Blackpool, 12th August 2009.
Many cities in Britain have re-instated, or are in the process of re-instating their tramways. In Edinburgh, we found Princes Street dug up, while they laid the rails for the new tramway system … roughly where the old ones used to be.
Only one town never gave up its trams, and that’s the seaside resort of Blackpool, although whether they were retained for utility or just as a tourist attraction is hard to say. Shortly after my visit, I saw a TV interview with the late Keith Waterhouse, aboard a Blackpool tram in which he wondered if the trams, licensed for weddings, could also be used for funerals.
‘You could have the Hammond Sauce Works brass band playing on the lower deck’
he suggested ‘while the mourners scattered the ashes from the top deck!’
Here are trams ancient and modern; double-deckers and single deckers … including an open-topped single decker known as ‘The Boat’. Unfortunately, it was out of service when I visited, but I did manage a ride on an open-sided vintage model called ‘The Toast Rack’.
There’s a scaled-down ‘boat’ operating on the Seaton Tramway in Devon, which features minituarised and cut-down trams from all over the country and I believe that a Blackpool tram found its way to San Francisco, where they operate vintage trams from all over the world on the F Line.
How do you describe a tram ride, though? Rattly and noisy? A ‘step back into yesteryear’? Have a look at my video!
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