This English Heritage exhibition is being staged in partnership with Blackpool Council and focuses on two of the resort’s top venues – The Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens. Using posters, prints and photographs from the archives, the exhibition charts the history of these listed buildings from their design and construction through to recent restoration work and plans for the future.
Natalie Wyatt, Managing Director of Marketing Blackpool, said: "We are delighted Blackpool is being celebrated in this fantastic exhibition at the Wellington Arch. It’s the Centenary of Blackpool’s Illuminations this year, which ties in nicely with The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, and so what could be a better way to highlight this than by creating two magnificent Crown’s which are on display on either side of the exterior of the Arch.
"Hopefully tens of thousands of tourists will visit the exhibition and witness for themselves the grandeur of Britain’s most popular holiday resort. This is a great opportunity for many, many people to not only find out about the heritage and architecture that has formed Blackpool but to also pick up some literature about our brilliant product offer at present whilst viewing our fantastic plans for the future."
Exhibition highlights include:
* A silver model of The Blackpool Tower from 1893, presented to Sir John Bickerstaffe, the hotelier and Mayor of Blackpool who, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, was instrumental in The Blackpool Tower’s construction and success. The Tower is normally on display in the Tower, where you can call in and have a look for yourself.
* Two Illuminated Crowns created and installed by the Blackpool Illuminations team
* Rare Victorian and vintage posters advertising some of the international stars and Blackpool favourites who have performed here, including Dusty Springfield, Bob Hope, Josef Locke, Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques, and, of course, the ever popular Ken Dodd
* Early 20th century photographs of the interiors of the Winter Gardens including the Empress Ballroom, Indian Lounge, Spanish and Baronial Halls, and the Galleon Bar – many of which have since changed
* Early photographs showing the construction of the Blackpool Tower from its foundations, right up to the finishing touches to its pinnacle
The exhibition also provides a window for Blackpool’s remarkable development as a resort. At the beginning of the 19th century it was a small village with fewer than 500 inhabitants. A century later it had claimed its place as a top seaside resort and show business capital with three piers and 20,000 theatre seats a night.
Today Blackpool’s world famous Illuminations attract in excess of three million visitors each year and although 2012 marks the Centenary of the Lights the Illuminations always move with the times, embracing new technology and artists to bring fresh and contemporary lightshows to audiences old and new.
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