Whilst many aspects of the Fylde coast’s tramway heritage are now being preserved for the enjoyment of future generations, it is sad to report that one very notable item has recently been lost. Copse Road Depot, the only such building in Fleetwood, is currently being demolished, after serving as the home of the Fleetwood Car Centre for many years after ceasing to house trams back in the 1960s.
Other than the current tram depots at Rigby Road and Starr Gate, Copse Road was the only surviving tram depot on the Blackpool system and was clearly visible from the tramway itself on the way into Fleetwood. Being in such a prominent location, it was a natural choice of home for the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust’s collection of trams and was for a while earmarked for development as a new museum. Of course this never happened – although the Trust are still hoping to create a new visitor attraction near to the docks – and the car sales unit remained trading until now, as the last occupants of this historic building. Dating from 1897, its poor condition has presumably led to its demolition but this is still a sad end for one of the last surviving remnants of the original Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company.
Of interest, the building has retained its original stone wall plaques revealing its history to anyone who may otherwise not have realised its significance. It is to be hoped that these will be recovered as their preservation would at least be some consolation for the loss of the depot itself. A similar stone has already been saved and can be seen at the National Tramway Museum, but wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one kept in Blackpool, and perhaps eventually put on display to the public?