Blackpool lights up London
BLACKPOOL LIGHTS UP LONDON
Two Special Jubilee Crowns Will Light Up Wellington Arch
The heritage and history, magic and glamour of Britains most popular seaside resort will be celebrated in a new English Heritage exhibition at the Quadriga Gallery in Londons Wellington Arch.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Blackpool was a small village with fewer than 500 inhabitants. A century later, it offered three piers and more than 20,000 theatre seats each night only London could match the variety of shows on offer.
Blackpool: Wonderland of the World will focus on two of the citys most enduring venues and remarkable buildings: Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens. These historic entertainment palaces provided holiday-makers with a huge range of extravaganzas within their opulent interiors, designed in many styles.
Archive posters, prints and photographs will chart the story of these listed architectural treasures from their design, construction and later evolution through to recent restorations and the plans for their future.
Two large illuminated crowns will be installed on top of Wellington Arch, bringing to the capital a taste of Blackpools famous annual light show (celebrating its centenary this year). Commissioned especially for this exhibition, the design is based on an illuminated crown featured in the Royal Variety Performance at the Winter Gardens in 1955; particularly appropriate in this, the Queens Diamond Jubilee year.
Exhibition highlights include:
· A beautiful silver model of Blackpool Tower from 1893, presented to Sir John Bickerstaffe, the hotelier and Mayor of Blackpool who inspired by the Eiffel Tower was instrumental in the towers construction and success
· Rare Victorian and vintage posters advertising some of the international stars and Blackpool institutions who performed there over the years, including Dusty Springfield, Bob Hope, Josef Locke, Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques, and the Patron Saint of Blackpool Ken Dodd
· Early 20th century photographs of the interiors of the Winter Gardens including the Empress Ballroom, Indian Lounge, Spanish and Baronial Halls, and the Galleon Bar many of which have since changed
· Early photographs showing the construction of the Blackpool Tower from its foundations right up to the finishing touches to its pinnacle
Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: Blackpool revolutionised the British holiday, providing people with an all-encompassing entertainment experience. This exhibition celebrates the architecture of the quintessential British seaside resort and looks at the role this heritage can play in Blackpools future.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of the Blackpool Council, said: This exhibition demonstrates what creative partnerships can achieve in creating new futures for buildings like the Tower and Winter Gardens. Partnership has played a huge role in everything weve achieved with these buildings and the support of English Heritage and our funders has been phenomenal. Our thanks go to English Heritage who made this exhibition possible.
Blackpool: Wonderland of the World is an English Heritage exhibition in partnership with Blackpool Council.
The Quadriga Gallery at Wellington Arch is a new home for a series of exhibitions about the heritage of England and what the future holds for it. Anyone interested in where this countrys unique legacy of buildings, monuments and landscapes has come from and where it is going should visit.
From Stonehenge to Blackpool Tower, the 2012 exhibition programme looks at the story behind and the latest news from some of Englands most famous historic landmarks. In 2013, The Quadriga Gallery will chart the movement to protect Englands heritage, from its early days in the 19th century to how best to look after it both today and tomorrow.
The Quadriga Gallery and Wellington Arch is open Wednesdays to Sundays and on Bank Holidays, 10am-5pm. The Arch may close to install new exhibitions, please call in advance or check the website for up-to-date information. www.english-heritage.org.uk/wellingtonarch