Memory Lane: How Blackpool Tower climbers made the news

Last week we found out how a group of university students scaled Blackpool Tower as part of the RAG stunt in the 1960s.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 2:37 pm
Pat Wood at the start of an abseil decent in 1986

Delving through our archives further revealed other occasions, where people have climbed the famous landmark for permitted reasons such as painting, maintenance and charity events as well as other unauthorised climbs.

One story was about an abseil down the side of the tower to raise £10,000 for Children in Need.

Office workers Pat Woods and Elaine Taylor abseiled 410ft in a nerve-tingling descent, buffered by a strong wind.

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Undated picture of a man working precariously at the top of the Tower

The owners of First Leisure gave permission to stage the event. Engineers had to remove a section of spiked railings at the 410ft level to allow the two women to clamber over the edge.

Pat told The Gazette how the first 50ft would be the hardest because of the weight of pulling up the rope from below them.

They got the idea after seeing Bob Geldolf on TV saying everyone should do something for charity.

It took around two to three minutes to make the decent.

Gary Wild rents out his telescope to see climbers scaling Blackpool Tower in August 1980

In another death defying incident, a mystery man was spotted alone at the crow’s nest of the tower in August 1980. He didn’t give much information away to those who were trying to coax him down, but he assured police that he had no intentions of jumping.

In a spin-off story, one resident cashed in by renting out a telescope to people at 10p for three minutes for people to have a closer look. And there are those who have spent 125 years looking after the tower.

From a workman who is pictured perched on one of the tower’s beams in a rare and old photo - with no safety harness in sight - to the abseilers who painted the top of the tower gold in 1994, they have done a sterling job.

Painting the top of her tower gold in 1994
Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team climb Blackpool Tower in 1975