At a time of major change for the Blackpool tramway, it seems highly appropriate that the Fylde Tramway Society, which was formed to support the retention of the system back in 1971 when its future looked increasinly bleak, is also in a period of change. The recent Convention weekend saw the confirmation that a number of new Committee members have been appointed, which will give the Society a fresh feel for the tramway’s new era.
Probably the most noticeable change to FTS members will concern the Society’s monthly magazine, the Fylde Tramway News. After around a decade in control, James Blythe has stepped down from his role as Editor and will be replaced by a familiar name to readers of British Trams Online – Andrew Blood. As well as maintaining his own Facebook site ‘Trams Today’, Andrew has been a big help to this website in recent months, contributing many photos to our news pages, and so we wish him well with his new role.
Some enthusiasts had questioned whether the FTS would have continued relevance but, with plenty of interest in Blackpool’s traditional trams on the Fylde coast and elsewhere, the Society is still sure to have plenty of support. Hopefully the membership will also embrace the new light rail era, and back both Blackpool Transport and Blackpool Borough Council in their long-term mission to expand the existing system, with an extension to North Station already mooted as a possibility for the future.
The FTS is not the only group to see change as another friend of British Trams Online, Martin Bryan is now a Committee Member for the Manchester Transport Museum Society, operators of the Heaton Park Tramway. Once again it is pleasing to see someone who has been a very prominent active member in recent years rewarded for their efforts, and we wish Martin and the rest of the Committee well as the tramway pushes forward in the latest phases of its development.