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Blackpool is widely considered the epitome of the classical seaside resort. In this establishment we see glimpses of Coney Island in New York, Navy Pier in Chicago, Atlantic City in New Jersey, and the pre-1900 Galveston Island in Texas. The most visible part of the Blackpool experience is the tower. It was conceived as an answer to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and in its sheltering arms a number of amusement attractions sprang up so it could continue to make money in bad weather. The tower was intended to copy Paris' famous landmark, and was even supposed to originally be called "Blackpool Eiffel Tower." Though it's not as tall as the Eiffel Tower, it appears more sturdy. That's because it is subject to the battering of storms that roll in off the sea. There is a time capsule in the cornerstone of the Blackpool Tower. It contains a record with the voice of the man who laid the cornerstone along with newspapers and other period items. There used to be a very small zoo which included a lion. There is still a ballroom in the tower. The tower was built on the same site as an aquarium. The tanks were built into the tower's design. Like the CN Tower in Toronto, the Blackpool Tower has a "walk of faith." Parts of the floor are made from clear material that you can walk over while looking down.
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There are 62 comments.
Ispent many happy hours watching the Tower Ballet my mum wasin it right back in the early thirties .Always loved dancing .Was in Childrens panto produced by Madame Elsie what a teacher she was areal pro everything had to be perfect but she got results .I have pictures of Red Riding Hood 1964 i think loved every minute of it
Chris Chaffer nee Bee - Monday, January 28th, 2013 @ 9:55pm
Hi all , i'm loving the stories about the tower Childrens Ballet, My Mum is Carol Frost, she was mentioned on here, she was also part of the Royal Performance In 1959 Manchester.. i'm trying to track down any photographs as we have nothing i've been looking for years, can anyone help? Please get in touch my email is email@example.com thanks....x
Leyla Edwards - Saturday, July 7th, 2012 @ 11:09pm
I wonder if anyone remembers my dear late sister Sheila Rossall ? she was a principal in the childrens tower ballet in the 60.s
john - Thursday, June 28th, 2012 @ 12:02pm
I was in the childrens ballet .It was the year when the show started with angels, noahs ark, standing on the corner, a sand dance etc it finished with sailors sending a flag message .I rember Carol frost Carol Tyler ,Sandra Renalds .Carol storey. Jackie Mottram. I think the year was 1961. Has anyone got any photos ,I would love to see them .I will never forget that wonderful time .Aunty Hughes was my dresser. Miss Mary was my teacher at Joan Davis school of dancing.Laura Blow.
Laura Blow - Thursday, June 7th, 2012 @ 5:21pm
I was a first principal in the Tower Childrens Ballet in 1960.My friend and I had "digs" in Ribble Road, and I attended Palatine School for the Summer.I was very lucky indeed to be allowed to do it, as I was at Grammar School, and such things were frowned upon. I made dancing my career, and have recently gone back to my roots, helping a school with their productions, and running a dance class, for ladies of a "certain age"..I spent my 14th birthday in the Tower, so my age is no secret. It would be wonderful to hear from any of my old friends there I was Yvonne Cross back then
Yvonne Trachy - Sunday, May 20th, 2012 @ 11:02pm
my sister and I were also in the children's ballet I think around 1955/6 It was the most wonderful experience, I lived with a host family for the season. I remember lots of the numbers.....one a spectacular 'Parade of the Tin soldiers' our costumes were adorned with mirrors. I did a solo dressed as a 'Worm' and sang to and with the audience whilst attempting to move around the stage.!! we had many costume changes. I would dearly love to know if there is anyone or any way I can get hold of photo's or video or advertising for my grandchildren to see. we had our photo in a Blackp[ool Paper at the end of the season. happy memories.
Penelope (penny) - Saturday, May 5th, 2012 @ 3:00am
Reply to Rosemary---- i too have been hoping there would be more replies from the comment about the Royal Command Performance in 1959 at The Palace Theater Manchester ----------- but alas nothing. I am sure somebody out there must have video/film etc of that special occasion. Would love to be able to see us young girls from the Tower Childrens Ballet doing our perfomance we were all so very proud to be chosen and be part of that special day. There must be something some where in the archives .Lets hope we reach out to someone who can find it . love Winifred Bennett ( nee Skelton)
Winifred Bennett - Saturday, April 14th, 2012 @ 11:22pm
No specific replies to my Children's Ballet query from 2008 but nice to read that Christine and Winifred remember the routines and the Royal Command Performance in 1959. I'm not too good with names after all this time but I do have a few photographs from that period.Now living in Morecambe, Lancs..
