12 Jul Back to Blackpool and the beautiful Mirrorball
Back in 2001, the local authority in Blackpool got all creative and commissioned the Manchester based Art Department to create a work of art for the South Shore area of the town. They appointed the sculptor Michael Trainor to design it for them who designed the world’s biggest Mirror Ball and an engineering firm in Oldham were given the task of building it.
The Mirror Ball, which is 6m in diameter and weighs 4.5 tons, spins at around one full rotation per minute. The outside of it is covered with 46,000 individual mirrors. For the superstitious amongst you, can you imagine the years of bad luck you’d get if you dropped it!
Well, after nearly ten years by the sea-front and 2.75 million rotations, the famous ball was in dire need of some major TLC. It was taken down to be re-mirrored and the engineering underneath it completely refurbished. This is where Garmendale came in. We love challenging engineering projects.
A look into the viewing portal in the slewing ring showed how bad the roller bearings had become.
The roller bearings had gone a little awry and needed complete replacement
Replacement of the bearings was an obvious priority, but whilst it was dismantled, we replaced the motor gearbox to ensure a longer life and quieter running going forwards.
The Garmendale team on site in 2010 with the first major refurbishment
We also added an auto-lube system, so that rather than needing to be manually lubricated, the system applied more grease as it was required. This was linked to an auto-dialler system so that it sent us a text message to let us know that the grease reservoir needed refilling or to notify us of any potential running problems.
The inside of the Blackpool Glitter Ball and the mechanics that allow it to rotate
The Blackpool Glitter Ball complete with secret hatch to allow access to the inside and the workings
The Blackpool Glitter Ball completely refurbished and ready to roll
We’re still maintaining the Mirror Ball now and the team were on site again today to carry out routine servicing and ensure everything was running just right in time for the busy summer season.
The Garmendale team back on site today to service the Blackpool Glitter Ball