Closure of Blackburn to Accrington | Closure of Blackburn to Darwen | Closure of Witton to Cherry Tree
Closure of Blackburn to Preston New Road | Closure of Blackburn to Queen’s Park 
Closure of Blackburn to Wilpshire | Souvenir of the Abandonment of Tramways
Blackburn and Darwen Trams

 

 

 Closure of Blackburn to Accrington 

 
Church to Accrington April 1st, 1932.
Intack to Church January 17th, 1949.
Blackburn to Intack September 3rd, 1949.
 
 
Tramway Committee Monday 21st March, 1932.
Abandonment of Accrington to Church Tram Section.
 
The Town clerk read a letter from Town clerk of Accrington, intimating that the order obtained by Accrington Corporation from the Ministry of Transport, for the abandonment of the length of tramways between Accrington and Church, will definitely be carried into effect as from the lst April 1932.
 
Official Leaflet: Blackburn Corporation Transport.
 
Abandonment of trams between Intack and Church. Commencing Monday 17th January, 1949, the TRAM SERVICE between INTACK and CHURCH will be abandoned, and a service of omnibuses will operate between BLACKBURN and CHURCH. The tram service between BLACKBURN and INTACK will continue to operate until further notice.
 
Blackburn Times September 9th, 1949.
Closure of Service September 3rd, 1949.
 
Thousands gathered to bid good-bye to the old vehicle, almost unrecognisable in a brilliant guise of multi-coloured bulbs and bunting. Even the usual destination indicator had given way to the "VETERAN" at the front and "FAREWELL" at the rear.
 
To escort the last tram to its resting place, a pilot car filled with long service drivers and conductors, some of whom had served on the old horse and steam trams, took an honoured place in front of the illuminated vehicle. Driver John Bullock, of Gloucester Road drove the pilot tram away. The entire length of the route was lined with cheering people determined to be associated with this historic ceremony. The path of the last tram was strewn with pennies, which once crushed on the rails could be kept as souvenirs of the occasion. A nice gesture on the part of Councillor Wier was the handing over of the controls to Mr. A. Potts, senior, father of the present transport manager. The elder Mr. Potts drove the last steam tram into the depot 49 years ago and now had the distinction of steering the last electric tram into the same depot.
 

 
 
 

 
jJH0077.jpg
 
 
Blackburn to Darwen Route October 1st, 1946. Blackburn to Darwen Boundary Route July 2nd, 1949.​
 
 
Northern Daily Telegraph October 7th, 1946. Page 5.
 
Thousands of Darwen people on Saturday night watched the last tram journey in the town. In a beflagged illuminated car members and chief officials of the Corporation travelled from the depot to the circus, then to the Blackburn boundary, back to the Circus, and finally into the sheds. The last tram bore the bold inscription "46 Years Public Service. Commenced 1900 - Retired 1946," Another car carried other Corporation guests.
 
Thus ended Tramway through running between the two towns, however Blackburn trams will continue to run to the Borough boundary.
 
Northern Daily Telegraph July, 1949. Page 3.
 
Without ceremony the last tramcar left Blackburn at 11pm on Saturday night to the Boundary at Darwen and returned to the depot shortly before midnight. Yesterday morning a bus service was introduced. Blackburn will completely abandon its trams in September when buses take over the last tram stronghold to Intack.
 

 
 
 
 

Closure of Witton to Cherry Tree 

 
March 31st, 1939.

 
Blackburn Times April 7th, 1939.
Jolly Last Tram to Cherry Tree.
 
With fitting ceremony Blackburn withdrew trams from the Cherry Tree section on Friday (in favour of buses), just 40 years to the day after electric tramcars started to run to Witton Stocks, subsequently lengthened to Cherry Tree in 1903. All along the route considerable interest was taken in the last tram, which started from the Boulevard at 11-5 p.m., with Driver Robert Barker in charge. Mr. J. E. Bury, the conductor, also had the experience of taking the last tram on the Audley section, the first length of tramways in the borough to be scrapped in favour of buses, in February, 1935. A big crowd had gathered at the terminus to see the tram begin it's last journey from Cherry Tree. Some placed halfpennies on the line so that the tram (No. 70 ), might turn them into souvenirs. Councillor Tempest, wearing the conductors cap, utilised the opportunity to collect £2-1s, for the Mayoress's Infirmary Fund. Thus the trams made their exit from the Cherry Tree section, and Saturday morning saw the start of the new bus service.
 

 
 
 
 

Closure of Blackburn to Preston New Road 

 

January 6th, 1946.
 
 
Blackburn Times January 6th, 1946.
PRESTON ROAD TRAMS DISPLACED.
 
Buses superseded trams on the Preston road route on Monday last, when a week's trial to ascertain whether the timing of the buses is satisfactory. Thus another tram stronghold fell to the bus.
 

 
 
 
 

Closure of Blackburn to Queen’s Park 

 
February 13th, 1935.

jJH0185.jpg 
 
Northern Daily Telegraph: February 13th, 1935. Page 9, Col. 6.
The Last Shall Be The First. Buses For Trams On Blackburn Route.
 
The last tram service introduced at Blackburn is the first to be discontinued. At eleven o'clock tonight the last tram will leave for Audley, and tomorrow will see the advent of the bus. The service started on December 4, 1903, two months after the Witton route had been extended to Cherry Tree. As the narrow streets made a double track impossible, long halts on the loops and a comparatively slow service resulted.
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 24th, 1947.
 
 
Blackburn Times December 24th, 1947. Page 3, Col. 2.
Buses replace Trams.
 
Electric trams which have run on the Wilpshire route since May 14th,1902, were replaced by buses on Sunday last. On the last tram from Wilpshire on Saturday night, three leading officials of the Transport Department, Mr. J. Harrison, Chief Inspector Dabbs and Miss Ellis travelled on the platform, Councillor G. Haworth was also a passenger. Driver was W. Bentham.
 
 
 
 
 

Souvenir of the Abandonment of Tramways

 
On October 5th 1946 Darwen gave up its trams. The Borough Transport Department produced this souvenir to mark the event.
 
tram1.jpg 
 
tram2.jpg
tram31.jpg
tram4.jpg

 

As cities and towns grew and populations increased the need for some means of mass transport over short distances became apparent. At first horse-drawn omnibuses were seen as the answer, but many northern towns had streets that were too steep for horses, mechanical power was needed. Steam power on the railways had been a success, so it seemed logical to introduce small scale light railways to the towns. And successful they were, though complaints were made about the noise and dirt and they were fairly soon superseded by electric trams, which were quieter, cleaner and cheaper to run.
 

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