Rosemary Ross ( nee Jones ) - Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 @ 4:48pm
Happy days danced barn dance royal variety also one the few dancers in BE A CLOWN FLIPS AND ALL principal dancer as Olive Oil had to learn to dance with long black wood shoes and jump on the toes my black wig came of during the performance Miss Williams certantly showed me how to fix this it did not happen again. Remember all with the fondest of memories wonder were are Carol Holmes who I danced with age 4 at the Joan Hague school of dance Topping Street and then Joan Davies and the Blackpool Childrens Ballet also I remember Lyn Parton. Where are you girls.
christine - Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 @ 8:10pm
MESSAGE TO - Shirley Wlliams who wrote on here - I remember Tom Tom The Pipers Son i was one of the fiddlers three in that routine.Hope you see this message and reply-do you remember any other routines
Winifred Skelton - Friday, January 27th, 2012 @ 1:42pm
Hi , I was in the Tower Childrens Ballet - ( in the chorus) does anyone rememeber the royal command performance we did for Her Majesty the Queen Mother in 1959 at The Palace theatre Manchester.My memories were of being in the ballet were -- Black and White Minstrels opening the show and of the Hoe down ,March of the Siamese Children, I AM NOW 65 AND TRYING TO REM ALL THE ROUTINES --MAYBE SOME ONE OUT THERE CAN REFRESH MY MEMORY (LOL) i rem miss Cathleen Jackson Joan Davis and Ruth Langley being our dance teachers for the shows and a Miss Mary- would love it if there is a film of the royal show in manchester 1959
winifred----(nee skelton) - Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 @ 7:58pm
I was in the Children's pantomime (Tiny Tots) I still have some pictures (I wore two outfits (white silk dress with cap) and a toriador outfit I was about 4 or 5 (1951 04 52) My grandfather worked at the theatre (Joe Maries) my Dad was in the pantomime in the 30's and so was my aunt late 30's. Any memories.
sandy maries - Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 @ 7:48pm
Our mother was a GI bride from Blackpool. She was in the children's circus. She rollerskated and played the accordian. She was the youngest of 6 and the only one to move to the states.We were lucky enough to spend wonderful summers there visiting the family and just loving Blackpool.I have many happy memories of the town. A warm and generous place
Michelle Benton - Friday, March 11th, 2011 @ 4:02pm
My Grandfather was Joe Kirkham - bandleader at the Blackpool Tower ballroom pre and postwar. He would play summer seasons in Douglas Isle of Man. My mother Joan Kirkham wasan air hostess with Lancaster Air operating out of Squires Gate Airport in the late 50's. Blackpools history is fascinating especially late 19th early 20th century when fishing boats were still pulled up on the beach
Steve Read - Monday, November 2nd, 2009 @ 10:55am
My summers in Blackpool in the 60's included trying to find a space on the beach on a sunny day, a James Bond film at the Odean a trip to the Tower circus to see (Caroli/Paul/Jimmy) perform, then go below to see the animals close up WOW. But I never was brave enough to go up the tower ? ...How lucky was I to see such things before it all changed..I am 50 now and I am due to take my young family to see Mookie at the circus, then have tea in the ballroom and hope they enjoy all the things I love about Blackpool.
Paul Yarwood - Friday, October 23rd, 2009 @ 8:05pm
my mother was alma wendy in the ballet in the 30s she ended up joining hugie green gang wish i could find some footage
margot hibbins - Friday, September 4th, 2009 @ 3:52pm
Sir.A previous contributor indicated that one of Charlie Caroli`s team (Paul), was an auguste type of clown. This is incorrect.Charlie was the auguste and Paul was of a type known as a joey (called after Joseph Grimaldi who worked in whiteface).
Jim Walker - Sunday, July 12th, 2009 @ 5:34am
Israrted going to the tower ballroom and the winter gardens in1943 at the age of 16. In those days a ticket could be bought for Â£3 and you could dance every weeknight for a year.I met my wife Anita (nee Gowland) there and we married in1952. We have wonderful memories of that period. Band conductors were Joe Kirkham Freddie Platt and our favourite Charlie Barlow. Very happy days indeed
fred russell - Sunday, June 14th, 2009 @ 1:07am
To David Williams - The stooge clown you remember was Jimmy Buchanan - he was wonderful, wasn't he. I was in the Tower Ballet for a couple of years around 1970/71 with his daughter Gail.
Michaela Clarke (nee Stead) - Saturday, March 28th, 2009 @ 12:58pm
I have fond memories of being a cicusette in the Tower Cicus in 1953.Also a dancer with the children'sTower Ballet from 1948-51 when Annette Schultz was the producer Also did many Pantos before joining the 3 Skylarks singing trio. I now live in Ontario Would love to hera from anyone.
