The Fylde Tramway Society was founded in 1971 to support the retention and development of the Blackpool to Fleetwood Tramway. This was at a time when its future was becoming in doubt; after the demise of the inland routes in the early part of the 1960's, and the deepening threat at the end of the 1960's and early 1970's, the Fylde Tramway Society was born to campaign for its future.
Since those early days, the Society has gone from strength to strength and now boasts a membership of several hundred, spread throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, the Commonwealth and the U.S.A. 1996 celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the Society. Today, the Fylde Tramway Society is a fast expanding, truly International Society, and is the only Society dedicated to the Blackpool Tramway and its Tramcars.
Over many years, the Society has established an excellent relationship with Blackpool Transport Services Ltd. at all levels, and as a result, has been involved in several major projects. The Centenary of the Blackpool Tramway in 1985 was celebrated by sponsoring open-top "Balloon" Tram No. 706, named "Princess Alice", and its repainting into original livery. "Princess Alice" was returned to service after suffering severe damage. More recent projects have included the transport of Vintage trams to Blackpool, and sponsoring a return to service and repaint in 1930's style of "Open Boat" Tram No. 605. Much-loved and admired "Coronation Car" No. 660 was sponsored for a complete overhaul and refurbishment to near original condition.
For the 1998 Fleetwood Tramroad Centenary celebrations, the Society sponsored a further repaint of 660, together with the overhaul and repaint of the unique, low-sided "Open Boat" Car 600 for a return to service in Blackpool. The Society sponsored the restoration of Blackpool & Fleetwood "Open Rack" No. 2 at the National Tramway Museum.
The Fylde Tramway Society organises a wide range of interesting events for all its members, as well as the publication of a monthly magazine, The Fylde Tramway News, free to all its members. This includes articles on all the news and information of Blackpool's Trams and Buses, together with features on the history of the Trams and Buses. Blackpool was, of course, Britian's first electric street Tramway back in 1885, and the last surviving conventional Tramway to operate a full, year-round public service in the UK. There is also extensive coverage of Tramway developments elsewhere, including the recent birth of the "Super Tram" in the UK.
Members of the Fylde Tramway Society are also able to enjoy interesting tours and events. These include the ever-popular "Annual Convention Weekend", with tours, a depot visit (providing a rare chance to see behind the scenes), Annual Dinner with guest speaker at a top hotel, and a film show. Other events and tours are arranged throughout the year and include an "Illuminations Tram Tour" and the popular "Festive Christmas Tram Tour". In addition to these, visits are arranged to ride and look behind the scenes of other Tramways. Members have recently enjoyed tours and visits of both "Metrolink" in Manchester, and "Supertram" in Sheffield. Members are also able to attend regular monthly meetings, featuring slides or video/film shows on Tramways and Transport from all eras. These are held every first Thursday of the month, starting at 7.30p.m., at the Wings Club, Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, only a short walk from Cleveleys Tram Stop!