Whilst at the Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day on 9th July I came across and purchased this photo of a horse drawn tram in Birkdale:-
Is this shot taken on Cemetery Road, Southport? Can it be dated by anyone?
Click on the scanned photo to enlarge it
The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-
Here are links to my previous postings about Southport’s long-gone trams:-
Sadly since my May 2014 posting about Southport’s Pier Tram it has also ceased to run and been disposed of. I understand this was said to be the result of it being too heavy for the aging pier.
BTW – Are the 3 chaps in the photo my old friends and Birkdale Ward Councillors, Richard Hands, Simon Shaw and Iain Brodie Brown?:-)))
How sad to hear of it’s demise seemingly because of issues to do with the structure of the pier and I assume the weight of tram.
Here is a shot of it in happier days:-
The photo is also on my Flickr pages at:-
The May edition of The Railway Magazine has a 6 page article entitled Pier Pleasure all about the pier railways of the UK of which we are told there used to be more than a dozen.
Few are left now but here in Sunny Southport we still have one and there is a short write up about the history of our local pier railway together with a photo of the Silver Belle diesel powered train which ran on the pier up until the 1970’s.
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/15748367594/in/photolist-pZCv2d-nB5wK3-njPo5G-qWy4zN
As well as Southport’s excellent rail service to Liverpool and the (let’s be charitable) it’s less than excellent service to Wigan and Manchester, the Town has two other railways that carry the public around.
The obvious one is the Pier Tram but a lack of ambition and forward planning by Sefton Council, in particular, means that what could be a useful east – west passenger carrying line still simply shuttles up and down the Pier.
End of the line or the end of Sefton Council’s ambition?
The aim of the Town’s Lib Dem councillors is to extend the line to either Southport Railway Station or even to the Central 12 retail park but is anyone in power listening? It seems not as our request for the plan/project to be be included in Sefton’s Local Plan for the Borough has been dismissed. A lack of ambition for the Town can be the only sad conclusion from Bootle based/biased Sefton Council.
The other line is the Lakeside Railway that has long been a summer-time tourist attraction. Sadly it is looking rather down at heel these days but maybe that is because it is not running past enough places that trippers want to visit? A line around the whole Marine Lake with stations at appropriate places may well be more in keeping with what Southport’s present day tourists require? Just an idea.
What all this tells me is that with Sefton Council now withdrawing behind it’s Bootle barricade Southport is unlikely to prosper if it’s future is left to Bootle Town Hall or even worse Liverpool Town Hall, should a Metro Mayor be imposed on Merseyside.
England’s Classic seaside resort sadly seems to need to find a way forward despite Sefton Council with its lack of ambition for the Town.
STOP PRESS – Since I penned this posting Sefton Council has also decided to build houses on the Kew Park and Ride car park site instead of looking to the future and using the site for parking cars using a new railway station on the Southport, Wigan, Manchester line. I despair!
The photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
Trams died out across the UK in the 1940’s and 50’s but Southport’s Pier Tram has continued to serve holiday makers and anyone else who wants to ride on a tram along the Town’s famously long pier. Blackpool may well be famous for its trams and places like Southport must very much regret letting theirs go.
Of course trams are making a big come back in some major cities such as Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham and Edinburgh and in Sunny Southport its Lib Dem councillors want to extend the tram to Southport Railway Station.
A good read about Southport’s former tram network is ‘Southport in the age of the tram’ by James Dean and Cedric Greenwood published in 2008 by Silver Link Publishing.
Photos of the Pier Tram are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
I posted about Southport’s trams not so long ago (12th January) and then quite by chance I found out about a meeting at the Greenbank Centre in deepest South Liverpool on 17th February run by the Tram and Light Railway Society. At the meeting a chap called Ron Phillips would be giving a presentation about Southport’s Tramways. I had to go of course.
A fascinating talk it was too and a few folk from far flung Southport even managed to get there.
Some interesting facts –
* A tram was ceremonially burned at Canning Road Depot on the last day of tram operation in the Town in 1934.
* Southport’s famous red and cream livery was introduced in 1919. I recall the fuss when sadly the buses lost that livery in the 1980’s.
* Southport is so flat that the usually two motored trams needed only one motor to run successfully.
* The photo’s above are are of hand made models of actual Southport Trams. With apologies for the poor quality of the photo’s which is my fault.
Our local tramway preservation society is based in Birkenhead; take a look at their web site linked below:-
My good friend Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker at Birkenhead Tramway Museum next to a restored Wallasey tram that he rode on as a boy.