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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Summer Weekend

The Fylde coast, and indeed most of the country, was blessed with exceptionally warm sunny weather this weekend. Barbecues were made ready and families headed for the seaside. All as it should be. The background chatter continued from the Tory Party Beauty Pageant (of two) but most people were attuned to enjoying the summer now that it has finally arrived. Compelling television from Wimbledon and the much hyped women's world cup football from France made a welcome break from the daily dose of incestuous political squabbling as to whose turn it is to be Prime Minister of the country.

Meanwhile Blackpool provided its own worthwhile entertainment (for those transport inclined). Catch22Bus's new ex Blackpool bus enlivened the seafront services, whilst the HeritageTour department put on that splendid red and cream boat car, only to pull it off the road midway between its scheduled duties to and from North Pier.

Below : Brothers in Arms ? Catch22Bus and its former IoM recycled bus recently part of the BTS fleet and now in a distinctive lime green and something blue livery of its new Owners. The competition on the promenade route immediately behind. The former 'Savoy' building still shrouded in scaffolding whilst a tedious makeover of its exterior continues.

Below : 018 in the light rail fleet awaits passage of the Heritage Tour Boat car summarily recalled to Rigby Road (hence DEPOT).

Work is underway to reclad the former 'Sands' venue on central Promenade with demolition of the 80s' (or is it 70s'?) structure to enable the new hotel and visitor attraction to be built on this famous site. There is even talk of a Blackpool Museum forming part of the package having attracted oodles of grant money from some fund or other to keep the design and development team in business until completion. This venue has been a long promised new visitor attraction. A permanent staff have been in place for several years in anticipation of something finally emerging to justify the millions of pounds being expended.

Hard to believe this was once the classical Palatine Hotel building with its turretted corner landmark, We are looking towards the Promenade from Hounds Hill as work is underway to turn the location into a new Blackpool icon. New steel pillars are being inserted which will provide the basis for cladding to cover the reconstituted structure seen here, plus added new floors for the hotel. Somewhere within the scheme will be the promised Blackpool Museum.

Oh - and a big thank you to Blackpool Transport's team at Starr Gate Depot for hosting my son, Alex, on his birthday and making his visit a memorable one.

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