Madame Tussauds Blackpool
Located next to the famous Blackpool Tower, the new Madame Tussauds Blackpool has more than just the stories of the waxworks to tell, as its association with Blackpool is longer and historical. Louis Tussaud, the original owner of the Blackpool waxworks, is linked to the tradition of Blackpool Football fans wearing outrageous costumes to support their team, as he would lend outfits from his livery to support the sport fans.
It may surprise you to learn that the Tussaud family have not been owners of the famous Madame Tussaud brand since 1889. The limited company that had been formed to represent the interests of the Tussaud family fell into financial trouble and was sold to a consortium of businessmen led by Edwin Josiah Poyser.
From the morgue to wax museums
Marie Grosholtz was a housekeeper’s daughter and she watched Dr Phillippe Curtius, her mother’s employer, model in wax, parts of the human body and its features. She learned her trade from the doctor, and made her first full size wax model of Voltaire, in 1777. When the French Revolution was underway, she would buy the heads of executed persons, and model their features into waxwork heads. These became popular items to display about town in Paris, as you can imagine.
She then decided to take her show on the road, and after marrying Francois Tussuard she had a new name; Madame Tussauds; and had inherited all of the late doctor’s waxwork models. Creating a chamber of horrors show which she styled on torture victims of the French Revolution, and their agonised heads, her tour led her to London, where she rented apartments in Baker Street for a more permanent display.
Riches and success arose from 1835, and so did the inevitable family squabbles. This led to Louis Tussaud setting up his own waxworks in Blackpool, and making his own models outside of London. The Louis Tussauds was closed in 2010, and the new Madame Tussauds Blackpool has been opened on the same site. Today, the famous waxwork empire is controlled by the Merlin Group.
Must see waxworks at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool include Lady Ga Ga, the first figure ever to be released by Madame Tussauds on a global level. Local favourites include X-Factor star Susan Boyle, television favourites, Kevin and Diedre, comedians Ken Dodd, Benny Hill, and the actress Barbara Windsor.