It’s time for strictly come cleaning

Annual spring clean of Blackpool Tower including the chandaliers
Annual spring clean of Blackpool Tower including the chandaliers

SINCE when were the chandeliers in Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom this close to the dancefloor?

There’s a ballroom blitz at the world-famous venue – a cleaning blitz that is – as workers got to grips with giving the floor its annual overhaul.

The 14,400sq ft wooden surface, made up of 30,602 blocks of mahogany, oak and walnut, has been sanded and polished, while the 14 chandeliers will be painstakingly lowered and individually dusted.

Each chandelier has more than 80 bulbs which will also be checked and replaced where necessary.

The balconies of the magnificent ballroom – which was seen by 12 million television viewers in December when it hosted the final of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing – are also being dusted and polished.

Tower maintenance manager Tom Kellett, who has worked at the Grade I listed landmark for 40 years, said: “The floor takes a tremendous amount of traffic over a 12-month period and we get all kinds of spillages, so it needs a lot of looking after.

Polish

“All the old polish is sanded off and then the first coat of new polish is put down and left overnight, then we put down a second coat and leave that overnight, and finally a third coat.

“The chandeliers are all lowered and re-lamped, and the Wurlitzer will also be given its annual service.”

The spring clean has happened every year apart from 1957 when the ballroom was devastated by a fire.

Tower operations director Kenny Mew said: “As well as our own dances, we have had a lot of big dance events like the final of Strictly Come Dancing in the ballroom so it takes a lot of hammer. We take great pride in the ballroom because it is such a beautiful room. It is the jewel in Blackpool’s crown so each year we give it two weeks of TLC and get it back to where we need it.”

The ballroom, which opened in 1899, is closed for two weeks while the work is undertaken, with the first dancers set to test it out this Saturday.