Friday, 31 July 2015

Just a Tram at Twilight...

September 1985 - doesn't it take me a long time to write these blog entries? Anyway on one warm evening we had gone for a walk up the Promenade and went up to the North Pier to capture a few of the illuminated trams coming out to play.

If I were asked what was my favourite of the illuminated trams it would be hard to choose between this and the western train. But I've always liked this 1950s vision of what a space ship would look like. The tram had a body raked up at 30 degrees - the only one of Blackpool's fleet to have such an arrangement. It rejoiced in the name of Tramnik 1 - by the end of the 1950s the Americans were only just getting thinking about space travel. The Russians though had managed to put a satellite called Sputnik 1 in orbit in 1957. It orbited the Earth every 96 minutes and stayed up for three months before it burned up in the atmosphere falling back to Earth in early 1958.

Tramnik 1 did slightly better, retiring from use in 1999 after 38 years. It was capable of being driven in reverse but this was not a sophisticated arrangement and today's Health and Safety regulations would require extensive work before it could ever be allowed to run again, but the external lighting was rewired and the tram displayed on the Gynn Square roundabout for the 2012 illuminations.

Tram 761, one of only two Jubilee trams built, seen at Central Pier. It was built on the chassis of Balloon tram 725. The tram was elongated and had doors fitted either end for use as one-man-only operation. It first ran in 1979 and due to its high passenger capacity was used throughout the year mainly on Fleetwood runs. It later acquired all-over advertising - something I (and most tourists I've spoken to) hate - ending up bright orange, advertising Wynsors World of Shoes. It was withdrawn in 2011.

I love night photography but the best shots seem to come not when the sky is black, but at twilight when there's still a hint of blue in the sky. In this case, some cloud turns the sky a patchwork of blue and dark adding interest to this shot of Standard Tram 40, closely followed by a Balloon tram travelling south past the Golden Mile.

They are worth another look. On its way back to the depot, Standard 40 has only a few passengers and I suspect some of them may be workers at the end of a shift.

I'll finish with a daytime shot. There never needs to be an excuse to show either Lewis's store or the Dreadnought tram!

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