Audrey Reynolds-DeMille (Williams - Sunday, February 15th, 2009 @ 2:41pm
my memories of the tower are magic. both my mum and dad worked in the circus in the 50, dad did the water scene that always ended the show and mum was an usherette called Audrey. i often used to go under thenring with my dad dennis and would see the animals and watch the acrobats and jugglers practice. when it was my ninth birthday i was sat on the ring side and my mum and dad told charlie where i was and he played happy birthday for me i will never forget how proud i felt happy days
pauline - Saturday, January 24th, 2009 @ 12:53pm
I saw you wrote about being a dancer years ago in Blackpool, I have been trying to contact a relative who was also a dancer, very well known in the area, dancing many, many times for the NE Team on Come Dancing on the TV, she was a bridesmaid at my mums wedding, her name is Mrs. Beryl Singleton, (nee Walsh), married a milkman, but later divorced, we last heard of living in the Marton Moss area of Blackpool, she spcialised in the waltz, and any info at all would be most appreciated,Hilary Grainger, Malaga, Spain.
Hilary Grainger, interesting site - Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 3:31pm
Blackpool. The Tower. Charlie Cairoli and Company. I went there when i was one. at 61 its still a very special place for me.
Dave - Sunday, December 14th, 2008 @ 2:21pm
My Mum was in the childrens ballett and was a Circusette from about 1950 - 1960 ish. Her name was Elaine Perrow and I would love to hear from anyone who knew her or worked with her. Sadly she has passed away now. I do love going back to the tower as it brings back so many good memories.
Phillip Johnson - Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 @ 8:08am
I was in the Tower childrens ballet from 1968 to 1970 i was a 2nd principal i remember Joan davies and Mary Reeves who off course organized all of it at that time Mary reeves also did the circusetts and organize dance routines for many of the dancers in all the shows in the winter gardens and more i was also in the pantomine sleeping beauty at the grand theatre. then it moved to the pavilon theatre in the winter gardens were i was for another couple of years think that was about 1966 to 1968 ish tom tom the pipers son do any of you remember it . i do remember Madam Elsie Wiliamson who was the main organizer I was a dancer one of the smallest in height. they were great times i still have the pantomine brochure with all our pictures in do any of you remember these years
shirley turner (williams) - Sunday, December 7th, 2008 @ 1:43pm
My mother was in the Children's Ballet in the 1930's. She would love to hear from anyone who remembers that time or who has photos.
arlene - Friday, November 21st, 2008 @ 3:09pm
Blackpool will always have a special place in my heart. I am proud to say I was a Circusette during Blackpools haydays. (1954-55) I now live on Vancouver Island, B.C., I would love to hear from anyone who was there during that time. I guess there are some big changes in Blackpool since I left in 1955
Ann Smith (Todd) - Friday, September 19th, 2008 @ 5:47pm
I was a dancer in the Blackpool Tower Ballet in the 1950's. Would love to hear from any girls who remember me.In particular I would like to know if there are any pictures or a cinefilm of us at the Royal Variety show in Manchester about 1958.
Rosemary Ross ( nee Jones ) - Thursday, September 11th, 2008 @ 9:09pm
I would love to hear from anyone who was on the Tower Ballet during 1946-49, I now live in Canada. Interested hearing from anyone attending Sacred Heart School 1945 -1949
Eileen - Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 2:59pm
a wonderful place for any age group. Can spend the whole day there and never be bored.I well remember the fire 0f late 1956..I was in the childrens ballet 55 and 56 and was so upset when it was cancelled in 57. but made a happy return to the lovely new ballroom in 58.
Jean Whitehead (Lowe) - Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 @ 2:15pm
As a member of Blackpool's Civic Trust, I would like to thank Geoff Payne of Leisure Parcs (the owners of the Tower) for our guided tour during our visit in May.A wonderfull job has been done in restoring this icon by a Company that cares about our local heritage.Hats offf to geoof and his team!!!!
Eddie Fewings - Saturday, June 7th, 2008 @ 10:28pm
spent many hours there, had lots of fun. lived in blackpool till 1951. would like to hear from anyone
matt payne - Monday, December 3rd, 2007 @ 2:07am
It is a wonderful structure and I hope, I will see it once in the future. Best regards to England.
Lucia Pavlove - Thursday, July 19th, 2007 @ 8:40am
This is the biggest tower that I have ever seen , I have been here on five years running and will be going again in 2008, Peace To One and ALL
Sir Ivan Black - Saturday, July 14th, 2007 @ 8:02pm
The best bits were Charlie Charoli with his red nose and bowler hat. He came on about three times with a stooge called little Jimmy and a white faced clown with a white pointed hat. I liked Little Jimmy; he looked a total idiot and deserved to be hit on the head with a rubber mallet. Total slapstick chaos and little Jimmy always seem get to get it right in the face. It was fantastic. I left the Tower Circus with a warm glow of happiness. I wonder how many millions of other children left with the same feeling. Thank you Charlie Caroli little Jimmy and the white faced clown- whose name I canít remember but always seem to give the orders.
