A step back in time for our Whitegate depot…

A brief outline of the history behind our original Whitegate Drive depot, from its inception as a Tram Shed in 1901, serving as an RAF training centre during the war to the present day…

Did you know?

The original Smiths Hire depot located at Whitegate Drive, Blackpool is over 120 years old…the main building was opened in 1901 and was known as the Marton Depot, it was originally built to house 16 trams but was then extended over the 11 years that followed and eventually held 50 trams! During the 2nd World War years, it closed temporarily as a tram depot when in November 1939 it was acquired by the Air Ministry and was used as an RAF training centre and then also used to build aircraft wings by Vickers Armstrong until 1944.

The last tram made its final journey on the Marton Route (Talbot Square to Central Drive) in 1962 and following the closure of the Marton route service, the once bright and airy Marton Depot was closed.

Shortly thereafter the buildings were sold, and a petrol station was built to the front (although not the same one that occupies the space today!) and our Smiths Family obtained the building to the rear, from which the family ran their established coal merchants and haulage business from, prior to our Smiths Equipment Hire business being formed in 1971.

Boat tram at the Marton Depot in 1962.

We cherish our small place in the history of Blackpool and take great pride in the fact that we have serviced the Fylde coast with equipment and tool hire over the last 53 years. We are thrilled to say that we have gone from strength to strength over this time – growing into a business that boasts 16 depot locations across the North West & Yorkshire, featuring 7 Training centres and also our National Hire Centre (Head Office) and we are showing no signs of stopping either with the promise of at least a couple of new locations in 2024! An exciting future ahead for Smiths Hire!

The original rear tram shed building, now home to our Smiths Hire Whitegate depot.