10 things you probably didn't know about Blackpool
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One of Britain's most famous seaside towns has a rich history and regularly attracts visitors from all over the world.
Here are 10 things you may not know about the Lancashire town.
1. Blackpool gets its name from an old drainage channel that would release dark boggy water into the Irish Sea, literally forming a black pool of water. Dublin, situated on the other side of the sea, is named for the same thing, ‘Dubh Linn’ means black pool in Irish.
2. Notorious serial killer and bigamist George Smith murdered his second wife Alice Burnham while on their honeymoon to Blackpool; the killings soon became known as the ‘Brides in the Bath Murders’.
3. Each chandelier at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom can be lowered to the floor (the process taking 30 minutes), and it takes a six-person team a week to clean.
4. In 1879, Blackpool became the first town in the world to have electric street lighting. This was when people still used candles to light their homes, so many flocked to the resort to wonder at the illuminations they dubbed ‘artificial sunshine’. All these years later, Blackpool is still known for its world-famous illuminations that usually light up the promenade from late August to early November. However, in 2020, for the first time in 141 years, the Blackpool Illuminations were left on over Christmas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Henry Banks, also known as the ‘Father of Blackpool’, built the first holiday cottages in the early 19th century after purchasing the Land’s End Estate in 1819. And thus, the tourist industry in Blackpool truly began.
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6. Blackpool Tower’s ‘Walk of Faith’ glass floor was installed in 1998. It is made from two large panes of laminated glass that together are two inches thick and weigh half a tonne.
7. Blackpool Pleasure Beach's self-proclaimed ‘biggest fan’, director Tim Burton, filmed the music video for The Killers song Here with Me and scenes from his fantasy adventure film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children at the resort.
8. Famous faces from Blackpool include David Thewlis, who played Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series, actress Jenna Coleman, radio presenter Zoe Ball, and Syd Little of comedy due Little and Large.
9. Kermit the Frog and The Muppets switched on the famous Blackpool lights in 1979.
10. Blackpool is considered the home of ballroom dancing. Each year the British National Dance Championships is hosted in the Winter Gardens. Strictly Come Dancing also regularly utilises the famous Tower Ballroom as a venue for its Blackpool special.