David Williams - Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 @ 3:23pm
lived on fisher street. worked the donkeys in 1948, now live in canada, revisit blackpool every year. love it.
matt payne - Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 @ 1:47am
blackpool is brilliant! and so is it's neighbouring town- fleetwood! i live in cornwall but still i love fleetwood it really is a fantastic place to just relax and have fun! i love it!!!!
stu - Wednesday, May 24th, 2006 @ 2:03pm
With out the tower Blackpool would not be Blackpool,went every year to see the great Charlie Cairoli, and of course Reginald Dixon Mr.Blackpool himself.The traditions and carried on by Phil Kelsall on the Wurlitzer organ, and Mooky the clown in the tower circus. We love Blackpool so much we now live here in a 12 bedroom hotel.
David Chappell - Saturday, May 13th, 2006 @ 6:24am
I was stationed at Kirkham at the Air Field there We loved Blackpool shuch great people and what a great place the Towers enjoyed it much THANKS from a Yank ww2
Russell Kramer - Friday, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:32am
I was born in Bolton, Lancashire May 25th 1947..I remember Blackpool as a young lad, esspecially the beaches and the piers. Also the donkey rides on the beach, and the bright lights at night. The tower always amazed me. I haver been in America since 1954, one day I will come back to see my favorite place in all of England, that being Blackpool.
Paul J. "Bear" Shrigley - Saturday, April 29th, 2006 @ 2:29pm
my mum goes 2 blackpool every year and she tells me its really good. i wish i could go
candice - Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 @ 4:14am
Although I have lived in Australia since 1959 from Lancashire, I recall enjoying the time listening to Reginald Dixon when on holidays in Blackpool. I also loved flicking the seats up and down much to the annoyance of the adults present :-)
Steve Heywood - Saturday, October 15th, 2005 @ 11:45am
I was stationed at Kirkham from 1947 to 1954. Eventyally living in Bispham for nine years prior to going to the U.S.A. Just wish I could retrace my steps and live there again. Blackpool is great.
Leslie Carey - Wednesday, October 12th, 2005 @ 12:02am
first saw reginald dixon 1948 when i was 3,have been in love with the ballroom ever since.I first learned to dance there, i was thrilled to shake mr dixons hand when i was 18 .i will go back one day,i have so many happy memories. i wish i was the organist there,its the most beutiful building ive ever been in
brian nolan - Wednesday, September 7th, 2005 @ 1:11pm
Loved the view from the observation deck.My mum loved the shop.I just adore my Blackpool Bear.
Lyn McLeod - Sunday, July 10th, 2005 @ 4:43am
Had often heard Reginald Dixon playing the Ballroom Organ in the prior WW2 years over the BBC and it wasn't until 1970 that I was able to see this wonderful TOWER & Blackpool for the lst time. Have kin in nearby Preston & it is a wonderful part of NW England. Wonderful memories.
Laurence Cooke - Tuesday, May 24th, 2005 @ 10:54am
I was born and raised in Preston and Blackpool was the greatest place in the world to me. The Tower Ballroom. The Chidren's Ballet, Reginald Dixon at the Wurlitzer organ,Fairyland, The Wintergardens and the Pleasurebeach, the donkey rides, fish and chips and of course the beach where you had to fight for a space to put your deckchair and it was always too darned cold to get a tan. I live close to miles of sandy beaches where I can often be the only person there and yet I still think very fondly of Blackpool and visit every time I am back in the UK. There is no other place quite like it and my memories of all the great times spent there are forever vivid
Irene Lakin (nee Woodward) - Sunday, May 1st, 2005 @ 6:00pm
A unique seaside tower that everyone in Britain (and many overseas) think of when seaside resorts are mentioned. Beautiful views, great entertainment and a romantic ballroom. Don't miss it!
Mal Walker - Sunday, March 13th, 2005 @ 1:11am
Been in Australia for 20 years but go to Blackpool each time we come home, went to the top this visit great
Linda harrington - Monday, March 7th, 2005 @ 10:49pm
as i lived in manchester the family always went to blackpool lights it was and still is a great night out the first one who spotted the tower got 50 pence it was great fun!
Trevor Latham - Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 @ 5:04pm
I am the eldest son of paul charlies side kick. my memories are of the smell elephants, and charlie home made custard pie mixture in a big warm vat, old jimmys gurn, charlie juniors cigars and violets cooking and the superb family athmosphere at meal times.
jason - Friday, January 14th, 2005 @ 5:16pm
Years ago a family member told me that my great grandfather, surname Robinson, helped make the girders used when building Blackpool Tower and that his name is on one at the top. As I am about to trace my mum's fammily tree i thought this would be a good place to start. Thanks in anticipation.
frances fern - Tuesday, November 30th, 2004 @ 10:03am
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