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I remember seeing an item about the Tower basement on TV a while ago – probably for the 125th anniversary. It showed the old animal cages which are still there. It also showed that there exists a huge pan-like structure which can hold 40000 gallons of water, directly under the ring. The ‘pan’ is then invisibly raised to the ring level, thus making the ring appear to flood very quickly. That was how they did the water finales. If you search for ‘ live history tower blackpool ‘ you can see that there was an aviary, aquarium and menagerie there, and there’s a whole lot of other interesting info on this site about the building of the Tower, and Blackpool in general.
Actually patti now I think about it, it was 55 years years ago when I was first took there as a 7 year old for the summer and returning in September for the lights! We always stayed in either hornsby road or albert road guest houses!
Hi patti, what memories you have brought back. My dad would make a beeline for the market after some time on the beach, he then bought ham and turkey and pork pies for our lunch! That was fifty years ago, and all the other tags people have posted I can recall myself.
Thank you Phil, so pleased the elephant story was true! I'll take a look at the website you suggest, love a bit of nostalgia!
Hi Patti, my original reply to your comment got deleted by 'Big Brother', presumably because it contained links. You are correct. There were elephants at the Tower...and lions and tigers and many other animals, and the elephants DID exercise on the beach. The circus ring could be flooded with water too. You can easily find the information on the blackpool tower website, and a search for 'blackpool tower animal acts'.
Now I'm not sure if this was a tease, but, I think I do remember seeing elephants at the Tower Circus - but one of my aunts said that they used to exercise the elephants on the beach early in the morning :O) - if not true - it's a lovely thought! I remember seeing Charlie Cairoli there and just loving the man, and the finale with some kind of water feature thing rising up into the circle. We must have had picnics on the beach - we have family photos down on the beach, just cant remember what we had! Definitely the "sand tea" though on a tray, I do recall that. My dad did love visiting the big markets in Blackpool - where the land ladies used to shop he said, great big sides of ham on the counters etc.
LynnD, potted beef, cheesy sand butties ???? You knew how to live it up Girl. !! Looking at the weather today, there wont be many sitting on the sands right now !
Good morning Derek05 and Phil, Some days I also feel 129 but not quite that yet. Patti and Supra John, yes the donkeys were a treat back in the day. I think nearly every kid that visited had a ride on a donkey. Sat on a blanket on the sand with potted beef, cheese and sand butties and a flask of coffee, whilst the "grown ups" had deck chairs. Happy memories :)x
I remember a Blackpool donkey biting my cousin on the shoulder in the 80s. I still remember its name, Bruno! It was right on the stretch of beach you see in the camera.
Hi Derek05, Well, I, for one, FEEL like 129 years old :-) There are some stables on Ribble Road for sale at the moment, which I read somewhere were used for the donkeys during the week.
PATTI, Phil, Supra J, and LynnD, I also remember Blackpool in the "old " days, so does this make us all at least 129 years old?????
it's good to share those memories Phil and SJ. One other thing was a ride on the donkeys - which because either I or they were sandy was a bit scratchy on little legs! One of my favourite things to do tho. So wish this camera had sound, the sound of the trams going past the guest house we stayed in was lovely.
Yes, SJ, I remember those things too….and the tea stalls on the beach. Before plastic cups were invented, we used to pay a deposit and get a tin tray with white crockery cups and saucers and a white jug full of tea to take to our blanket and windbreak on the sand. It was a toss-up whether we ended up with a spoonful of sugar or sand in the tea, but tea has never tasted so good. The cotton industry might have polluted the air then, but at least we didn’t pollute the sea with plastic!
Thats the Blackpool i remember Patti. I can remember being very young and watching Punch N Judy on the promenade on a red hot day in the early 80's. I much prefer the old Blackpool before they modernised the promenade. It had that traditional British seaside resort feel. The beach would be jam packed at the first sign of nice weather too in those days.
55 years or so ago we used to go to Blackpool for summer hols and to see the lights in Sept. I was about 5 or 6 at the time, but I remember visiting Lewis's Dept store - I had a photograph taken with a chimpanzee there - not very pc these days! My parents used to take us to see shows on the pier or one of the other theatres - we would go to the Tower, see the circus, Pleasure Beach, walk the golden mile, go for a day trip up to the lakes - such warm memories, unlike the weather! Bracing as my dad would have said.
Hi Phil I remember going to see Father Christmas in Lewis's Manchester, like you say the displays were wonderful. We used to alternate years by going to Henry's store the year after. Not been to Blackpool for a few months now, roll on April when we will be staying for a few days, visiting spoons and also a little cafe called "Cookies". The Cookies hot chocolate drink is yummy :)