Riding Fleetwood trams to Blackpool

As a child I spent a couple of years in Fleetwood, between the ages of 4 and 6.  One of those years was in wartime, and I remember taking my gas mask to school in its metal canister, and tossing it over the wall on my return, to play in the street until the adults returned. 

With my sister, one year older, we were allowed a degree of freedom that would surprise people today.  We would often go to Blackpool by ourselves for the day, to visit the seaside and the menagerie at the base of Blackpool Tower, and to ride the Big Dipper, a wooden roller coaster on the pleasure beach.  Sometimes we went up the Tower itself, ascended by means of a rickety lift open to the elements. We went there by tram, since Fleetwood was connected to it by an 11-mile tramway that ran through Cleveleys along the Fylde coast.  Although we made the journey quite often, it was always an adventure, sitting in the front seat upstairs whenever we could, to enjoy the scenic ride.

I've returned to Blackpool since, and ascended the Tower, though the zoo at its base is long gone.  I rode the trams a few times, too, though not to Fleetwood, and I was not tempted to ride the Big Dipper again.