Up The Pool ! Blackpool 2 - Lincoln 1 Wembley Stadium May 30, 2021
The FHLT used their display tram at the Pleasure Beach (641) to celebrate the decades of Blackpool Football Club (BFC) which has consistently stayed close to the town's transport hub at Rigby Road. Bloomfield Road is famous for being home to the tangerine brand - and its current team have notched up an important victory at Wembley Stadium today. Blackpool 2 Lincoln 1 in the League 1 Playoff Final.
This will see the 'Seasiders' move up to the Championship League in the 2021-2022 Season of English Football. The sad memories of the previous decade under ownership of the Oyston family can be laid to rest with new leadership and management proving its value. Despite the closed stadium matches and fraught conditions for players and supporters - the Club has fought its way through to a deserved place in the second tier of English football with the win today.
As a longtime supporter of the town's football team, recalling youthful visits to Bloomfield Road standing on the open 'Kop' cheering tangerine clad players in matches of the old Division One League - it is gratifying to see the Club earn a deserved promotion in 2021. In those days of the 1950s and early 1960s it was memorable to see lines of Blackpool centre entrance buses lined up along the stop on Central Drive to catch the final whistle crowds rushing out from the Ground. Similarly on Lytham Road a surge of extra 'Football Specials' in the form of Balloon cars slowly crawling amid seasonal weekend traffic towards the queues lining up on both sides of the road to- swallow crowds of usually joyful fans (but not always).
Later memories are of the amazing procession along the promenade featuring open top 706 with the team and its manager and staff proudly celebrating promotion to the Premier League - sadly just one season but enough to make it a memorable year. I might have stood on Bispham Road to see the Burlingham Seagull coach pass by in 1952 with not just the team but also the FA Cup being shown to a proud town - but that memory has faded entirely.
Possibly Blackpool Transport might now splurge and repaint one of its trams and buses in the BFC colours to join the town's celebration over coming months. Like Blackpool Football Club which has remained faithful to its Corporation crest - Blackpool Transport over the years of operation up to its privatisation as an arms length Council owned organisation - maintained its identity with the same crest and eminent motto - 'Progress' on every bus and tram (and service vehicle).
A Football Special service 24 on Bispham Road heading to Bloomfield Road in the 1950s - as I remember them. It has just passed the stop for Moorpark Avenue. Below : the southbound tram stop for Bloomfield Road on Lytham Road with a typical service tram in this case - and obviously not a match day !