Tuesday, 1 December 2009

ABC Wednesday - Trams

Turned out to be a tricky letter so what could I find, trams. Location the seaside town of Blackpool. In the background the other T in the photo which is Blackpool Tower. We were there in July for a cup final. I've used this trip before, for the last ABC Letter E. Despite the team loosing, I have at least got two posts out of it, yippee. We did what you always do at the seaside, take pictures and have an ice cream;
although on a very windy day, not venturing into the water. Possibly not a day to go up Blackpool tower although it has been standing there since 1894 so no doubt people have been up in all weathers. Not sure what the black and white tower was but the crane is there because there is a lot of work going on to modernise the frontage.
so it will all look like this. More cranes on the right but on the left is part of the big dipper which is where this tram will be heading,

because it says on the front - Pleasure Beach. There have been trams in Blackpool since 1885, single deckers and

double deckers. It was one of the first electrical tramways in the world. Across the bay in Barrow they had just replaced the horse buses with steam trams but
in 1904 the British Electrical Traction Company completed a scheme of electrical tramways which apparently, I learned on the Tramways & Light Railway Society page, was of intermediate gauge. Unlike Blackpool the trams only lasted until 1932 when they were replaced by buses. As you can see this is also a double decker tram, but with an open top, they were hardy souls in the early 1900s. All the buildings in this photograph are still there but the road has changed considerably, not only because it is now jammed with cars, but there are also three sets of traffic lights down this end of Abbey Road.

This postcard was sent to my Great Aunt Rachel, who I never met, I think she and one of her sisters emigrated to Canada. The card wishes her a happy new year and is date stamped 1 Jan but the postmark is incomplete so the date is unknown.
Swindlehurst family at Hazelslack Tower farm
Rachel is the little girl in the checked dress on the left. The reason I have the card is that my Grandmother Winifred, who is the little girl standing in the middle leaning against her mothers knee, collected postcards in her early life. I like the way they have taken a table outside to put the family bible on and then grouped around it.

How quickly the world changed, at the time when the electric tram system was completed in 1904 Marconi was patenting his radio system in the USA, the summer Olympics were being staged in St Louis along with the world fair, the suffragettes were fighting for votes for women in Britain and the Russo-Japanese war was an ominous sign of wars to come.

To end on a lighter note, here are where notes float on the air for it is Radio City Tower in Liverpool also known as St John's Beacon.

And a tower that looks as though someone is building a rocket to take-off for Mars or the Moon, but is actually the scaffolding round the Hoad Monument (a lighthouse) while it is renovated and painted. I wonder what colour it is going to be. Watch this space, but unfortunately not outer space.

For more themes on the letter T go to the participants of the ABC Wednesday meme


Sylvia K said...

What a great collection of "T" words! Really interesting post for the day!

Enjoy your week!


jabblog said...

Very interesting and informative post. I love the postcard though - such a wealth of detail there. Thank you for sharing.

Mara said...

I've been to Blackpool once, but only for about two hours. I found it hopelessly confusing (driving a coach) and was glad to leave again. I do hope to return some day and see it properly though.

Hildred and Charles said...

Wonderful post. Love the Trams and the picture from Tower Farm is beautiful and priceless.

Roger Owen Green said...

Albany, NY used to have some sort of tram system years ago; the tracks still show up in the potholes. Train-like services are SO civilized...

Paula Scott said...

A titillating collection of 't's'! I am floored (in a good way) by it! Those towers (all of them including the family) are all so fascinating. What a sad comment that today's family is centered around the televiosn instead of a Bible. How times have changed.

Reader Wil said...

It's been a long time that I was in Blackpool! I think it has been more than 57 years ago.
What I like about the UK is that there is always a beach in the neighbourhood. I like the Cornwall beaches very much. Great post!

Tumblewords: said...

Towers and trams! Just doesn't get better than this. Terrific post.

Judi said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing this great collection of Ts.

Jay said...

Oooh, trams! They have those in Sheffield, too! :)

I think the black and white tower is a lighthouse?