Previous Exhibition - Blackpool: Wonderland of the World
4 JULY - 27 AUGUST, QUADRIGA GALLERY
Blackpool was the first resort in the world to cater overwhelmingly for the working-classes. This exhibition captured the magic and glamour of two of the town's attractions, which helped to transform Blackpool into a magnificent 'playground' for the northern manufacturing towns, and earned it the enduring crown of Britain's most popular seaside destination.
Blackpool's Palaces of Pleasure
It was the scale, speed and ambition of Blackpool's development that distinguished it from its rivals. In the 1860s this small town became the first resort to provide visitors two piers and from the 1870s onwards a series of large venues, including the Theatre Royal, the Indian Pavilion, the Grand Theatre, the Hippodrome and the Alhambra competed against each other, constantly adapting to meet the changing tastes of their audiences.
This exhibition delves into the past of two of Blackpool's most enduring venues: The Winter Gardens and the Blackpool Tower. Built in an age of huge optimism for the working classes, holidaymakers flocked to these attractions for dancing, drinking and theatre and to wonder at their architectural magnificence.
A Colourful Past
A remarkable story of these buildings will be seen through archive posters, prints and photographs – evoking names of celebrity entertainers, Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse and Ken Dodd; the big band music of Reginald Dixon and evocative activities that could be enjoyed, a ‘Spinsters Ball’, the circus and watching snooker, wrestling and boxing.
A Bright Future
The displays celebrate a strong partnership between English Heritage and the local authority to bring about the repair and modernisation of these buildings, so that they continue to play a vital role in Blackpool's tourism industry.
This exhibition will jog your memory of early light entertainment and show how Blackpool continues to play a vital role in the atmosphere and shaping the character of a very British seaside holiday experience.