Built between 1923 and 1929, when the last of the Blackpool ‘Standard’ trams were withdrawn from service in the mid-1960s, they were arguably the last traditional trams in operation on the streets of Great Britain, as the surviving vehicles operating the coastal route from Starr Gate to Fleetwood were the streamlined cars produced in the 1930s.
The story behind the development of the ‘Standards’ was, however, anything but straightforward, with a number being regarded as effectively rebuilds of older trams and the last to be constructed being completed almost by accident from parts left over from the construction of the earlier 41.
This book is a pictorial history of the evolution and operation of the 42 ‘Standards’ built. It looks at the precursors to the design and takes the story through the late 1920s and 1930s - when the type upgraded, with all receiving enclosed lower-deck vestibules and a number being rebuilt as fully enclosed (including four that were so modified during World War 2) - through to the post-war years when the increasingly aged trams were taken out of service and many were scrapped.
The arrival of new trams in the early 1950s, allied to the conversion of the ‘town’ routes between 1961 and 1963, saw all bar four withdrawn - but this quartet survived until a final farewell tour, using two of the remaining trams, in late 1966. Fortunately, however, seven of the type survive in preservation – on both sides of the Atlantic – to provide the modern age with a reminder of this popular and iconic type of tram.