Blackpool Illuminations Switch-on Switch

Contributed by Blackpool Heritage

The original stwich used by countless celebrities over the years to turn on the world famous Blackpool Illuminations.

The switch-on switch was first used in 1930s and is still in use to this day!Blackpool was the first seaside resort for the working classes in the world and it is still the most visited resort in Britain, welcoming ten million visitors a year.

The Blackpool Illuminations, as we would recognise them today, date back to 1912 and are known around the world. A visit to The Lights is very much part of the community memory of the north of England.

This switch was made in the 1930s as part of the annual 'switch-on celebrations'. The switch-on switch has been used by a whole host of stars over the years including Gracie Fields, Les Dawson, Frank Bruno, Tom Baker and even Red Rum. Probably the most glamorous guest was Jayne Mansfield in 1959, with more recent celebrities to throw the switch including Alan Carr.

The switch is still in use to this day and represents the very essence of the traditional English seaside holiday.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 08:05 on 3 December 2010, acousticwilli wrote:

    "The switch is still in use to this day and represents the very essence of the traditional English seaside holiday."

    Mmmmm...my vote(s) for the essence of the traditional English seaside holiday would go to rain, fish 'n chips, donkey rides, caravan parks, candyfloss, getting lost on beach, getting found on beach, ice-cream, sand dunes, and 101 other triggers rather than a switch of whose existence I have always been unaware! But good try :-)

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