Blackpool's mighty mirror ball is off for some much needed care

As Strictly this weekend pays homage to the town it cannot visit thanks to coronavirus, Blackpool is to miss out on another glitter ball experience too.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 20th November 2020, 3:30 pm

For the huge mirror ball on South Promenade is to be taken down next week for a full refurbishment.

The artwork was created by artist Michael Trainor and is reputed to be the world’s biggest Mirror Ball, being 6m in diameter. The artist was inspired by and named the work after the 1969 Hollywood film They Shoot Horses Don’t They, about US dance marathons and which features a large mirror ball.

It was originally installed in 2002 as one of a series of commissioned artworks known as The Great Promenade Show and last refurbished in 2010.

Blackpool's famous giant mirror ball is to be taken down for refurbishment

The refurbishment will be undertaken by a number of partners including the council’s own Illuminations team at the Lightworks and students from Blackpool and the Fylde College.

The refurbishment will see the structure completely re-mirrored and an overhaul of the internal bearings that ensure it can rotate in full circle once a minute.

It will be returned to the promenade for the summer season in 2021 with the works taking six months.

The work will involve removing and replacing 47,000 mirror tiles and will use 1,000 tubes of tile adhesive.

The harsh sea environment on the South promenade means that it needs some TLC every few years

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture, said: “The Mirror Ball is much loved by local people and visitors and is an iconic landmark on the South Promenade.

“Our natural environment is beautiful but inevitably the sea salt air takes its toll on the mirror tiles over a long period of time. We look forward to the Mirror Ball returning to sparkle for people to enjoy.”

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The ball is an artwork entitled They Shoot Horses Don't They. It is named after a film of the same name about marathon dance competitions
It was installed in 2002