Blackpool Facts Figures and Fun

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					                  Blackpool Facts Figures and Fun

                                     BLACKPOOL STATISTICS

1.    The resort has 90,636 holiday beds.

2.    The revenue brought in to the town through Tourism is £545 million.

3.    There are 3,000 hotels, guest houses and self-catering units in the resort.

4.    There are approximately 16 million annual visits made to Blackpool.

5.    Blackpool has over 25,000 theatre seats to sell each evening during the height of the season.

6.    2 million postcards are sent from Blackpool each year.

                                     BLACKPOOL'S HISTORY

1.    The first visitors to Blackpool came in 1750 and reputedly stayed at the cottage of Ethart A.

2.    In 1755, 4 pubs were registered in Blackpool.

3.    First Newspaper advert for a Blackpool hotel appeared in the "Manchester Mercury" in 1785.

4.    By 1788 the "Resort" could boast 4 substantial hotels.

5.    Gas lighting came to Blackpool 1852.

6.    North Pier opened 1863.
      Central Pier opened 1868.
      South Pier opened 1893.
      The present Promenade opened 1905.

7.    Piped water came in 1864.

8.    Charter of Incorporation obtained. First Mayor W H Cocker JP elected 1876.

9.    The Wintergardens opened 1878.

10.   The first electric-arc street lighting started in Blackpool in 1879.

11.   The Tower opened 1894.

12.   Grand Theatre opened 1894.

13.   Alhambra (later Palace) opened 1899.

14.   Sir Hiram S Maxim's captive flying machine was the first substantial ride on South Shore's
      Fairground 1904 - advertised as the Pleasure Beach 1905.
                                    BLACKPOOL TRANSPORT


1.      The Railway came to Blackpool 29 April 1846.

2.      1.25 million passengers visit Blackpool by rail each year.


1.      Car Parks over 14,000 spaces.

2.      Over 2 million cars parked during a year.


1.      Via all major routes including visitors, residents and commuters 55,000 vehicles per day.



1.      Date in Service:           The Worlds first permanent electric street Tramway opened in
                                   Blackpool on the 29 September 1885 and ran from Cocker Street to
                                   South Shore.
                                   15 July 1898 Blackpool to Fleetwood.
                                   Overhead trolly trams introduced in 1899.

2.      Line Length:               18 kilometres (11.25 miles).

3.      Street Running:            1.75 kilometres approx.> (1.1 miles).

4.      Annual Operation:          1,450,000 kilometres (906,250 miles).

5.      Gauge:                     1435mm (56.5 inches or 4.71 ft).

6.      Line Voltage:              550v DC (nominal).

VEHICLES:                  Double deck and Single deck tramcars (mainly from 1934-1937).
                           Some vintage cars (oldest from 1901)
                           Some locally built modern cars (1984-1993)
                           Some "Progress Twin Cars" (Tram and Trailer sets) - permanently coupled
                           Some special Illuminated Cars, primarily for work during the Autumn
                           Illuminations (September to October) but also available for hire at other

Number of Cars:                    75
Maximum number in service:         8 in Winter
                                   65 in Summer

                                 BLACKPOOL TOWER STATISTICS

1.      Opened 14 May 1894, the Tower is 518ft 9" (158.12m)high, including the flagstaff.

2.      9 Tons of paint are needed to cover Blackpool Tower.

3.      Blackpool Tower was painted gold in its centenary year.
4.    The giant steel structure weighs 2,943 tons.

5.    Each of the two Tower lifts travel about 3,500 miles in a year.

6.    Her Majesty the Queen visited Blackpool Tower on the 22 July 1994.

7.    During the Second World War the Tower was used as a Radar Station and part of the top was

8.    The Post Office put in a letterbox at the top of the Tower in 1949.

9.    The Flagpole weighs 30cwts.

10.   Blackpool Tower sways 1 inch in a 70 mile per hour gale.

11.   More than 10,000 lightbulbs decorate the Tower during the Illuminations.

13.   The first people to get to the top of Blackpool Tower were representatives of the local
      newspaper. An intrepid reporter out for a Sunday morning walk in September 1893 climbed to
      the top of the Tower using the construction ladders.

                                      THE OLD BIG WHEEL

1.    Opened in 1896.
2.    The Big Wheel sited alongside the Wintergardens at 220 feet high was the biggest in the
3.    It had 30 carriages each holding 30 passengers.
4.    The carriages were auctioned after the last trip on the 20 October 1928.

                            THE NEW BIG WHEEL (CENTRAL PIER)

1.    Opened in 1990.
2.    It is 108 feet high.
3.    It can carry 216 passengers in its 26 carriages.
4.    The cost of the wheel was £750,000.

                                           NORTH PIER

1.    North Pier is the oldest of Blackpool's three Piers and was opened in 1863.

2.    The largest fish ever caught was a 19lb Cod.

3.    More than 11 million coins are fed into the Arcade machines in a year weighing a total of 86
      tons. Edge to edge they would stretch 168 miles.

