As a northern lass, it was a highlight of every year to go and see  Blackpool Illuminations.

Today marks the anniversary of the first illuminations in Blackpool, in 1879.

It was nothing like the illuminations that we see today of course, Edison’s light bulb had not yet even been patented.  In that year, the illuminations consisted of eight arc lamps that flooded the promenade with light.

Princess Louise, of the British Royal family visited Blackpool in 1912 and this visit was marked by the first ‘proper’ display of lights, that we would recognise as a forerunner of today’s illuminations.

Another display was held the following year in 1913, to mark the end of the tourist season, though because of the breakout of world war 1, there was no more displays held until 1925.

The current distance of the display, along the seafront to Bispham, came into being in 1932.

Generally the modern day display runs from late August to early November, attracting millions of visitors to the area.

The Tower itself is also illuminated as are a few of the trams.  My personal favourite was the always the boat one, though the rocket and old fashioned train are both lovely to see.

I have not been to Blackpool for quite a few years to see the illuminations, but many times I long to travel back to my childhood days and the wonder of seeing the pretty lights and tableaux as we drove along the promenade.  There is always such an atmosphere of fun in the town when the illuminations are on.  It always seemed to be the start of preparations for Christmas when I was young.  I hope to share it with my younger children in the near future.


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