Pleasureland Southport

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Southport Pleasureland
Slogan Where Memories are Made!
Location Southport, Merseyside, England
Coordinates 53°38′57″N 3°01′01″W / 53.64918°N 3.01707°W / 53.64918; -3.01707Coordinates: 53°38′57″N 3°01′01″W / 53.64918°N 3.01707°W / 53.64918; -3.01707
Owner Funporium
Opened 1912
Previous names Pleasureland
Operating season February - November
Area Southport, Merseyside, England
Rides
Total 27 total
Roller coasters 4 rollercoasters
Water rides 1 log flume
Website www.southportpleasureland.com[1]

Southport Pleasureland[2] is an amusement park located in Southport, Merseyside, England. The park originally operated from 1912 to 2006 under the ownership of the Blackpool Pleasure Beach company.[3] In 2007, the park re-opened under the ownership of Norman Wallis.[4]

Pleasureland (1912-2006)[edit]

The original Pleasureland before closing

The first Pleasureland had operated since 1912 as a sister amusement park to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.[5] In 2005, the park introduced an entrance fee, which proved unpopular[6] and resulted in a serious downturn in the number of visitors. On 5 September 2006 it closed, due to a claimed lack of return on investments.

A number of rides, including the Traumatizer, were moved to the company's site at Blackpool.

Traumatizer (June 2006)

The park included several historical rides such as the Cyclone wooden rollercoaster; on 14 September 2006, pictures were released onto the Internet of people dismantling the Cyclone, much to the dismay of local residents, Pleasureland fans, and coaster enthusiasts. On 18 September 2006, two protesters climbed to the top of the Cyclone in an attempt to save it. The protest lasted for three hours, after which the protesters came down over police concerns regarding the distraction they posed causing to passing motorists. There was a petition co-ordinated by a group of coaster enthusiasts to try and save the ride, but this effort also failed. The Cyclone was demolished on 20 November 2006.[7]

The Cyclone in June 2006

One of the park's unique features was its Funhouse with traditional funhouse attractions such as the Wheel and the Social Mixer. The Funhouse continued to operate independently for several months until its closure on 31 March 2007. Soon after, the funhouse was gutted and parts taken to Blackpool; speculation exists that these will form party of a future heritage fairground museum in Blackpool.[8]

The Funhouse featured attractions no longer found at other amusement parks

Not much is known about the fate of many of the classic rides at Pleasureland, although some have been bought and put into storage for a prospective Dreamland revival project in Margate.

Southport Pleasureland (2007-present)[edit]

On 31 May 2007, it was announced that Dreamstorm International were to invest £100 million at the Pleasureland site. Pleasureland was re-opened to the public on 21 July 2007 and renamed New Pleasureland. In June 2007, some of the original Pleasureland buildings were demolished, except for buildings around the perimeter. The site re-opened under new management as scheduled, with a temporary travelling fairground. Then, following a successful summer season, the park was kept open (weekends only) until November 2007, when some demolition of remaining unwanted buildings was carried out and refurbishment of other buildings completed. A Pinfari "Zyklon Loop" rollercoaster was constructed on the site where the Traumatizer once stood and was opened at the start of the 2008 season, named 'Storm'. The Traumatizer was moved to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and opened as the Infusion in 2007.

2008[edit]

The Park reopened in 2008 on 21 March. However, on 20 March, Sefton Council announced that a company called Urban Splash had been chosen to develop Southport seafront including the Pleasureland site. Here is a report from BBC News.[9] It was announced in October 2008 that New Pleasureland would return for the 2009/10 seasons. An official opening schedule has been announced for 2009,

The Traumatizer [10] station building has been demolished. In February 2008, the site of the Cyclone Rollercoaster [11] was landscaped, and part of the old River Caves ride demolished to make room for more rides.

"Norman Returns The Pleasure" The Park re-opened for the 2008 season on 15 March and rides added for the summer months. Work has also continued on the grounds to make them look more presentable. A Big Top Circus was added during the summer weeks but was removed by its owners after only 2 weeks in the park due to the low number of people visiting New Pleasureland at the start of the summer holiday period. In Summer 2008, a new static ride was opened in the form of a swinging pirate ship. In early 2008, a new roller coaster opened. "Indy's Lost World - The Ride" is a themed indoor roller coaster, based on the latest Indiana Jones' film; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull The roller coaster is situated inside the old Fun House building. In September 2008, it was announced that New Pleasureland will return for the 2009/10 season. In October 2008, the park's Pinfari Roller Coaster, Storm was removed from the park and sold.

2009[edit]

On the evening of 21 April, an arson attack took place, destroying the Lost Dinosaurs of the Sahara (River Caves) and a nearby inflatable attraction.[12] In May 2009, the original Pleasureland Wildcat coaster was bought by Norman Wallis and rebuilt in its original location. The Wildcat opened on 12 August 2009.[13]

2010[edit]

The 'Haunted Inn', the only remaining original feature of Pleasureland, was destroyed in a fire on 30 January 2010.[14] The Pleasureland main entrance building, which was built not long before the original park closed in 2006, was also demolished in February 2010. The Casablanca Entertainment complex was repainted white in June 2010 and is awaiting refurbishment.

Pleasureland Main Entrance Building in 2007

Indy's Lost World Indoor Roller Coaster was closed early 2010. It is to be replaced with a new Indoor Ghost Train. The ride opened in July 2010.

