The start of the Blackpool Show began with a visit by a few Scouting friends to the 3 Counties Gang Show in October of 1961. Tony Guy, Les Illingworth and Ron Chattington were on the way back from the Show when they, along with their mates, Geoff Bunn, Bill Gossop, Wally Tyres and Bert Bradshaw decide that Blackpool could do a show just like the one they had seen!
And that is how, roughly 12 months later, the first Blackpool Gang Show took to the stage.
1962 – First Show at Dean Street Memorial Hall.
1964 – Move to larger Jubilee Theatre above the Co-op. Model of a plane flown onto stage.
1966 – Pennants are given out as a souvenir to the Gang for the first time.
1967 – John Rowland becomes Director of the Show
1968 – Large fleur-de-lys type programme adopted.
1969 – Change of venue to the Royal Pavilion Theatre.
1970 – Change again to E.M.I. Winter Gardens, large theatre on a tight budget.
1972 – We move, yet again to the Grand Theatre for one year only.
1973 – Back to the Winter Gardens and we stay a while…7 years!
1975 – The song “Blackpool” is written especially for the Show by Ralph Reader C.B.E. and he visits the Show.
1977 – The organist changes to Mr Paul Greenwood.
1980 – We move to a new theatre, the ABC.
1981 – The ABC closes! And we step up to the mighty Opera House and 3000 seats to occupy! Anne Hornby becomes our general secretary.
1982 – 21st anniversary Show and we are filling the Opera House Friday and Saturday nights!
1986 – Silver Jubilee Gang Show watched by the Chief Scout. The Gang Show reaches its pinnacle!!
1988 – Gang are back at the Grand Theatre.
1991 -Drummer changes twice in a year and ends up with Phil Wheatley.
1992 – We return, again to the Winter Gardens.
1995 – The gang pays tribute to our Director John Rowland who, sadly passed away, he’s the first to be remembered on the Gang Show Pennant.
1999 – It’s quite a crisis year for the Show and we put a “Review” on at Bispham High School but we’re still going!
2000 – Things improve but we put the Show on at Collegiate High School.
2001 – Back to the Winter Gardens where we pay tribute to Anne Hornby who, sadly passed away and we have a trophy in her memory, the second name to go on our Pennant.
2005 – We move to our present Theatre, The Globe at the Pleasure beach, a challenging stage for the cast!
2007 – The Centenary of Scouting produces the 3D Gang Show where Scouting and Guiding people from Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde districts join up to put on this show.
2011 – We are poised for our 50th Show let’s make it a memorable one!!
2012 – We say goodbye to Joan Swan as director.
2013 – We welcome Darrell Shuck as our new director!
2014 – A new trophy is donated to us by the family of Ron Chattington for the Junior Gang.
2015 – 10 years at the Globe theatre!
2018 – The show moves back to the Grand Theatre