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From: "Scott McIntosh" <email@example.com>|
I think that you ought to know that the local authorities - Blackpool Council and Lancashire County and the system operator Blackpool Transport Services [BTS] are looking at ways of revitalising the tramway. I am pleased to say that my firm is providing advice in a number of key areas.
It would not be appropriate for me to speak of the work we are doing - I am sure that the Local authorities and BTS will make matters public in due time, however it would be appropriate for all who are interested in tramways and friends of the Blackpool Tramway to provide help and support. There is already a group for local people interested in the tramway, but it may be appropriate for people from a wider area to assist in lobbying politicians to provide active assistance - and money - to Blackpool to upgrade and extend the tramway. I am sure that the people involved in the system would welcome help and lobbying.
If there was a groundswell of support I am sure that we could assist BTS to work with willing helpers.
From: "Peter Makinson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What a lovely gallery, and so many memories. We are probably of the same era, as I was born in 1946 and grew up in Blackpool. I attended Blackpool Grammar School from 1957 to 1964. I worked on the trams in the summer season of 1964 and 1965 then on the buses in 1966 and 1967.
I have my own Fotopic gallery, and will happily add a link to your site and would ask if you might return the compliment. You can find me on http:/peterstransportalbum.fotopic.net or via the link on Alan Robson's site.
I do still get back to Blackpool quite regularly. Sadly I find the tramway seems to be crumbling away. The present management seem to want to contract the system until it will no longer be viable. They seem to use any excuse to substitute buses whenever they can. There were so few trams out over Easter just gone, and the few that were out couldn't operate reliably. Staff seem unwilling to take any initiative to resolve problems, and on one journey I got stuck on 761 at Thornton Gate for over half an hour because the lifeguard tray had dropped and the driver did not know how to reset it. I have written to Steve Burd with my observations about the disasters of the day, with long queues building up and eventually dispersing onto taxis for the most part.
I would love to see the tramway modernised, with perhaps a small heritage fleet retained. I cannot see how the expense of the Balloon rebuilds can be justified given that there are no savings to be made in staff terms. But whether any project to upgrade could ever meet government spending criteria is another question altogether. An extension to St.Annes is certainly worth considering because Starr Gate is now in the middle of nowhere, and the traffic south of the Pleasure Beach hardly justifies a bus service let alone the tramway. Many of the hotels down at that end are now old people's homes so they don't generate any traffic at all. The prototype articulated car looks quite dated already and I wonder how robust it would be for regular all year round service. I am not a great fan of some of the new generation trams with their suspended sections, and much prefer each body section to have some support, which is what you get with the Bombardier Flexity range. I ! remember too many of the 2 rooms and bath type articulated cars that appeared in the early 1960s and how quickly they shook themselves to pieces.
Please feel free to publish any of my ideas on you site. Anything that stimulates discussion is worth doing.
From: "Brunobel" <BeeE586@aol.com>
I found this site by chance when looking for information on County Durham - somehow Blackpool had moved from the west to the east coast. I lived in Blackpool from 1928 to 1942 and attended Claremont Juniors and the Collegiate School for Girls on Beech Avenue. My last visit to the town was in 1976 when I made a nostalgic journey by tram from St Anne's on Sea to Fleetwood and back again.
As a child I loved the decorated trams during the Illuminations and the rides in the dark along the prom. to Bispham to see the tableaux - it was the only time I was allowed out after dark ! I live in Sheffield now so have the use of a tram again. Now, as then, I find it a most convenient way of travelling as I can get my wheelchair straight on to the tram, something the Blackpool authorities might like to consider when updating/extending the system. Buses are no go areas for disabled people who wish to retain some semblance of independence.
Thank you for a fascinating trip down memory lane.
From: "John Senese" <email@example.com>
Quite a nostalgic visit by me today. I lived in Blackpool in Gorse Road, just off Whitegate Drive for years and when I went to school [the old Blackpool Grammar School in Raikes Parade] I used to use the trams to travel backwards and forwards to school.
I always regretted the decision to remove the trams and replace them with the buses. Never mind, that's progress. Lovely website.
From: "Geoffrey Holland" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As long as is possible keep the old style tram even the trolley arms on some, but having said that new routes should be new trams as older cars would look out of place using them so expand yes but tram history is a big thing not to be forgotten.
Blackpool means TRAMS AND TOWER ORGAN KEEP THEM BOTH!
The worst thing that happened to London Area was the sudden vanishing act of all trams and trolleybuses the bus services were never so good after the smooth trolleys public were not happy with the new diesel bus.
A neighbour has just return from Blackpool and he was very upset by the pantograph and no trolley pole on trams but he did say how smooth they were.
From: "Tony Buffin" <Tonybuffin@aol.com>
I just wanted to say that your tram web site has brought back some great memories of my life growing up in Waterloo Road, South Shore and I still visit Blackpool frequently as my father still lives in our house there.
When in Blackpool I park up the car up and use the trams as much as possible as it is easier to get round using them. I hope they go on and on.
Will you visit Blackpool again in the future to get some modern up_dates for your site?
From: "Burglar Bill" <email@example.com>
A nice site
From: "Edwin Turner" <Edwin.Turner@btinternet.com>
Yes I suppose the tramway system does need modernising in the future to keep going, perhaps light rail systems like Manchester and Sheffield and extended into different areas, but if they do perhaps they could keep the old timers and run them along the prom as frequently as possible during season.
I know they won't last forever, but lose them altogether and the appeal has gone - the transport mode will just become "a long train on the road".
From: "Paul Nield" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Very interesting selection of pictures from 1962 but are you sure about the location of Picture 508a - Whitegate Drive, looking North around the junction with Condor Grove?
I have lived very close to that junction since 1979 [a distant view of my house is on one of your pictures!] and the picture doesn't seem right to me. My guess is that this picture was actually taken a little further north somewhere near the junction of Woodland Grove, opposite the old Whitegate Drive Health Centre and is actually looking south. Compare it with picture 501A and there is no shelter outside the old Elmslie School. Unfortunately I can't make out the destination indicator on the tram which would have been useful!
I'm prepared to be corrected on this as changes would have happened between 1962 and 1979 that I wasn't aware of. Previously I lived in Cleveleys and rarely visited Marton.
Still it's all good stuff, who knows one day we may see trams down here again. Shame about all the flats going up around here these days.
From: "Peter Nuttall" <nuttalpj01@LeedsLearning.net>
I've just discovered your site, quite by accident, but what a terrifically nostalgic set of pictures. I went to the Grammar School between 1961 and 1968 and in fact we were the first new intake to go to the new building at Highfurlong. The trams were a major means of transport for me in those days, as I lived in North Shore and most of my friends were strung out along the coast. Anyway, keep up the good work.
From: "Colin Macleod " <email@example.com>
Photograph 508a was taken just north of Cumberland Avenue. I remember sheltering from a heavy rainstorm in the shelter as a youngster in the mid 50s looking at a crossover. This was removed sometime in the mid to late 50s and is shown on some old transport maps. As i lived on Whitegate Drive,I used the trams a lot and have many happy memories,esp,the last night they ran on Sunday 28th October 1962, although for the residents, and myself, it was really a sad occasion.