As you can imagine the tower grounds were a huge success on their own without the opening of the tower structure.  Crowds
flocked from afar and thousands entered the attraction bringing with another requirement ... Crowd control.  In order to keep
the grounds safe and to keep order, the New Brighton Tower Recreation company kept a 15 man private security team in the
grounds to help out with unwanted visitors and to help keep the site running smoothly.  The men were not as we would think
of private security today, they would have been much more like a friendly community police that we had in early Victorian times;
with positive attitude and a position which commanded respected from both old and young.      

The tower finally opened in 1900 to the amazement of the public, drawing in even larger crowds from all across the North West
region and further.  To get to the top the visitor would take one of four lifts and from there would head to the observation deck
where the views commanded a position across the whole of the area even looking as far as the Great Orme and some records
even go far as to say the Lake District on a clear day.  The tower contained an incredible ballroom, very similar to that of
Blackpool tower.  It was large enough to hold over 3000 dancers and a large band.   It was surrounded by finely cushioned
seats were people could sit and watch the entertaining or courting couples could visit on their dates.  The tower also contained
much entertainment over a variety of floors including a picture gallery, a show room, a large billiards room, a small menagerie
(the former zoo in the grounds) a shooting gallery and several side shows.  The tower also contained a large theatre which in
itself a wonder to the public.  It opened in 1898 with a capacity of around 2500 people and the largest and well built stage in
Britain.    
The New Brighton Tower
The New Brighton Tower
Wirral's lost wonder once stood in 19th century
New Brighton looking out across the Mersey.  In
1896 work began on the tower grounds and a
year later work commenced on the actual frame
work of the building.   The company tasked with
creating this marvel was "Maxwell & Tuke" who
were already famed for creating Blackpool tower.  
Over the 4 years of construction an estimated
£300,000 was spent on the project and 5
members of the construction crew were killed.  
The tower was built  to a height of 567 feet
making it higher than Blackpool tower and at the
time the highest building in Britain.  The 30 acres
of tower gardens were described as a marvel of
wonder & inspiration by a French traveller in 1905.
 The gardens consisted of Tea house with light &
heavy refreshments, where tourists could sit and
watch the world go by.  A large lake surrounded
by beds of trees sat in the middle of the gardens.  
Along the lake gondoliers propelled themselves
and their passengers through the narrow water
ways; singing in a venetian style to the
excitement of the tourists.  The gardens were
decorated with an assortment of plants and trees
both from English Country gardens and from
foreign climates.  The gardens contained a variety
of restaurants and cafés giving a wide selection of
confectionery and refreshments.  It also included a
large wooden  stage for dancing and
entertainment. It was frequented by brass bands
and light orchestras especially in the peak
seasons throughout the summer months.  The
tower grounds charged 6 pence for access.  The
gardens had several bands including a brass
band, a ladies Hungarian band, a Constantina
band, a Persian band and a band in the Tower Ball
room.  I believe that the grounds even went so far
as to contain a small zoo which included many
exciting animals for the time such as lions, parrots,
deers and monkeys.  The zoo was later
transferred to the upper floors of the tower.  
The New Brighton Tower Fire 1968
The New Brighton Tower Fire 1968
The New Brighton Tower Ballroom
The New Brighton Tower Ballroom
The New Brighton Tower Ballroom
Eventually they too were shut down and the building remained empty for a number of years.  In 1969 children broke into the
abandoned building and started a fire.  This goes to show that this is not just a present day problem, but one that stems
back generations.  The fire left the building so badly damaged that it was demolished under orders from Wirral Borough
Council.  A housing estate now occupies the former site of the Wallasey's wonder with not even a street named after it to
keep its memory  alive.
The end of the tower is yet another hotbed of
controversy.  The first reason given was that the
tower had fallen into decline and that maintenance
and repair fees to the steel work was more than the
owners could afford.

Another reason given was that it was deemed
structurally unsafe by Wirral Municipal Council.  This
seems very strange to me, as i cannot believe that the
firm who built Blackpool tower would do such a shoddy
job with New Brighton tower so much so that it would
be deemed unsafe; especially as Blackpool's is still
going strong.  

In 1919 a team of 13 men began taking down the
tower and shaft and completed the project within 2
years just leaving the brick base of the building
standing.  The base of the tower which contained the
ballroom and theatre continued to operate as normal
but eventually began to decline.
The Tower Ballroom
The Tower Ballroom
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The Fire in 1969
The Fire in 1969