This is why Blackpool Tower has just turned purple

Blackpool Tower has turned purple tonight.
Blackpool Tower has turned purple tonight.
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Tonight Blackpool Tower has turned bright purple.

The change is in honour of the memory of Mark Kenneth Shawn Allen, who drowned in Manchester on June 5, last year, aged 18.

Debbie Turnbull now helps other bereaved families.

Debbie Turnbull now helps other bereaved families.

On the anniversary of his tragic death, the Tower turned purple - his favourite colour - at 7pm and be visible for miles around at sundown.

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Mark's mother, Leenanne Barltey says that Blackpool "was one of Mark's favourite places."

When she found out that the Tower would turn purple in memory of her son, she was "emotional but proud."

Leeanne Bartley and her husband David.

Leeanne Bartley and her husband David.

"My very first thought was: 'I hope Mark sees it from heaven, he would love it.'"

And it was all made possible with the help of Debbie Turnbull, who lost her son Christopher to drowning in 2006, and now works to support other bereaving families.

The Bartley's first met Debbie, who was awarded The National Lottery Special Achievement Award in 2017, through her group "River and Sea Sense".

"Debbie has been amazing," Leeanne says.

Mark Kenneth Shawn Allen died last year.

Mark Kenneth Shawn Allen died last year.

Together with Debbie, Leeanne and her family have worked to create a new project - "Captain Sparky's Water Safety Crew" - to help educate children.

"The idea for Captain Sparkys Water Safety Crew came from us always calling Mark 'Sparky Marky' as he was growing up."

"Our then 10 year old daughter - Mark's little sister - designed "Captain Sparky" just a few days after Mark died."

"We discovered after Mark passed that children are taught swimming, but not very often water safety."

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"Our aims are to produce a child-friendly water safety educational pack to then have delivered to as many primary schools as we can get them into."

"We would also like to set up a fully interactive water safety educational app & website."

Leeanne and her husband David will be at the tower tonight to witness the colour change.

Debbie has encouraged people to show their support: "Do look out for them and say hello and give them a big hug."

"The first year anniversary is the most difficult, and I just wanted to do what I could to make a difference to this family and make it extra special."

So when you look up at the Tower this evening, spare a thought for Mark, and for his family too.