Bright spark Alison lights up the Tower

Former Imperial Hotel manager Alison Gilmore re-trained as an electrician and is now lighting up the Tower.

Former Imperial Hotel manager Alison Gilmore re-trained as an electrician and is now lighting up the Tower.

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FROM top hotel manager to top of the Tower –screwing in light bulbs.

That was the leap of faith made by Alison Gilmore, former general manager of Blackpool’s Imperial Hotel.

Blackpool Tower during Blackpool Illuminations

Blackpool Tower during Blackpool Illuminations

This time last year Alison, 42, from Cleveleys, was working as general manager of the Imperial Hotel.

She had worked there six years and pulled in awards for her service.

A year on, she has not only qualified as an electrician, but set up her own business Bright Girl Electric.

To top it all, she is now project manager of Blackpool Tower’s Illuminations, commissioned by maintenance company MPM North West.

Alison is overseeing the assembly of lighting rigs at the Lights department and their welding in place on the legs of the Tower.

The iconic structure will be lit from top to toe for the centenary display.

She said: “There are 2,720 LED lights, all weather proofed, to fix into place on five metre steel bars.

“I can’t believe the view I now have at work. It was lovely at the Imperial but this is simply breathtaking.

“I did work experience at the Illuminations and now I’m managing this project at Blackpool’s best known building.

“I divide my day between the Lights depot and the Tower.

“It’s definitely hands-on. I’ve no nails left, I’m covered in top coat paint from the Tower, and have gone from not being able to stand on the Walk of Faith to literally being in a cradle beneath it, fixing the lights into place!”

Alison qualified as an electrician three months after leaving the Imperial.

She added: “I’d been in the business 14 years but left last August. It wasn’t for me any more. I wanted a change but to feel part of Blackpool. I did unpaid work experience with three electrical companies and the Illuminations from October to April. It was well worth it.”