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Heritage Tram Named after Blackpool Circus Icon

149 days ago Fri 26th Oct 2018

On Thursday 25 October Blackpool Transport’s Heritage Team renamed one of their iconic ‘Open Boat’ style tram 227 in honour of Blackpool’s legendary circus clown, Charlie Cairoli. The naming ceremony was carried out by the great man’s son, Charlie Cairoli Jr.

Charlie Cairoli, Blackpool Circus star pictured with Heritage Tram 227, now named Charlie Cairoli.

Occasionally naming trams in this way is a fantastic way to celebrate different parts of Blackpool’s history and reputation in the entertainment and circus world. This was also the case in 2012 when the team were able to name Heritage Tram 230 as George Formby.

Tram 227 arrived in Blackpool back in 1934, just a few years before Charlie himself did. Charlie Cairoli starred at the Blackpool Tower Circus for 40 years. He was performing in Blackpool when the Second World War broke out and never left the resort. He became rightly known as one of the greatest circus stars and most creative comedy geniuses of the 20th century.

Charlie Cairoli Jr said, “When I was growing up as a child, I didn’t then realise just how special my dad was. He was just my brilliant dad! It’s only with hindsight that I began to realise what a legend he was. I am so proud of him and the unique place that he created in the hearts and memories of millions of children and families who were delighted and entertained by him at the Blackpool Tower Circus. I am so thrilled that Blackpool now has a beautifully restored tram named after him.” 

During the trams latest refit, the team looked to name the tram as one of Blackpool’s legends and who better than Charlie Cairoli? It was decided the tram was to be painted in red and cream to reflect the bright red nose of Charlie who’s nose and bowler hate became iconic with his act.

Bryan Lindop, Head of the Heritage Team at Blackpool Transport proudly said, “Tram 227 has been fully rewired and lovingly internally restored close to its original condition by the delightful team of volunteers from the Civic Trust. They have worked diligently for several months with us and have done an incredible job for which we are most grateful. I’m sure the tram will go on to give many years of pleasure and raise countless happy memories and a smile or two as Charlie Cairoli’s cheery face greets visitors and residents old and new as it sails gracefully along the promenade. It is entirely fitting that the internationally famous clown who spent 40 years at the Blackpool Tower Circus giving fun and excitement to millions of holidaymakers has been recognised in this way. We should be proud of and cherish every aspect of our unique and precious heritage and do all we can to keep every aspect of it alive and thriving in Blackpool for future generations to rediscover and enjoy.”

You can catch the Charlie Cairoli Tram and many others operating on special weekends and throughout 2019.

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