Roll up! Roll Up!
Blackpool Council in partnership with the Blackpool Pier Company and World Monuments Fund are pleased to announce the first Big Pier Watch Day at North Pier on Saturday June 9th.
Doors open at 11am and the day will include lots of fun activities and entertainment for families and the best part is that it’s all free!
The day will include music, and entertainment including swing band The Billionaires, live Punch and Judy shows and a traditional barrel organ. The Carousel, Jets and Helter-Skelter rides will be completely free for kids (who must be accompanied by an adult) and there will be a free coconut shy with seaside prizes along with face painting and craft activity!
For the pier buffs there will be an exhibition celebrating 200 years since the birth of Eugenius Birch, the designer of North Pier and many other early piers around the country.
Blackpool’s Piers were included on the 2018 World Monuments Watch in October of 2017 in recognition of the challenges they face from climate change. The biennial campaign provides local people, activists, and experts around the world with an opportunity to initiate a grassroots call-to-action for the places they want to protect.
Watch Day is a component of the program that aims to connect communities to their built heritage through public events. Support from World Monuments Fund and Blackpool Council will ensure as many people as possible can take part in the Watch Day activities.
We've had a lot of questions from people wondering why we're putting on a free family fun day at North Pier and who the World Monuments Fund are. Set up in the 1960's, the WMF are all about preserving and improving the buildings and places that communities treasure. Everything from Venetian Palazzos to public beaches in the Lebanon, from American Civil Rights sites to post independence architecture in New Delhi. All of these buildings and places are special to communities, just like Blackpool's piers are to us.
The World Monuments Watch programme was started in 1996 to allow the WMF to put specific resources into these places and offer support in negotiating with owners, local government and national governments to protect them. The Watch Day is something that all of the sites included on the Watch do, even the Palazzos! But it's not all fun. We've been working with the WMF behind the scenes to increase the pressure on Central Government to address the issues around piers and climate change, not just ours, but every single last one of them.
We've also been working closely with the National Piers Society who will be out in force on the 9th of June supporting us along with local organisations like Blackpool Civic Trust. The result of this hard work was a meeting in May with the Minister for Tourism, Heritage and Arts, Michael Ellis, a positive meeting which confirmed the need for a review of the condition of all piers, investigations into financial and structural sustainability and how we keep our piers at the heart of our visitor economy. But for now, let's just enjoy our Big Piers Watch Day on the 9th June!