Monday, January 11, 2010

Blackpool Tower Souvenirs

Modeled after the more famous Eiffel Tower, the Blackpool Tower is about half the height of its French counterpart. Standing over 518 feet high, the tower dominates to skyline of the seaside town in Lancashire, England. Naturally, as a tourist attraction, a few different versions of souvenir monuments of the tower have been made over the years. A small antique lead version of the Blackpool Tower stands 3.5 inches tall. A Larger antique cast iron still bank version is 7.5 inches tall and one sold recently for $227. The rarest replica is most likely a large Silver model of the Tower. Now on display inside the tower, the silver replica was presented to the Chairman of the Tower Company Sir John Bickerstaffe in 1898 by the Shareholders in appreciation of his role in ensuring the Tower was completed. According to The Blackpool Tower’s website, there are gift shops on site, but there does not seem to be an online version. Resin replicas of the tower are available at the gift shop, so pick one up next time you’re there. The real Blackpool Tower was design was by Charles Tuke and James Maxwell two Manchester architects who also supervised the construction of the building. In 1889, Blackpool Mayor John Bickerstaffe, often described as ‘the father of Blackpool tower,’ visited the Great Paris Exhibition and was captivated by the sight of the Eiffel Tower. It inspired him to create a similar landmark in his home town of Blackpool, so he organised a group of local businessmen to finance the project. Opened to the public on May 14th 1894, the tower is a multi-level entertainment complex, attracting around six hundred and fifty thousand visitors every year. Some fun facts about the tower: It takes seven years to paint the building and painting is a continual process…as soon as the decorators have worked their way to the top, they start at the bottom again and use six tons of paint each time. There are 563 steps from the roof of the Tower building to the flagpole at the Tower Top. These steps are for use by the maintenance teams for upkeep of the structure. More than five million bricks are in the Tower Building. Ten thousand light bulbs are used to illuminate the Tower. In 1949, a post box was placed at the top of the Tower allowing post marks from the Blackpool Tower.


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