Memory Lane: Rocket Man Perry’s tram memories

The Rocket tram, and the original poster (below).
The Rocket tram, and the original poster (below).
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A RECENT visit to the Illuminations brought back memories of a Saturday night with a difference for former Blackpool man Perry Cliff, who has lived in Yorkshire for many years.

Perry admits he smiled when he saw the famous Rocket tram was back in service – of sorts – as a static display in the middle of Gynn roundabout.

A poster advertising tours aboard the illuminated Rocket tram

A poster advertising tours aboard the illuminated Rocket tram

For Perry, whose home is now in Otley, was a bus and tram conductor during the 1996 season.

One Saturday evening as he was finishing his shift, the inspector asked if he was interested in earning some overtime aboard one of the illuminated trams.

Perry, 64, said: “It turned out to be the Rocket Tram which in those days made special Lights tours from Talbot Square and I was to be the conductor and guard.

“The inspector told me that it would be an unusual night because the inside of the tram was at quite an angle for collecting fares.

“Fortunately I had plenty of time to acclimatise before making my way up slowly and carefully as far as the front seats to collect the ticket money.

“After that I was the guard for the remainder of the journey. Like the passengers, I enjoyed the novelty of seeing the Lights from such an iconic form of public transport.

“There has never been anything like it before or since.”

Perry added: “It was so good to see the Rocket back on the seafront this year, even if it was not going anywhere, and I also caught a glimpse of the other illuminated trams, the Wild West Train in all of its restored glory, HMS Blackpool and the Trawler.”