An old booklet published in 1912, captures the essential spirit of New Brighton Tower.
The popularity of New Brighton - the principal Seaside Resort in the County of Cheshire - increases daily, and deservedly so, for not only can health, pleasure and amusement be found there, but situated as it is at the estuary of the noble River Mersey as it enters the Irish Sea, it offers the visitor a glorious view of Liverpool's Great Waterway and the finest Panorama of Shopping in the world. No other seaside resort possesses so many natural advantages as the famous Cheshire resort. It offers an education, real and lasting, and as the leviathans of the shipping world pass by, one gains an impression of England's greatness which can never be effaced from the mind. It is a slight and an instruction that is without parallel, and one can readily understand why this beautiful resort is the most favoured among excursionists from all parts of Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Midlands.
A splendid stretch of golden sand extends for miles and this is a source of ecstasy for the little ones, and a haven of content, rest and enjoyment for their elders.
Popular as New Brighton has been for a considerable number of years past, it is as nothing compared with the extended popularity it has enjoyed since the construction of that great masterpiece, the New Brighton Tower, with its magnificent gardens covering an area of 35 acres.
Nowhere else in the Kingdom, or in fact the world, can be found so grand a sight, or a place so replete with amusements as the New Brighton Tower, for from the opening each day until the close, not a weary moment need be anticipated by intending visitors.
The means of access are now most convenient, frequent and direct boats from Liverpool Landing Stage during the season; a splendid service of electric cars via Seacombe, and at last but by no means least, the lately electrified system of the Mersey Railway Co., who run trains from Central Low Level or James Street Station (Liverpool), every few minutes.
The Grounds and Gardens, 35 acres in extent, present most beautiful natural features, and the designers must be complimented on the manner in which they performed their task. There is no appearance of artificiality; everything is true to nature, and herein lies the charm. Here will be found not merely the common attractions of so many holiday resorts, these gardens standing alone by the fact that within their boundaries every amusement that can be devised is provided for the entertainment of visitors.
With such advantages. natural and otherwise, it is only natural that the Tower should be visited by many hundreds of thousands every season.
On approaching the Tower Buildings, the main entrance will be seen leading to the Bazaar, Grand Tower Theatre, and the main staircase to the Ballroom, &c.
The Bazaar is occupied by numerous shops for the sale of fancy articles. souvenirs, &c., the entrances to the Theatre leading from either side of the Bazaar.
The Tower Ballroom
Rock Point Castle Restaurant
The Tower Theatre is one of the finest of its kind in the world. Seating accommodation is provided for 3,000 people, and the stage is one of the largest in England, having a proscenium opening of 45 feet, and a depth of 72 feet, and is so arranged that a full-sized circus can be placed upon it, which is often done during the season. At the back of the stage there is stabling for a large number of horses, also for wild animals, and all the arrangements, sanitary and otherwise, are on the latest improved plans.
The Season's Bookings for the Theatre include all the Drury Lane Dramatic Successes, Musical Comedies, and Grand Opera by the leading London Companies, and the variety programmes are rendered by the finest English, Continental, and American talent that can be procured, in addition to which a series of the latest Animated Pictures are depicted at every performance by the Towerscope. The curtain rises at 3 o'clock, and 7.45 pm daily, and on Bank Holidays at 2, 4.30 and 7.45 pm. There are no early door fees, but vast as the capacity of the Theatre is, there are times when the management cannot be accommodate all the patrons. Visitors may always rely on witnessing an entertainment that is clean, educational, elevating and amusing.
On ascending the main staircases, we find the Cloak Rooms, etc, and on the next floor to these is the magnificent Ballroom. This is one of the finest rooms in the Kingdom, and 1,000 couples can conveniently dance at one time on the beautiful parquet floor, which is supported by many thousands of springs, making dancing delightfully easy.
The artistic ornamentation of white and gold is most attractive, and attention should be given to the fine paintings in panels of the civic emblems of different Lancashire towns, which ornament the pillars. The renowned Tower Orchestra plays at frequent intervals, in fact dancing is continuous from 11 am to 10.15 pm daily. During the season this room is the scene of much gaiety, especially on the Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Territorial 'nights'. Dancing Competitions are held almost every week in addition to the Fancy Dress, Summer, and Confetti Carnivals.
On the Ballroom Balcony there is seating accommodation for hundreds who may wish to watch the dancers.
Above the Ballroom is the Elevator Hall, surrounded by fancy shops, and fitted with numerous and highly amusing automatic machines. On entering the Hall, on one side is the shooting Jungle, and on the opposite side is the Aviary, comprising a large collection of beautiful birds, and the African Monkey House.
