‘Next stop for old tram is our school’

Pupils frrom Anchorsholme Academy, Cleveleys, have an original Blackpool tram, the Tiggerific Tram, to use as an outside play area and classroom. Pupils from left, Luke Parker, Caitlin Browne, Jason Chen and Charlie Kemp with a model of the tram.
Pupils frrom Anchorsholme Academy, Cleveleys, have an original Blackpool tram, the Tiggerific Tram, to use as an outside play area and classroom. Pupils from left, Luke Parker, Caitlin Browne, Jason Chen and Charlie Kemp with a model of the tram.
  • Original Blackpool tram was first in the country to carry advertising
  • Now it has been restored to its former glory but has made its final stop in a school playground
  • Unique ‘classroom’ offers a perfect place to spark children’s imaginations during lessons
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Schoolchildren are hailing their new tiger printed outdoor area a roaring success.

The unusual classroom taking centre stage in the playground of Anchorsholme Academy is an original Blackpool tram.

The 20 tonne vehicle once ferried passengers up and down the promenade while being the first tram in the UK to carry advertising, for Blackpool Zoo.

Now it is stationary in the grounds of the school on Eastpines Drive, Anchorsholme, to double up as both an outdoor classroom and ‘chill out zone’ for pupils. Headteacher Graeme Dow said: “The children love it. We wanted to get the tram back to how it looked, emblazoned in this ‘Tiggerific’ livery.

“It looks exactly the same as it did originally now, it’s fantastic.

“At that level it’s a bit of local history, but for the school it’s an extra facility. We’re the only school in the country to have a tram in its grounds.”

The school purchased the tram with the help of grant funding and fund raising, with the support of its ward councillor, Coun Tony Williams.

School bosses now have plans to install a television to play a video of a tram travelling the entire route of the tracks from Fleetwood to Squires Gate.

And teachers say the space offers inspiration for creative writing classes, a place well away for other classrooms for music lessons and a quiet space for small group work, as well as a warm, relaxing environment for children at playtimes.

Head girl Chloe Ferguson, 11, said: “It feels like we’ve got a bit of history in our school.”

Classmate Harry Coureau, 10, added: “History classes will be better in there because the tram is part of our history.”

Kayla Whiteside, 11, said: “We had a class in it and it was fun, it’s completely different to a classroom.”

Holly Jackson, 10, said: “Everyone wants to go in the tram, it’s better than a classroom.”

The academy is also inviting other schools in to use the resource to bring lessons to life.