Blackpool Tower - The Traveller


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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Blackpool Tower


Blackpool Tower Home to Five Remarkable Attractions

The Blackpool Tower, a tourist site in Blackpool, Lancashire, England was opened to the tourists on 14 May 1894. It was motivated due to the Eiffel Tower in Paris which rises to 158 meters and the tower is a Grade listed building.

The Blackpool Tower is a home to five remarkable attractions and also has some unique architecture comprising of bespoke Burma-toft terracotta glazed panels as well as outstanding designs by Frank Marcham.

Around 3,000 people took the first ride to the top when the tower was opened where they paid sixpence for admission and another sixpence for a ride in the lifts to the top with an additional sixpence for the circus. The first to ascend the tower had been local journalist in September 1893 who used constructors’ ladders.

The top of the towers had caught fire in 1897 and the platform was seen on fire from up to fifty miles distance. During the first thirty years of construction, the tower was not properly painted and became corroded leading to discussion with regards to its demolishing. Nonetheless it was decided to rebuild it instead and from 1921 to 1924, the steelwork in the structure was replaced as well as renewed.

Mistaken for a Lighthouse by Norwegian Ship

A Norwegian ship Abana while sailing from Liverpool to Savannah, Georgia, on 22 December 1894, was caught in a storm and had mistaken the recently built Blackpool tower for a lighthouse. Abana was first spotted off North Pier and later drifted to Little Bispham where she was wrecked.

It can still be seen at low tide. The ship’s bell still tends to hang in St. Andrews Church in Cleveleys. During the Second World War, in 1940, the crow’s nest was said to be removed to enable the structure to be utilised as a Royal Air Force radar station which was known as RAF Tower though it proved to be unsuccessful. Towards 1949, a post box had been opened at the top of the tower and in 1956; the hydraulic lifts to the top of the tower had been replaced as well as the winding-gear by electric.

In 1977 due to the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, the top of the tower was painted in silver. A giant model of King Kong was placed on the side of the tower in 1984. Thereafter, in 1985, it is said that escapologist Karl Bartoni and his bride got married, suspended in a cage from the tower.

Renamed `Tower World’ – Opened by Diana, Princess of Wales

In 1992, the winding gear and the lifts were once again replaced and the same year the tower complex was renamed `Tower World’ which was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales. The tower is said to be painted usually in dark red, except due to its centenary year in 1994, it was painted in gold by abseiling painters.

A `Walk of Faith’ glass floor paned was opened at the top of the tower in 1998 which was made of two sheet of laminated glass, weighing half a ton and two inches thick. A laser beam that was installed in 2007 on the tower for the period of the annual illumination was disapproved by astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, presenter of The Sky at Night television programme. The tower also has transmitter for local FM station Radio Wave 96.5 together with some non-broadcast services

Blackpool Tower Attractions

Some of the attractions worth exploring at the Blackpool Tower are –
  • The Blackpool Tower Eye and 4D Cinema experience where visitors can get carried away with Blackpool’s first 4D cinema experience that takes them on trip down memory lane exploring the history of the amazing seaside town. They are then taken on a frightening lift ride to the top where they get sensational glimpses with a floor to ceiling glass observation window with wonderful view of the Irish Sea.
  • The Blackpool tower Ballroom which is one of the most amazing ballrooms in the world has been designed by renowned Victorian architects Frank Marcham. It is amazing where daily tea dances, fabulous events together with wonderful music keep this world class venue a sight to behold providing fabulous experience for both the young and the old.
  • The Blackpool Tower Dungeon which is located deep in the belly of the Tower is a hysterical 70 minutes, actor led show with skilful performers as well as storytellers leaving their visitors with lots of laughter with their tales of plague, witches and torture.
  • The Blackpool tower Circus is also one of the premium examples of Victorian circus and is amidst the legs of the Blackpool tower and showcases some of the most amazing performances in circus from all across the world with its entertainment of splendid acrobatic feats and comical clowning adventures. It also features the popular grand water finale which dates back to 1894, where the circus ring is submerged in 40.000 gallons of water
  • A fantastic indoor soft play `Jungle Jim, centre themed on a lost Aztec City is the most appealing place for kids to enjoy and have a wonderful time within a safe environment in the Blackpool Tower

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