Shining bright: Blackpool Lights over the ages

With the Illuminations now once again shining brightly, we take a look back at what they looked like over the course of the last century.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 6:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 6:56 pm
Sunken Gardens on the Promenade, near the Gynn, at North Shore

The Lights may have changed in their appearance over the years, but their popularity hasn’t.

Our archive photograph from September 1938, shows a view of the illuminated Blackpool Tower, taken from beneath Central Pier.

Switched on in 1938 by the Mayoress of Blackpool, Coun Mabel Quayle, the Illuminations cost £100,000 and extended five miles from Squires Gate to Bispham.

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Blackpool Tower and Illuminations, pictured in September 1938

This was the last year they were to shine for a decade, as the outbreak of the Second World War interrupted the annual display. There had also been a break during the First World War.

Post-war austerity meant the lights were not switched on again until 1949.

Our picture, from 1949, shows the sunken gardens near Gynn Square in September 1949, packed full of people for the first Illuminations in 10 years.

A 1932 photograph shows The Rejuvenator tableau. The tableau was itself revived in the 1970s-80s.

The Welcome Arch gets Blackpools 1965 Illuminations off to a glowing start

But our archive picture shows the 1930s original.

The tableau depicts a machine in which elderly visitors disappeared at one end, to emerge at the other – having regained their youth.

The Blackpool Welcome Arch is pictured in 1965, getting the Illuminations season that year off to a glowing start.

An Illuminations preview can be seen in 1954, showing the Casino and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Undated picture of Blackpool Illuminations

In 1928, the Illuminations included art deco fountains – as shown in our archive picture here.

And a glorious illuminated The Windmill, near Manchester Square, on Central Promenade, can be seen, in 1949.

The original Rejuvenator tableau in 1932
Busy Promenade for the 1949 Illuminations
Blackpool Illuminations art deco feature, 1928
The Windmill near Manchester Square on Central Promenade, in 1949