Talbot Square - 1960
Municipal Transport Rationalisation - Blackpool Buses and Trams in the 1960s :
The forthcoming title from Rigby Road Publishing : Photo John Woodman
This busy scene captures Talbot Square in front of the Town Hall at the beginning of the decade. Foremost is experimental Vambac rail coach 208 leaving the terminus and entering the short single track leading into Clifton Street. Alongside is one of the new 'prestige' fibreglass bus stop signs erected at select locations in the town during this period. As a backdrop the classic Yates Wine Lodge building neatly bisects Clifton Street and Talbot Road with period road direction signs providing information to the town's many visitors. The Tivoli Cinema peaks out on to Clifton Street, unusual inasmuch as one had to climb stairs from the street level to gain entrance but still popular with locals and visitors alike.
Trams gained Abingdon Street directly in front of the equally imposing General Post Office building (fortunately still with us at the present time - if empty). Clifton Street was a busy thoroughfare with many shops and local businesses on their upper floors. A quality menswear store occupied the corner with Abingdon Street. Hunters distinguished itself by a large equestrian figure on the exterior - a local landmark. The town's street lighting department excelled in quality lighting design with several of its then current styles in the view - appropriately enough in front of the Town Hall. The Mayoral Limousine (FV 1) is parked in front of the Town Hall steps complete with an illuminated Corporation crest affixed above the driver's position.
The postwar police emergency telephone box painted in a pale blue is on the corner with workmen at work - probably on pavement repairs. A wheelbarrow testifies to their labour. Well dressed pedestrians hurry about in all directions in what in those days was a flourishing town centre compared to the barren setting in 2019. Perhaps the new build hotel will bring renewal when it opens in 2020 occupying the site formerly Yates Wine Lodge. Another rail coach stands by the photographer waiting for its turn to head to Royal Oak - an amazing 4 minute service frequency in those great times.