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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Swallow Sidecar- Born in Blackpool

Who could have thought that the origins of the Jaguar Motors brand were founded in Cocker Street, Blackpool as Swallow Sidecar ? The resort alongside its neighboring communities on the Fylde coastline are a rich trove of transport heritage embracing aviation, rail and road travel. Swallow's fortunes went on to reemeerge as Jaguar SS in the prewar year having relocated to Coventry to become a bespoke car builder of note. The 'SS' was dropped in the aftermath of the war because of its overtones. (Although Blackpool trams destination blinds continued to show 'Blackpool SS' travelling along Lytham Road well into the 1960s).

Swallow Sidecar is joined in the pantheon of Blackpool firms famed in road transport circles to the present day. HV Burlingham which became the market leader in coach and bus design from the 1930s for three decades until takeover by Duple Motors - had its own origins in Marton and later Preston New Road where its new coaches and buses were viewed by passing traffic. Hoo Hill Brickworks was the unlikely home of another famous Blackpool company with its origins in the postwar era. TVR is fondly remembered for its association with the resort and its founder who gave his initials to his company's products. Ending up on Bristol Avenue TVR was for a brief few years a foremost designer and builder of avant garde sports saloon cars - many still on the road and cherished by their owners.

We will deal with the aviation fame of Blackpool in a subsequent Blog. Part of initiatives to create a fylde coast heritage transport image beyond the town's famous period trams under new management in 2020.

Below : A sample trade advertisement from HV Burlingham with one of its new coach designs from the mid 1930s. John Woodman Archive

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