Morecambe’s towering attraction has proven hugely popular

It started with the Blackpool Tower in 1894 modeled, of course, on the 300-meter (984-foot) Eiffel Tower in Paris that was built for the 1889 exhibition.

At 159 meters (519 ft), Blackpool Tower became the tallest structure in the country and remained so until the construction of the Post Tower in London in the 1960s.

Below were the famous Tower Circus and Tower Ballroom of Strictly fame, designed by Frank Matcham.

Original map of new tower buildings in Morecambe.

There were, however, rivals to Blackpool’s crowning tower, an in fact taller one – the 189-metre (621ft) tower built in New Brighton in 1900.

However, the New Brighton tower was not to last. It fell into disrepair during the Great War and was demolished in 1921.

Morecambe also made a bid in these tower wars.

The Morecambe Tower Co Ltd was established in 1898 with plans for a modest 232ft (71m) structure.

George Formby on holiday at Middleton Tower Company, near Morecambe.

What it lacked in height, it made up for in elegance and exoticism.

A spiral track circled and climbed an easy incline from a base 150 feet (46 meters) in diameter to a platform and refreshment room 52 feet (16 meters) in diameter at the top.

An electric tram and hydraulic lift was to provide an easy ascent, passing an oriental market square, bazaars and buffets frequented by staff in exotic costumes.

Beneath the tower structure was a ballroom and a concert pavilion with side shows and more traditional concerts in the grounds.

Some members of the Westgate Cricket team and players enjoy a drink at the Tower Ballroom in Morecambe to celebrate the New Year 1970. Those pictured include Ced Dyson, Bruce Boniface, Ken Tattersall and John Foster.

Exotic towers and minarets dotted the main facade of the tower while India was the inspiration for the exterior pavilions.

As it happened, the tower structure never reached its intended height with various excuses given – sandy ground that could not support its weight, an economic downturn after the Boer War, and the need for steel for the Great War.

The opening of the Tower even proved uncertain. After a false start in 1909, it reopened on Easter 1912 under new management in 6 inches of snow.

Without heating, the public is content with overcoats, carpets and cushions.

Memory Lane December 9 Seaside Stars – can you name this little batch? from left to right (back row), Max Wall ??? and Dickie Henderson, singers Ronnie Carroll and Josef Locke, exotic-looking unknown woman (Eve Boswell? Alma Cogan?), comedy actor Jimmy Clitheroe, double act Ernie Wise and Eric Morecambe, front row, Unknown (but looks frustratingly familiar!), burlesque star Charlie Drake, singer Edmund Hockeridge and the Unknown (and rather handsome) Man. We know that Eric and Ern played at the ABC theater in 1965, stars by the sea.

Once in its stride, the tower proved to be very popular. Outside there were brass band gigs and new faces on concert nights (George Formby was one of the first to make an appearance at the Tower).

Music hall and variety performers included Vesta Tilley, George Robey, Little Tich, Flanagan & Allen and Florrie Ford.

Dame Nellie Melba gave a celebrity concert. Musicals included Bitter Sweet, Chu Chin Chow, Rose Marie, The Desert Song and White Horse Inn.

There were ice shows and roller skating. The tower hosted conferences and the Morecambe Music Festival as well as finding a new role as the Gaumont cinema.

The Gaumont was demolished around 1960 to make way for Morecambe Bowl (now Buzz Bingo).

The Tower Ballroom is still fondly remembered as a premier venue for Old Time ballroom dancing in the Northwest.

Some of the 2,500 balloons soar above Polo Tower in Morecambe after Lancaster Mayor Sybil Rostron issued the Royal British Legion’s Lancashire Poppy Appeal for 1999.

Its suspended floor was much admired while its lighting (variously described as mystical or carnival lanterns) was provided by Addenbrooke’s kaleidoscope globes.

Two less ambitious towers towered over Morecambe’s 20th century skyline: the revolving Warwick Tower and the Polo Tower, each 150ft (46m) high and each featuring a revolving carousel.

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