefactors are for this welcome work.
Contractors finishing off the paint work on Little Bispham Station new glazing this week.
A further element requiring attention is the condition of the overhead traction poles which now are very weather worn and require a paint job - if only the Council had a pole painting team on hand (which they don't). However we should be grateful for the measures taken on these two iconic tramway structures familiar to generations since the 1930s.