Grand Marks Its Official 125th Birthday
The Grand celebrated its official 125th birthday with a special tea event and very large cake, as a thank you to all of its supporters.
During the event there were performances, presentations and a garden tea party, including the reveal of a huge six tier cake, designed to emulate the theatre’s golds and creams and the external architecture of the building.
Guests including the volunteers who work at the Grand, theatre board members, the Friends of the Grands, local mayors and the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Hon Ralph Christopher Assheton TD DL.
There were special performances including Love Letters from Blackpool, by comedian, musician and theatre maker Ruth Cockburn and speeches from Friends of The Grand Patron and BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Steve Royle, Theatre Board members, and Chief Executive, Ruth Eastwood.
Blackpool Grand Theatre’s Trust Chair, Roger Lloyd Jones was also presented with the Hirst Prize by Social Enterprise Solutions. SES is a not-for-profit organisation and every year patron, Clive Hirst, presents an award to an inspirational social enterprise in Blackpool along with a share of the company’s profits. This year, the recipient is the Grand Theatre.
At the end of the proceedings the theatre unveiled a brand-new photographic image to celebrate the 125th year. Specially commissioned by International Architectural photographer Sean Conboy the image will be displayed publicly over the coming weeks. Sean Conboy said, “It’s an absolute delight to be asked to take the photograph that celebrates 125 years of such an iconic building in my own home town.”
The Volunteers and Friends of The Grand were then treated to an incredible garden tea party specially created in Matcham Court with harp music from Maxine Molin Rose, who performed at the BBC Philharmonic.
The six-tier cake, capable of supplying 300 servings, was the highlight of the tea party. Made by cake experts One Sweet Day, it consisted of multi-layered flavours including vanilla, chocolate, and of course pineapple, to emulate the Pineapple atop the theatre’s domed roof.
The cake was presented in specially made boutique cake boxes, and tea was served in commissioned 125 recyclable cups that support the theatre’s commitment to the environment.
Grand Theatre Marketing Manager, Andrew Howard said: “The events we have created to celebrate the 125 years of Blackpool’s Grand have been very well received, our commitment has been to acknowledge various parts of the business and its heritage. This very special event highlights the incredible dedication of our volunteers, friends and supporters and is a special thankyou to them.”
The Blackpool Grand Theatre is currently trying to raise more than £125,000 to repair the iconic copper dome. During the event they also announced they’d reached the figure of £79,000 in fundraising and are calling for fans of the theatre to help support the project by donating on the Blackpool Grand website or at the box office when purchasing tickets or by purchasing one of their rose gold pin badges.