I wonder what people thought of Blackpool Tower when it opened 130 years ago - they must've been in awe

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Blackpool Tower is 130 years old, it has stood the test of time and we all remember our first trip to the top.

Standing underneath Blackpool Tower, looking up to the top from the Comedy Carpet, I couldn’t help but stop and think about its incredible significance.

For us locals, the tower is such a normal part of our lives. We drive past it on the way to work, glide by on the tram after a night out, bustle through Bank Hey Street doing last minute Christmas shopping, whatever the reason, we take it for granted. I am right, aren’t I?

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But stopping to actually consider its importance brings a whole new level of wonder - and nostalgia - to something which has been in place for 130 years.

Blackpool Tower first opened its doors to the public on this day, 1894.

I wonder what the locals back in those days thought of it? I mean, it was an incredible feat of engineering, an architectural marvel which has become synonymous with Blackpool’s skyline. It was actually modelled on the Eiffel Tower and in the days when you couldn’t get a vantage point from five hundred and odd feet up over a town, it must have been an awesome sight.

Do you remember your first time up the tower? I do. It was 1980, I was seven and it was May for my cousin’s birthday. It rained, of course it rained - and we were soaked.

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The rickety ride up to the top on the lift was a bit of an ordeal (I actually do remember all this) but when the doors opened to the first level, I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe how high up we were and I could actually see Fleetwood, where we Iived in the far distance. I could see the coastline, it’s shape, the tram tracks, the Pleasure Beach to the south and the teeny weeny people battering against the rain on the prom. It put a whole new perspective on the world of a seven year old. I’ll never forget it.

An awesome picture of the top of Blackpool Tower.An awesome picture of the top of Blackpool Tower.
An awesome picture of the top of Blackpool Tower.

For our millions of tourists it’s like a becon of light, enjoyment and holiday vibes that starts right from the M6 - you can actually spot it for a miniscule of time when the conditions are right. But get to the M55 and it’s real time for ‘first one to spot the tower.’

We can’t underestimate its importance, people still love it. They love what it stands for and for those who have been coming to Blackpool ‘for years’ it just evokes feelings of happiness.

And these days of course it’s lit up in a rainbow of colours every single night - what a joy that brings! The colours symbolise charities, good causes, national events - blue with a blue heart for the NHS in Covid times, pink for the Race for Life, orange (tangerine) for our football club - and it was lit up in red and white for The Gazette’s 150th anniversary. And Strictly Come Dancing, that has helped cement our tower firmly on the map.

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Throughout its storied history, the tower has seen countless milestones. From hosting the first ever circus to its magnificent ballroom to serving as a beacon of hope during two World Wars, the Tower has played a significant role in shaping the landscape of our wonderful town.

Today the tower continues to captivate audiences with its breathtaking Sky Walk, the thrilling Tower Dungeon and of course, trips to the top.

As it marks its 130 years on the seafront it stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the seaside town. It’s towering presence serves as a reminder of the resilience of Blackpool and there’s no need to doubt that it will continue to do so for next 130 years and beyond.

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