Blackpool Trams in the 1980s


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Some years ago I was given an album of colour photos of Blackpool trams. They fall into two sets and I have presented them accordingly. One set was taken on a tram journey from South Shore to Bispham in 1985; the others were labelled 'Old trams in service for the 1885-1985 centenary of the Tram service'. I have hopefully put the 1985 set of photos in route order and identified where they were taken.

The photos were taken at around the time I had just moved with my wife and children from Lichfield to Lytham St Annnes to work at the new DSS IT site at the old Stocks & Bonds site on Heyhouses Lane which was later to become ITSA, and recently demolished, sold for building, and now largely been built on.

Maggie Thatcher was in her second term as PM; unemployment was running at over 3 Million; the miner's strike had just ended; there had been riots in Handsworth in Birmingham and PC Keith Blakelock had been killed during riots at Tottenham. HIV/AIDS was beginning to spread in the UK and the government AIDS: Don't Die of Ignorance campaign was not far ahead.

On a brighter note, the Live Aid concert took place at Wembley; Dire Straits released their Brothers in Arms album; the charity Comic Relief was founded and Nissan opened their car factory in Sunderland. Mobile phone services had just started and I got my first brick-sized mobile; the short-lived Sinclair C5 electric tricycle appeared; Eastenders had just started on TV; the first UK heart-lung transplant was carried out and Robert Ballard had discovered and photographed the wreck of Titanic - an old friend from Harland & Wolff acted as an adviser to James Cameron when he made his famous film 12 years later. Personal Computers (PCs) were available but connections were unimaginably slow by modern standards and there was no internet.

It is difficult to believe that these photos are 35 years old. I hope you will find them interesting. If anyone wants to send me further information I would be happy to add it to the site.

I would like to thank members of the History of Blackpool Facebook Group for answering my questions about various features along Blackpool promenade, and for other information recorded by group members.

Brian Watson
15 February 2021

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  • 15 February 2021: First publication of this material

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