Cliff Richard Blackpool tram ride was not the last time the line was used

Cliff Richard and the Shadows arrive at ABC theatre in Church Street Blackpool on May 31,1963
Cliff Richard and the Shadows arrive at ABC theatre in Church Street Blackpool on May 31,1963

Regarding the Looking Back photo in the Gazette (October 15), it is indeed one of Blackpool’s latter day historic events involving a wonderful singer, instrumental group and the iconic feature tram, which of course had to be operated backwards to return to the prom.

However, this was not the last time a tram ran on this section of the former Marton route, as there was a requirement to retrieve a double-deck balloon from Marton to Rigby Road depot for future use.

This is the type that still exists in the heritage fleet, and also in modified form for the Flexity back-up batch.

The background to this is one of Blackpool’s most disgraceful episodes in an otherwise glorious tramways history.

In October 1962 the Talbot Square to Royal Oak route closed, with the northern infrastructure kept intact for access reasons, as this was not possible on the southern section, as the Lytham Road route had been abandoned in 1961.

There was strong opposition to the closure of the Marton route, which was the last all street tramway in the British Isles.

Unfortunately only one survived as all the others and many other wonderful trams were scrapped in the Marton depot, a carnage that would of course not be tolerated in today’s tram friendly environment.

Perry Stephen Cliff

West Yorkshire