In my piece I have tried to incorporate as much of Blackpool’s “culture” as possible’.
Starting at the bottom my cake is standing on the comedy carpet which is a permanent art work, by Gordon Young, on Blackpool promenade in front of Blackpool Tower. It covers 2,200 square metres and is made up of 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete, referring to the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers; the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. On the carpet I have placed ice creams, a deck chair and fish and chips all of which are associated with Blackpool as a holiday resort. I have also put an L plate and a tattoo as Blackpool is well known for its Hen nights and Stag do’s.
The cake itself is 3 tiers of our famous Blackpool rock. The bottom tier is the traditional iconic pink rock with the lettering running through it. I have used a little artistic licence and have on one face an image of our most famous landmark- the Blackpool tower and on the other Charlie Ciaroli the most famous clown to work at the Blackpool Tower Circus.
Blackpool Tower- built in 1894 and standing at 518 feet and 9 inches tall the iconic Blackpool Tower is a smaller copy of the Eiffel Tower and houses the world famous Tower Ballroom with its Wurlitzer Organ an Aquarium and the Tower Circus. The Circus is famous for its floodable ring which can hold up to 42,000 gallons of water to a depth of 4 feet 6 inches. The Circus always has a resident clown and the best known of these was Charlie Ciaroli who was resident from 1939 until 1979. He is commemorated with a statue in the town’s Stanley Park rose garden. During his time at the circus Charlie worked with my father, who was a trainee Lion Tamer, my Aunt who was a member of the Tower Ballet, my Great Aunt and Uncle who were Trapeze Artists and my Great Grandfather who was the Tower Manager.
The second tier is Gay Pride rock. Blackpool is the “gay capital of the North” and home to the world famous Funny Girls. The pictures on the face of the rock are a pair of ballroom dancers and a roller coaster representing Blackpool as the home of the World Ballroom Dancing Championships and the Pleasure Beach (Britain’s most famous theme park) respectively. The Pleasure Beach is one of only two theme parks to still operate wooden roller coasters.
The top tier is in Blackpool FC home colours- tangerine and white- and depicts the traditional seaside pursuits of building sandcastles and donkey rides.
The whole piece is surrounded by the only non-edible part of the design, The Blackpool Illuminations. The illuminations started in 1879 and are lit for 66 days from September until November each year. They are six miles long and use over 1,000,000 bulbs.
There were many other things that didn’t make it onto my final piece such as: the golden mile, our heritage and illuminated trams, the three piers, the ferris wheel, the Winter Gardens, Blackpool zoo, Stanley Park and the Grand Theatre not to mention the vibrant arts and music scenes. In recent years Blackpool has experienced some bad publicity but is working on restoring its image as Britain’s number one tourist destination.
Blackpool really does Rock!