Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wild West Train Ambushed!

6 May 1982. I saw in the paper a week before that the Common Market Tourism Minister, Georgis Contageorgis was being given a ride in the wild west tram to see Blackpool's sights. It was very rare then for any of the illuminated trams to be seen on the track during daylight and I went down to the North Pier to take a few photos.

I took a shot at the North Pier and then though it may be worth driving past it up the coast to get a few more shots.

On the way up to Bispham Station where it was due to turn round I saw a lot of people at Uncle Tom's Cabin. It turned out to be a demonstration against the continued closure of the cliff lift down to the boating pool.

Some are waving banners written in Greek but the tram does not stop. I get a photo but so does someone with "Press" written all over him. However he now slopes off, no doubt thinking he had done his job. Some of the protestors are quite angry at this point as the tram, whilst not travelling very fast, was obviously not going to stop and they had had to jump out of it's way. I know the tram has to come back down the track again so I wait with the protestors.

I'm in luck, the tram stops and the Minister gets off to talk with them and walks over to look at the lift.

I ring the Gazette and go to see a reporter called Steve Tate and they take and process my film. They phone me up later to say the photos came out well although they are not used. They do give me two fresh rolls of Ilford FP4 film for my trouble.

Large versions of the photos: tram, protestors, minister

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