Rigby Road Forever
The author has been randomly observing the comings and goings of Blackpool's buses accessing the transport hub on Rigby Road seemingly forever. From the days of elderly Titans ekeing out their final years, mostly in the open parking area adjoining the Bus Garage up until today's smart ADL fleet in its dominant 'Palladium' colours. Whilst the Garage interior has changed very little - the bus types and styles certainly have gone through several changes. A glimpse inside the Garage in the late 1950s taken by John Woodman provides a flavour of the way things were in those Corporation Transport Department days.
A Burlingham centre entrance streamliner stands alongside single deck survivors from the pre-war era. Notably evident is the solitary front entrance conversion example (Number 20) of the open Leyland 'Cheetah' class 19 - 24 delivered in 1939 and withdrawn in 1960. The experiment intended to operate as a PAYE vehicle did not gain favour with Drivers and their Union. Next to it mostly hidden is one of the two 1937 Leyland TS7 buses (7/8) which were heavily modified for snow clearance and salt gritting operation - although rarely used on these duties. Number 7 is fortunately in the care of an enthusiast and privately preserved in the south of England - literally the only pre-war Blackpool bus to survive. And finally at the very rear of the line up is the 'Committee Coach' decked in sombre all over black colours and also infrequently used.
This is one of the many unique images being incorporated in the Blackpool Bus Centenary book to be published next summer. Image Copyright : John Woodman