Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ghost Zoos--Blackpool Tower Menagerie


As horrible as these cages may seem, does anyone care to tell us about the basement conditions for the performing circus animals?

The Lion and Albert by Marriott Edgar Classic Famous Poet - All ...

Albert's Return by Marriott Edgar Classic Famous Poet - All Poetry.




1. Part of the aquarium pre dates the rest of the Tower building by twenty years. It was kept open to earn revenue while the Tower building went up around it.
2. An aviary as part of Dr Cockers Menagerie accompanied the aquarium. When the Tower was completed the aviary moved up to the area now occupied by Jungle Jims.
3. The menagerie featured wild animals, tropical birds and fish – all of which were relatively unknown to the Lancashire mill workers.
4. An orchestration was installed at the entrance of the aquarium to attract the public into the building. The orchestration worked on the principle of a large barrel organ and was originally powered by weights, similar to a grandfather clock. It is now displayed in a Birmingham museum.
5. The aquarium was modelled on the limestone caverns of Derbyshire.
6. In February 1895 a severe frost killed all the fish and new stocks were imported from Germany .
7. In 2003 the turtles had to be found a new home because they had become too large for their tank.
8. The largest tank in the aquarium holds 32,000 litres of salt water.
9. There are currently 57 species of fish in the aquarium.
10. There are both fresh water and salt-water fish in the aquarium. The water in the tropical fish tanks is kept at 75 degrees fahrenheit.

11. The Circus first opened to the public on 14 May 1894. Admission was from 6d.
12. The Circus has never missed a season since it began in 1894.
13. The Circus is positioned at the base of the Tower between its four legs.
14. The present interior of the Circus was created by the famous theater designer, Frank Matcham, and was completed in 1900.
15. Animals have not appeared in the Tower Circus performances since 1990.
16. For each era of the Tower Circus there has been a resident Clown. Today it is Mooky, but previous generations laughed at the antics of August & September, Doodles and the well remembered Charlie Cairoli.
17. Long before he became famous as a Hollywood film star, the comedian, W.C. Fields, spent a season before the First World War at the Circus as a juggler.
18. The Circus ring when flooded can hold up to 42,000 gallons of water to a depth of 4ft 6 inches.
19. Sporting events that have been held in the Circus ring include boxing, wrestling and snooker.
20. The Tower Circus has been voted by the Circus Friends Association as the best Circus in Britain for the past four years.
61. Jungle Jims was originally the Tower Roof Gardens with palms, ferns and a concert area.
62. In 1956 it became the Roof Gardens Zoo.
63. From 1927 to 1930 the Roof Gardens was also Midget Town, which included a sports club, town hall, post office and garage. It was ‘populated’ by a troupe of midgets.
64. Jungle Jims is the UK’s biggest indoor adventure playground.
65. The area occupied by the Dawn of Time ride was until 1963, the Tower Menagerie. It then became the ‘Ocean Room’ cabaret bar and later the ‘Good Time Emporium’.
66. The Menagerie was immortalized in Stanley Holloway’s famous monologue ‘Albert and the Lion’.
67. In 1992 the Tower complex was renamed ‘Tower World’ and was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales.
68. Among the famous artistes who have performed at the Tower during its 110 years are Arthur Askey, Duke Ellington, Paderewski, Dame Clara Butt, Cleo Laine, Peter Dawson and more recently teenage heart throbs, Busted.
69. To celebrate the end of the Boer War in 1900 the building was open free of charge with a special concert.
70. The Circus mosaics, which are now inside on a stairwell, were originally outside along the Promenade entrance from 1970. The artist was Jean Mount.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Jim Stockley: Albert & The Lion - yet another lion called "Wallace" ;-)