4.    The Pier Manager walks 738 miles up and down the Pier in a year.
                             WINTER GARDENS AND OPERA HOUSE

1.      The Wintergardens originally opened in 1878 as Gardens and an Open Air Skating Rink.

2.      The Opera House stage is the largest in Britain.

3.      The Empress Ballroom opened in 1896 and has 12 chandeliers and 27 pillars.

4.      Every British Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition since Winston Churchill has made a
        speech in the Empress Ballroom during party conferences.

                                         GRAND THEATRE

1.      The Grand Theatre was built by the renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham at a cost of

2.      The theatre opened on the 23 July 1894, with a performance of Hamlet by Wilson Barrett and
        his Company.

3.      The Grand is recognised as one of the most beautiful theatres in Britain and is knows as
        "Matcham's Masterpiece".

4.      The theatre was saved from demolition in 1973 by the campaigning Friends of the Grand. A
        theatre trust was formed and a fund set up to buy the theatre.

5.      The theatre trust reopened the Grand on the 21 March 1981, with a week's visit by Timothy
        West and Prunella Scales in the Merchant of Venice.

6.      The Prince of Wales formally reopened the Grand on the 29 May 1981, at a special Royal
        Variety Performance.

7.      The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the theatre on the 22 July 1994, the day before
        the Centenary.

8.      Great stars such as John Gielgud, Michael Redgrave, Noel Coward, Edith Evans, Vivien Leigh
        and Sybil Thorndike have appeared at the Grand, and in recent years stars like Paul Nicholas,
        Antony Sher, Wayne Sleep, Sylvia Simms, Lee Evans and Darcy Bussell have also appeared
        at the Grand Theatre.

9.      The Grand attracts audiences to Blackpool from all over the North and Northwest.

                                   SANDCASTLE WATERPARK

"The World's greatest inside seaside, Blackpool's biggest development since the Tower was built in
1894" was how the
 Sandcastle Complex on the resorts South Promenade was described when it opened on the 23 June
A description that might not be too far from reality, as enormous as it is, at 3½acres under one roof, the
building is 46 feet high with a clear roof span of 100ft.,

Here are some of the statistics which make the Sandcastle one of Europe's largest indoor entertainment

1.       700 tons of steel, over 13 miles in length.

2.       460,000 cu ft on concrete, weighing 32,000 tons.

3.       860 ground piles totalling 4½miles in length.

4.       300,000 gallons of water weighing 1,340 tons.

5.       54,000 Sq. ft of mosaic tiling comprising over 5 million individual pieces.

6.       160,000 sq. ft of overall floor space.

7.       7,600 individual pieces of furniture.

8.       3,000 lamps and 155 miles of electric cabling ~ power output of the building is over 2 million
         watts - and is more than that used for the Blackpool Illuminations.

9.       28,000 sq. ft of glass cover the Dallas type frontage and the large glass roof sections.

10.      5,000+ sq. ft of mirrors have been used inside the building.


Blackpool Pleasure Beach is Britain's Number 1 free tourist attractions with 7.8 million visitors (as listed
by the English Tourist Board).

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is home to the world's tallest and fastest rollercoaster - The Pepsi Max Big
One, which is 235ft high and reaches speeds of 85mph.

The 5 wooden rollercoasters travel 240,000 miles every year, the equivalent of 10 times around the

Richard Rodriguez broke the world rollercoaster marathon record by riding the Big Dipper for 1013
hours - (47 days)!

Each season at Blackpool Pleasure Beach:

1.       Each year 500,000 candyflosses are sold enough to re-turf Wembley Stadium four times over.

2.       47 miles of hot dog sausages are consumed.

3.       1 million ice cream cones are sold.

4.       550,000 burgers and 2 million portions of chips are consumed.

5.       600 kilos of gobstoppers are sold, that's 90,000 mouths to fill!
                                BLACKPOOL RECORD BREAKERS

1.      At 235 feet and travelling at speeds up to 85 miles per hour "the Pepsi Max Big One" at
        Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the world's tallest and fastest rollercoaster.

2.      The world rollercoaster endurance record was broken on the 3 August 1998, when American
        Richard Rodriguez completed 1013 hours (47 days) riding the "Big Dipper" at Blackpool
        Pleasure Beach.

3.      Blackpool Company “Coronation Rock” made the world’s biggest stick of rock measuring 19ft
        and weighing in at a whopping 413.6kg on the 20 July 1991.

4.      Television personalities Roy Castle and Cheryl Baker slid into the record books when they
        descended 400 feet on a rope from the top of Blackpool Tower to the Promenade below
        breaking the world record for the highest and longest rope slide (this record has since been

Acknowledgements: Blackpool Tourism wish to thank the following for their kind assistance in the
preparation of this document.

Mr Ted Lightbown - Blackpool Historical Society
Mr Paul Drinnan    - Blackpool Civic Trust
Mr Brian Crompton - Leisure Parcs
Ms Stephanie Sirr - Grand Theatre
Ms Anne Froggatt - Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Mr John Childs    - Blackpool Sandcastle
Mr Tony Depledge - Blackpool Transport

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