The Blackpool Tower
On the 14th May 2019, the Blackpool Tower celebrates its 125th birthday. Inspired by Paris’ Eiffel Tower, construction of the landmark grade one listed building began in 1891. Five million bricks make up the tower buildings and a further 2493 tons of steel & 93 tons of cast iron go into the tower alone. Originally the tower was only meant to be 450ft tall, but upon completion it stands at 518ft making it the 120th tallest freestanding tower in the world. It takes seven years to completely repaint this gigantic structure, and this time is also used to replace any corroded steel work. On a clear day, the tower can be seen from Wales and the Lake District – however being illuminated by 25000 LED bulbs I’m surprised we can’t see it from Norfolk!
The Blackpool Tower Circus
Positioned at the base of the tower, between its four legs, the circus opened on the same day as visitors were able to ascend the tower, and it hasn’t missed a season since! With 125 years spent perfecting the acts, it has hosted animals (up until 1990) a resident clown (including Charlie Cairoli who spent 39 years performing here), comedians such as W.C Fields (as a juggler) and Peter Kay, and it has even hosted sporting events in the ring including boxing, wrestling and snooker. Britain’s best known ringmaster, Norman Barrett, worked the ring for 25 years, and a live band supports the acts performances.
The Tower Ballroom
With a mighty Wurlitzer organ, the iconic and stylish Tower Ballroom is world famous for its unique sprung dancefloor and spectacular architecture. When it originally opened in 1894 it was a small pavilion, the present ballroom was designed by Frank Matcham and opened in 1899. You can enjoy afternoon tea and a dance here, whether you want to get up on the dance floor and show everyone your shapes, or sit on the side lines and be entranced by the magic. The ballroom is truly beautiful, with stunning architecture and hiding the names of 16 composers dotted around the room along with a famous inscription above the ballroom stage, “Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear”, from Shakespeare’s sonnet – Venus and Adonis.
If this has inspired you to visit, take a look at some of our tours here.