Magnificent chandeliers illuminate Empress Ballroom once again

The Winter Gardens’ iconic Empress Ballroom has reached a significant milestone as the final two chandeliers have been winched back into place.

This restoration effort has been a testament to the devotion and craftsmanship of the Blackpool-based Chesholm Lighting team, who meticulously stripped, cleaned, and re-wired each of the four chandeliers.

The project cost over £34,000 and involved a detailed renovation process. Each crystal was stripped and rebuilt before the chandeliers were installed with new winches in the ballroom roof void.

This is the first time since 2017 that all 12 chandeliers have been restored to their original grandeur and fully operational to once again illuminate the magnificent space.

The chandeliers, which date back to the period between the first and second world wars, replaced the original three enormous ‘bag’ chandeliers. The original fixtures were likely removed to adapt the ballroom for wartime efforts, when the room served as a space for assembling and testing gas bags for airships.

Elaine Smith MBE, Trustee of the Winter Gardens Trust, expressed her gratitude, saying, “The Winter Gardens Trust is delighted to have been able to work with BECL and the Council to make this project happen.

“We are particularly grateful to all our members who have given time and money to ensure that we have been able to fund this part of the restoration of the building. The Empress Ballroom holds countless memories for the people of Blackpool.”

Michael Williams, Managing Director of the Winter Gardens said: “The ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance the Winter Gardens’ 4.9-acre site ensure its historic beauty and charm remain intact for future generations to enjoy.

“The reinstallation of the chandeliers marks a bright new chapter for the Empress Ballroom, a cherished landmark in Blackpool’s rich cultural tapestry. The ballroom now shines brighter than ever as it prepares to host over 2,000 dancers from around the globe at the upcoming Dance Festival.”


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