The news that Blackpool trams might once again be travelling – gliding, rather than trundling – up and down Talbot Road sent reader John McGlynn straight into his garden shed.
That was where he had stored, for close on two decades, a fascinating map, dated October 25, 1918, produced by Blackpool Corporation Tramway.
John says: “I have the large linen plan for the town’s public transport routes.
“This clearly shows the tram routes as well as several proposed bus routes.
“One of the tram routes is up Talbot Road to Blackpool North Railway Station and then on as far as the cemetery on Westcliffe Drive, Layton.
“My family was in business in the century before last, in 1898 in Sefton Street and Queen Street. Therefore I have always had an interest in anything old or historical concerning the town.”
But John reveals: “Mind you, while the book collection takes up a few shelves, this transport map has had to sit in our back garden for about the last 18 years.”
The proposed Blackpool Corporation bus services on the plan were Number One, two miles in length, connecting Hoo Hill with Bispham; Number Two, five and a half miles to and from Hoo Hill and Devonshire Square going via Poulton Road, Hardhorn, Normoss and Newton Drive; Number Three, a four mile route between Revoe Library and the Waterloo Road junction with Central Drive, via Central Road, Hawes Side, Highfield Road and Middle Lane; and finally Number Four, two miles between Cleveleys and Thornton.
But once again attention has focused on restoring a tram service along Talbot Road. The proposed route would run from a set of points in Talbot Square which have already been installed at North Pier.
A tram route ran up the road until 1936 and could now be restored with almost £90m of funding set to be pumped into transport projects across the Fylde coast, including a probable £16m towards extending the tram tracks from North Pier to Blackpool North railway station. Blackpool Council has until 2015 to find another £1.8m and put forward a suitable business plan.