Keeping Blackpool's big wheels turning
Forget the London Eye, Blackpool’s Big Wheel - also known as the Giant Wheel and the Gigantic Wheel - opened in 1896, two years after the Tower.
The 220ft high attraction, alongside the Winter Gardens Pavilion, gave visitors a bird’s eye view of the resort for 32 years.
It was equipped with huge coaches, which were a feat of engineering in themselves, and when the wheel was dismantled in 1928 because it was commercially unsustainable, many of the coaches were bought by residents and used as sheds in gardens.
These days another big wheel stand proudly on Central Pier. It was built in Holland 30 years ago and brought over in containers to be reassembled on the pier - which was purposely strengthened to accommodate the weight. Since then, the 108ft wheel has seen a couple of refits and overhauls including repainting and the installation of LED lights. It remains one of the resort’s most iconic features.