Friday, 5 November 2010

Illuminations Trams and Buses

Just a week ago tonight we braved the howling gales and rain (I'm not kidding...) and went for a walk along the Illuminations on the cliffs at Bispham. The night started with David and Jeannie coming round and we drove to within half a mile of the sea front and parked. Any closer and roads were gridlocked.

We had tea in the Middle Chippy on Red Bank Road and then walked up to the Illuminations.

Blackpool's surviving Coronation tram was stopped at Bispham Station. These trams came out in 1953, hence the name as it was the year of the Queen's coronation. They were very heavy trams and caused damage to the track in places and were not kept in service as long as some of the other old vehicles. You can easily tell them from the similar looking Twin Cars that sometimes operate without trailers as the lights are side by side on the Coronation but the Twin Cars have the white light above the red one.

This one is a bit more modern - an illuminated tram conversion from a 1930s tram. This is one of the staples of Blackpool's illuminated fleet these days.

Whereas this was one of the 1960s set of illuminated trams - quite possibly the most-loved of them. Restored last year using lottery funding, the Wild West train with calaboose has been kept in its original 1960s livery and even has the long-disappeared ABC TV advertising that it carried when brand new!

We reached the end of the cliff tableaux and turned our backs to the wind to be blown back up the hill to Bispham.

As we got close to Red Bank Road again we saw an open-topped bus with a few wind-swept and rather damp passengers huddled on the top deck.

Despite the red colour and the London destination blinds, this is not one of the famous London Routemasters. But even so, it looked quite good inching down the Promenade in the long line of traffic heading south towards Blackpool.

Large versions of the photos: Coronation Tram, Ship Tram, Wild West Train, Red Bus

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