End of an era for Dickson Road trams

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This weekend marked a milestone for the closure of one of Blackpool’s tram routes.

The last tram was driven along Dickson Road, North Shore on Sunday, October 27, 1963, ending both a service that had started in 1898 and 37 years of tram driving for Thomas Reginald Leeming.

Half a century ago last night, his route completed, Mr Leeming, who was 62, returned the double deck tramcar to the Blundell Street depot - and retired.

Mr Leeming, who lived in Devonshire Road, Bispham, had joined the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramway Company at Bispham in 1917 and two years later the Blackpool Corporation Transport Department.

He drove the last tram, carrying a civic party, from Blackpool North Station along the Dickson Road route to Gynn Square and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and back to the depot.

Two other trams - the scheduled service tram and an additional tram for those wanting to take the last journey to Fleetwood - went ahead of the civic party. Not surprisingly both were packed.

Mr Leeming’s conductor was Albert Brown, of Broughton Avenue, Layton, who had been with the Corporation for 34 years.

After the journey Mr Leeming told The Gazette that in his 46 years with tramways he had never lost any time by being late for duty and had taken only three months off for sickness.

Heading the civic party were the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Coun Harold Hoyle and Mrs Hoyle, accompanied by various council officials including Transport Committee chairman Coun Horace Ward.

The Dickson Road route was replaced by buses fifty years ago today - on Monday, October 28.

Our photograph shows a double deck tram on Dickson Road heading, having left North Station for Gynn Square in September 1961, two years before the route was axed.