JUMBO LANDS IN BLACKPOOL

What’s big, grey and drives a forklift truck?

It was a tusk job, but someone had to do it… Take an 80kg baby elephant on a 250-mile journey to Blackpool that is!

Construction halted today (25 February 2020) at the future site of Showtown, Blackpool’s first museum, while the first prop was installed on-site within the Roll Up! Roll Up! circus section.

The fibreglass Indian elephant was originally due to arrive in a nelly-copter, but multi-tusking staff manoeuvred her into the museum using a forklift truck amid the construction currently taking place.

Arriving in a crate to protect her from the Blackpool elements, the 7ft female elephant will eventually be given a colourful blanket to make sure she looks the part for when Showtown opens in 2021.

Jill Carruthers, Exhibitions Coordinator from Showtown, said: “Elephants have a long history at the circus in Blackpool. From 1984 when the Tower first opened its doors, throughout the two world wars, until the end of performing animals in 1990. They’ve got a fond place in a lot of people’s hearts, many even remember the elephants being exercised on the beach.

“Our elephant currently needs a name, and we’re looking forward to hearing what the residents of Blackpool and visitors to our seaside town would like to call her.”

Richard Kenworthy, Managing Director at Warden Construction, commented, “This is definitely first of a kind for our site team. We’re more used to seeing deliveries of building materials rather than this special delivery today. As main contractor for the Sands Venue Resort Hotel, which incorporates Showtown, we’re expecting to see many more unusual items on site.”

The elephant was hand-crafted by 3D artists, RAE models based in Chertsey, and took the specialist team of model makers over 12 weeks to create their first-ever Indian elephant.

Construction will continue around the elephant this year until the museum is due to open its doors to the public in 2021.

Showtown, the £13 million development project, will be located in Blackpool’s first five-star hotel ‘Sands Venue Resort Hotel’ which has a prominent position on the Promenade in the heart of Blackpool, next door but one to Blackpool Tower.