It’s entertained millions of people for a century and a half.
And last night Blackpool’s famous North Pier was given a 150th birthday party to remember, with revellers turning out on a sunny evening to celebrate the milestone.
Guests, including hoteliers, entertainers and dignitaries, were treated to Champagne and canapes at the pier’s Sun Lounge, before being thrilled by a show within the hallowed confines of its theatre.
Peter Sedgwick, who took over the running of the venue two years ago with his family, said: “It’s fabulous when you think 150 years ago there were 30,000 people seeing the Pier open, so it’s great to be here to see it still going and we’re very proud to own it.”
Mr Sedgwick says he is hopeful this special year for the Pier will see tourists flock on to its boardwalk over the course of the summer, but admitted the weather could play a part in determining success.
He said: “We’ve spent a vast amount of money underneath the Pier and at the same time we’re trying to make the venues better so it’s a real balancing act.
“We need a lot of good weather to make the job a little bit easier and make a success of it, but we’ve got a fabulous crew and we’re absolutely over the moon to see the town out tonight.”
Newly installed Mayor of Blackpool Coun Eddie Collett was among those attending.
He said: “It’s glorious to celebrate 150 years of this marvellous establishment.
“It’s the pier that I’ve visited more often than the others.
“We wish it well for the future and its future will depend on investment.
“The rest of the coast is littered with piers that have fallen apart because they’ve not had the investment they need.
“The Sedgwick family have created investment and I wish them well with their endeavours.”
• More pictures from North Pier’s 150th birthday party – see Thursday’s Gazette.