From the ground floor to the Elevator Hall auxiliary lifts are run all day free, and from the Elevator Hall the main lifts ascend to the Top of the Tower; these lefts run every few minutes; a nominal charge is made for the ascent.
From the top of this magnificent structure, which stands 621 feet above the sea level, and is in fact the highest in the Kingdom, a view of landscape and seascape is to be obtained which lives long in the memory of those who witness it.
The noble river Mersey, with the fine line of Liverpool docks, stretches away north and south for miles, and from this great height the large ships look like toy vessels.
On the landward side is seen the Peninsula of Wirral, with the River Dee and the Welsh mountains in the distance. A more beautiful sea view is unobtainable in any part of the globe, nor can any spot be found where so many beautiful steamers may be watched for so many miles wending their way to or from distant countries; it is indeed a most imposing panorama. and is appreciated to the fullest extent by all who see it.
Descending again to the gardens, the first thing that strikes the eye is the ornamental lake, and immediately opposite is the Japanese Cafe where refreshments of all kinds can be obtained at reasonable prices.
The old quarry (which is called the 'Happy Valley'), faces the Algerian Restaurant, with its large Rockeries planted with ferns and creepers, is another item of interest, and on a holiday it is a delightfully cool and pleasure resort; nestling in one corner is found the Parisian Tea Garden, where visitors map partake of light refreshments while listening to the Pierrots who perform at intervals during the day and evening. At the top of the Quarry will be seen amidst the trees Rock Point Castle, the first class restaurant.
Ascending the steps to the Old English Fair Grounds, we find first and foremost the ever-popular Electric Mountain Railway, the only one of its kind in the north, and which produces a most exhilarating effect on the passengers who travel round it; at the rear of this railway one may inspect the open-air Zoologoical Pens, whilst further on is the Shooting Gallery, and the Menagerie and Lion House. The Menagerie contains a most interesting and varied collection from all parts of the world, including the celebrated Lion 'Pasha', acknowledged to be one of the finest in captivity, and, in addition, the huge favourite elephant 'Punch'.
On the Fair Grounds and throughout the Amusement Park, in addition to those specially mentioned, will be found a numerous collection of side-shows, each one being a novelty and productive of much amusement.
Another great attraction is the Water Chute running from the level of the fairground into the ornamental lake below. It carries its passengers in specially built boats, which cannot capsize, down an incline some 130 feet long and launches them into the lake and then across to the landing place, causing a most exciting and thrilling sensation. The boats are then drawn back into position for another party, solely by electric power, in fact, the whole of the machinery connected with this wonderful establishment is electric, and all the electricity is generated on the premises, the plant being of more than 2,000 horse power.
The employees of Messrs. Bass's, who made their annual to Liverpool and New Brighton yesterday, enjoying themselves in the Tower Gardens. The picture shows (left) a party returning from a trip down the water-chute; (right) on the switchback.
At dusk each evening the whole gardens and buildings are transformed into a veritable fairyland by means of electric lights. Thousands of lamps are hung and festooned round the walks and trees, no fewer than 32,000 lamps being utilised for this purpose, while the inside of the buildings is one gorgeous blaze of light. The lamps are of different colours, and the beautiful effect is thus produced is extremely artistic.
The delight which is afforded by the excellent Tower Ground Orchestra, which gives a Promenade Concert each afternoon and evening, under such charming circumstances, is long remembered. We might write pages and pages in expatiating profusion of sights and novelties of the New Brighton Tower - its attractions are innumerable, its amusements limitless - and the surprised visitors finds it is impossible to see everything in one day.
Consequent upon the erection and popularity of this noble structure, New Brighton has itself reaped enormous benefits from the influx of visitors who pour in daily during the season, and from what was practically a small village has now sprung a town with fine residential property, as well as plenty of comfortable apartments at reasonable charges which compare favourably with similar seaside resorts, so that day or weekend visitors, or those desirous of staying longer, will find no difficulty in obtaining suitable accommodation.
This Guide would scarcely be complete unless mentions were made of the magnificent Sunday Evening Concerts which are given during the season. Nothing short of the best possible is the standard set up, and the arrangements for this year include the most famous available British and Foreign Military Bands, Orchestras, Choirs etc, while special engagements have been entered into vocal and instrumental artistes of world-wide repute. The Grand Tower Orchestra - forty in number - comprises the finest soloists of the Richter, Haile, Philharmonic, and other noted orchestras, and the concerts given weekly have earned the just reputation of being the finest in the provinces.