Sunday 4 July 2021

100 Years of Blackpool Buses

PD3 529 and Atlantean 334 meet at Stanley Park on Zoo service 21 on Sunday 4th July
Blackpool Transport held a three day event from 2nd to 4th July to celebrate 100 years since Blackpool Corporation first began operating motorbuses. The first route began operation in 1921, using two small Tilling-Stevens single deck buses between Cleveleys and Thornton Station. The event kicked off on the Friday (the actual centenary day), with three afternoon tours operating from Blundell Street, before travelling to Cleveleys to run over the original 1921 bus route to Thornton. Saturday was the main day of celebrations, with a cavalcade of 17 buses (in four groups) running from Starr Gate to North Pier at 10:00.

Buses taking part in the Centenary Parade were:-

Group 1: Leyland PD3s 501 & 516 and AEC Swifts 554 & 570

Group 2: Atlanteans 334, 362 & 364 (now 864), Olympian 857 and Routemaster 521 (RM1583)

Group 3: Optare City Pacer 575, Optare Delta 133, Optare Metrorider 589 and Optare Excel 225

Group 4: Optare Solos 288 & 292, Mercedes Citaro 554 and ADL Enviro400 City 458

On the Saturday and Sunday a free vintage bus service was in operation every 15 minutes between the Pleasure Beach and Gynn Square.

On Saturday ten buses were lined up for display on the Tower Headland (near the Comedy Carpet) between 12:00 and 16:00. The buses on display were 501, 512, 516, 362, 589, 225, 857, 458 and Swift 554 & Citaro 554.

Saturday evening saw a Beer & Buses service operated by the Fylde Transport Trust between North Pier and Poulton.

On Sunday the Fylde Transport Trust operated a free vintage bus service between the Tower, Stanley Park and Blackpool Zoo, running every 20 minutes.

In addition to the buses that were in the Cavalcade on Saturday, Leyland PD3s 512 & 529 took part in events over the weekend, and the fictitious Blackpool liveried Dennis Mini Pointer Dart of Andy Mitchell saw use on the free Promenade bus service, making a total of 20 different buses to be seen over the three day event (although the Dart was never a Blackpool bus).

A photo of each bus that took part during the weekend's Centenary events is included.

Leyland Titan PD3s 512, 516 & 501 lined up on the Tower Headland on 3rd July
Preserved Optare Solo 288, fresh from the paint shop in Metro Coastlines Line 16 livery on 3rd July
Former City Sightseeing Leyland Olympian 857 at the Pleasure Beach on the free bus service
Leyland Atlantean 362 on the Golden Mile on Sunday 4th July
Atlantean 364 (now 864) on an excursion to Cleveleys and Thornton on Friday 2nd July
The Blackpool liveried Dennis Dart of Andy Mitchell on the free bus service, seen from open-topper 857 on 4th July
Optare Delta 133 passing New Bonny Street on the free bus service on 3rd July
AEC Swift 554 leaving Rigby Road on the 3rd July before the cavalcade
Leyland Atlantean 334 at the Tower on the free service 21 to Blackpool Zoo on 4th July
Leyland Titan PD3 512 leaving the depot for the Tower Headland display on 3rd July
Optare City Pacer 575 at New Bonny Street on Zoo service 21 on Sunday 4th July
AEC Swift 570 leaving Rigby Road to join the cavalcade on 3rd July
Optare Excel 225 at Manchester Square during the parade on Saturday 3rd July
Mercedes Citaro 554 leaving the depot to take part in the cavalcade on 3rd July
Optare Solo Driver Trainer 292 on the free bus service on Saturday 3rd July
Leyland Titan PD3 516 leaving Rigby Road for the Tower Headland on 3rd July
Optare Metrorider 589 and Mercedes Citaro 554 at the Tower Headland on 3rd July
ADL Enviro400 City 458 leaving the depot for the Tower Headland display on 3rd July
Former Blackpool Transport Routemaster 521 (now RM1583) in the parade on Saturday 3rd July

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