Blackpool’s Local Family and History Centre are showcasing a pottery souvenir of the famous Great Wheel attraction as part of a Lancashire wide object trail.

The History of Lancashire in 70 objects project will mark the 70th anniversary of the Lancashire Life magazine. It has been curated by the people of Lancashire with their chosen objects displayed in various public spaces across the county. The trail also includes a fire screen made by nurses during World War Two in Lytham Hall and the painting ‘Rabbiting’ by Richard Ansdell displayed in Booths Gallery, Lytham.

Back in November last year, Blackpool Museum Project, went into Our Lady’s of the Assumption Catholic Primary School to conduct a school vote for the object to best represent Blackpool. A group of Museum volunteers presented five objects from Blackpool’s Heritage Collection including; a Donkey hand puppet, a souvenir of the Great Wheel, an original record of ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’, an Blackpool Circus poster and the crocodile puppet from Professor Green’s Punch and Judy show.

The children were very engaged in the history of all the objects and their Blackpool significance but it was The Great Wheel souvenir which really captured their imagination.

The Great Wheel was a famous Blackpool attraction and Lancashire landmark which stood for 32 years. It was sometimes called the ‘Gigantic Wheel’ or ‘Big Wheel’. It opened in 1896 at the Winter Gardens as a rival to Blackpool Tower, offering great views across Lancashire. It was 67m high and had 30 carriages, each could hold 40 passengers. It was driven by two powerful steam engines. A ride cost sixpence and there were four rides an hour.

The Great Wheel souvenir will be on display in the Local and Family History Centre, first floor of Blackpool Central Library until the 2 December 2017.

This is a partnership project with Lancashire Museum’s Service and Museum Development North West and supported by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund.

To download the Spotter’s Guide and resources here



Bygone Days Talk: Blackpool’s Great Wheel

Thursday 26 October 2017, 14:00 – 15:00 hours

Brunswick Room, Central Library

For everyone

Emma Heslewood, Curator Blackpool Museum Project, will explore the remarkable story of the gigantic wheel situated in the Winter Gardens from 1896-1928. No booking required.



Family workshop: Model making

Friday 3 November 2017, 13:30 – 15:30 hours

Brunswick Room, Central Library

For families (recommended 5-12yrs)

Grundy Art Gallery will be delivering a family friendly workshop exploring model making and architecture inspired by The Great Wheel.

Booking is essential.  To book please email or call 01253 478170