Tram Journey 1985: Gynn Square to Bispham


I believe the next photo was taken just south of the position of the present Berkeley Hotel but am not 100% sure. The shapes of the building and windows looks about right to me.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 38 [1]
Berkeley Hotel
Berkeley Hotel by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo shows 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' as it was in 1985. The original attraction of that name was a clifftop hut that sold refreshments and was built in the 1850s and named after the first owner Thomas Parkinson. Later a figurehead featuring a black man was washed ashore nearby and stuck on the roof. At around this time Harriet Beecher Stowe's book was written with the same name but was not the inspiration for the name by all accounts.

The original building was destroyed by cliff erosion in 1906 and its replacement shown built further inland. If you were to look in the opposite direction to the one of this photo you would see the 'Cabin' tram stop, and behind it the 'Cabin Lift', another Grade II Listed Building, which is built on the site of the original Uncle Tom's Cabin and took passengers down to where there was formerly an open air pool. The lift is no longer operational. The later Uncle Tom's Cabin building shown in the photo is now called 'Ma Kelly's Showboat' and many of the nicer wooden features have gone.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 39 [1]
Ma Kelly'sShowboat
Ma Kelly's Showboat by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next four photos show some of the illuminations ready for the new season and located between Gynn Square and Bispham.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 40 [1]
Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 41 [1]
Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 42 [1]
Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 43 [1]

Tram driver/conductor with an unidentified type of ticket machine.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 44 [1]

The next image shows the Miner's Convalescent Home about which Wikipedia says the following:

The Miners' Convalescent Home was a convalescent home for miners in the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It was built 192527 for Lancashire and Cheshire miners and was opened by Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1995, English Heritage designated the home a Grade II listed building. The building was designed by Bolton architecture firm Bradshaw Gass & Hope in the Baroque Revival style. It has a symmetrical plan and is on three storeys. It is constructed of red brick with terracotta dressings; the hipped roofs are slate. The central bays are recessed between projecting wings. Towards the rear of the building there is a tower with an ogee cap.

The building continued to function as a convalescent home until the 1980s and in 2005, was turned into apartments.

As you can see from the modern photo below, the main building, which in my opinion is the most beautiful in Blackpool, has been kept but some additional buildings have been added alongside. The latter are not entirely awful but certainly uninspiring.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 45 [1]
Miners' Convalescent Home
Miners' Convalescent Home by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next image is looking down Redbank Road Bispham. Sainsbury's store is in the centre distance and must have been pretty new in 1985. The modern view is little changed.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 46 [1]
Redbank Road
Redbank Road by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

This photo shows the Bispham Tram StationThis has also changed very little since 1985 though does look a little more drab.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 47 [1]
Bispham Tram Station
Bispham Tram Station by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

This is the last in the sequence of photos showing the tram journey from The Sandcastle to Bispham in 1985. You may also be interested in looking at the collection of photos of Blackpool Trams that were in use at the time of the Centenary; you can access these from the menu.