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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Blackpool Buses -

John Woodman

I was more than surprised to receive a large package today filled with photo prints of Blackpool buses (and trams) mailed in Huddersfield. These came from the owner of Blackpool PD2 300 = John Hinchliffe who has been patiently working on restoration of this classic vehicle over many years. Now reaching a certain age (much like myself) John is shedding some of his collection and materials and intending to retain the Burlingham bodied double deck bus from 1951.

Being in the process of finalising the content of the deferred book on Blackpool's buses the collection includes new images of the pre-BTS years which merit attention. Number 300 is an invaluable reminder of Blackpool Corporation's unique bus fleet when almost all of its vehicles were centre entrance - a design introduced by Walter Luff as soon as he took charge of the municipal operation in January 1933 as Transport General Manager,

Number 207 stands at Wordsworth Avenue in this late 1950s image. Photo John Woodman Archive

Nowadays the ability to capture pin-sharp images of buses and trams (and much else) is second nature to enthusiasts without recourse to loading film, adjusting apertures and speed and finding a convenient chemist to handle the developing and printing of the finite number of images. Times have changed well beyond those elemental days when Kodak Brownie cameras and eight or twelve exposure film rolls were the norm for youthful enthusiasts.

The last time I saw Number 300 in Blackpool was 1985 at the Tramway Centenary events when it was driven to the town to take part in the array of festivities. Along with sister bus 246 they are the only surviving reminders from an era of centre entrance styling which was the hallmark of Blackpool Corporation Transport Department under the aegis of Walter Luff. The preservation of 300 and 246 are important examples needing funding to bring them into public view and display. Mr Hinchliffe deserves local support and endorsement alongside efforts of rhe Fylde Transport Trust who are guardians of number 246.


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