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Tunnels Under Blackpool – Fact or Fiction

A Persistent Local Legend

In this case, the mystery pertains to whether or not there is a hidden network of tunnels under Blackpool. Many residents are aware of this pervasive local legend, but ask five different people about it and you’ll receive five different answers. Some say these secret subterranean passageways run underneath the entire city, while others are unconvinced of their existence. The only thing locals can agree on is that nobody in Blackpool knows the whole story regarding their supposed location.

The Ballroom Tower Heist

One event that did come close to revealing the truth about the tunnels under Blackpool though was The Blackpool Ballroom Tower heist in 2013. The Ballroom Tower, much like the Blackpool Grand Theatre, is an entertainment venue and treasured city landmark. In 2013 it was chosen to host a televised Strictly Come Dancing event. The program itself was a roaring success and the performance ended without incident. Afterward, the show’s stars returned to their dressing rooms with the intention of winding down for the night. Little did they know what was in store for them.

Upon entering their rooms, they quickly noticed all was not well. A cursory glance revealed personal items such as phones and jewellery had been stolen from their bags – presumably while they were performing on stage. Police were immediately called and a crime scene quickly established. Unfortunately, the CCTV footage didn’t show any suspicious activity. There were also no witnesses to bring forth credible information, given that everyone involved in the program was otherwise engaged. This led police to speculate the perpetrators had instead used a secret entrance to access the rooms.

A Clandestine Underground Passageway

As the investigation continued, rumours about the tunnels under Blackpool being used for the robbery began to swirl. Did they exist and if so, where did they lead to? Imaginations ran wild with the possibilities and the Ballroom Tower heist had tongues wagging. Of course, tales of clandestine networks that stretched out beneath the city had persisted for years. But this was the first time that a genuine inquiry into their existence was deemed necessary. Was the town about to learn the truth behind the tunnels under Blackpool once and for all?

The Truth About the Tunnels Under Blackpool

As it turns out, the inspectors did find evidence of a passageway under the Ballroom Tower. Built over 120 years ago, its purpose was to help performers and their equipment move between the Tower and Winter Gardens – another popular entertainment venue in Blackpool. Much to the disappointment of conspiracy theorists though, it was found that this concealed corridor was actually demolished in 1960. The discovery somewhat diminished any rumours an underground channel was used in the heist… for a while anyway.

Truth be told, opinions are still divided over alleged channels under Blackpool. So, if you’re visiting the Tower Ballroom or bringing your children to see the iconic Grand Theatre, it’s still worth asking residents what they think.

Chances are if you talk to enough locals, you’ll eventually find the answer you’re looking for.

 

Discover more about Blackpool’s Grand Theatre History and architect Frank Matcham.