Battlefield Live Southport has opened on the site of the old Southport Zoo, which is immediately adjacent to Pleasureland. Battlefield Live is an outdoor combat game using guns that fire infra-red beams. The site is accessed via Pleasureland and it opened in August 2010.

2011[edit]

The park opened during the Easter Holidays hosting a Monster Truck weekend. A circus was also moved onto the site for the spring season.[15] The previous weekend hosted an Urban Graffiti Art Festival.[16]

2012[edit]

The park opened in March, with a new ride called "Air"[17] and a new log flume ride was constructed on the site of the old log flume which was demolished in 2007. A new 'Events Arena' was opened in July with plans to be used as a concert venue.

2013[edit]

The park re-opened in March, with 3 new rides from Camelot Theme Park which closed in 2012.

2014[edit]

The park underwent a further rebrand for the 2014 season, with a new website, new logo, new name and new slogan - 'Where memories are made!'. The park also introduced a new electronic token system for its rides, known as the 'Fun Card'. Guests are required to purchase tokens from kiosks and are given a Fun Card with a lanyard to wear. The card can be swiped at any park ride, without carrying lots of paper tokens. Individual tokens cost £1 and all rides have a value from 1 to 4 tokens each. Stations have been allocated around the park to show guests how many tokens remain on their card to use.[18]

Current rides[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Opened Closed Ride Name
2009 - "Wild Mouse"
2009 - "Circus Clown"
2008 2010 "Indy's Lost World"
1982 - "Big Apple"

Thrill rides[edit]

Opened Closed Ride Name
2009 - "Devistator"
2009 - "Speed Buzz"
2011 - "Ridge Racer"
2008 - "Rock 'N' Roll Express"
2009 - "Superbob"
2009 - "Waltzer"
2008 - "Twister"
2009 - "Jungle River"
2008 - "Dominator"

Other rides[edit]

Opened Closed Ride Name
1994 - "Morrocan Golf"
- - "Dune Bugs"
- - "Junior Quad Bikes"
- - "Go Karts"
- 2010 "Haunted Inn"
2007 - "Dodgems"
2008 - "Pirate Ship"
2009 - "Gallopers"
2008 - "Swingboats"
2009 - "Ski Jump"
2009 - "Piggy Ride"
2009 - "Super Satellite"
2009 - "Mini Paratrooper"
2008 - "Mini Wheel"
2009 - "Trampolines"
2009 - "Train"
2009 - "Convoy"

Notable Past Rides[edit]

Opened Closed Ride Name Notes
1937 2006 "Cyclone" Wooden rollercoaster, opened on Good Friday 1937. Severely damaged by hurricane in January 1961, but quickly repaired and reopened in time for 1961 season. The station was damaged by fire in 1984 but was immediately rebuilt. Main structure demolished September 2006. Cars taken to Pleasure Beach Blackpool.
1978 2006 "Wild Cat" Location Unknown
1998 2006 "Chaos" Relocated to Lightwater Valley.
2004 2006 "Sandstorm" Cage style attraction. Relocated to Dreamland Margate (June 2007)
1975 2006 "The Sky-Ride" Cable cars. Relocated to Dreamland Margate (June 2007)
2003 2006 "Abdulla’s Dilemma" Workings relocated to Dreamland Margate (June 2007)
1997 2006 "Tidal Wave" Pirate ship. Relocated to M&D’s Scotland.
2004 2006 "Desert Convoy" Car ride. Relocated to Knowsley Safari Park.
1999 2006 "TraumaTizer" Relocated to Pleasure Beach Blackpool.
2000 2006 "King Solomon's Mines" Relocated to Dreamland Margate.
1980s 2006 "Big Apple" Current location unknown. Similar ride currently operates on site.
2002 2006 "Space Shot" Relocated to Loudoun Castle.
2004 2006 "Lost Dinosaurs of the Sahara" Workings relocated to Dreamland Margate. Building demolished 2009 after fire. Dinosaur figures and central chamber volcano relocated to Blackpool Zoo as part of the Dinosaur exhibit.
- 2006 "Gallopers" Location Unknown
1914 2006 "Caterpillar" Relocated to Dreamland Margate.
1991 2006 "Chewits Log Flume" Demolished June 2007.
2006 2006 "Chair-O-Planes" Operated at New Pleasureland in 2008.
1994 2005 "Water Toboggans" Removed in 2005 and put into storage.
- 2006 "Marakesh Express" Relocated to Loudoun Castle.
1955 2007 "Fun House" Refurbished in 2000, the Fun House continued to operate after park closure but was later gutted, with rides taken to Blackpool possibly for the rumored heritage museum as the rides where not found anywhere else.

The original building is now being used for Indy's Lost Adventure.

1992 2006 "Viking Boats" Relocated to Lightwater Valley.
1992 2006 "Safari Bugs" owned by caddick engineering. Location now unknown
1912 2004 "Sultan's Towers" Helter Skelter. Destroyed 2005.
- 2006 "Flying Camels" Relocated to Lightwater Valley.
1997 2006 "The Mistral" Relocated to Dreamland Margate.
2006 2006 "Big Wheel" Temporary ride before closure, location unknown
1931 2006 "Ghost Train" The original Ghost Train was closed in 1997 and replaced in 1998 by a new spinning-cars ride that reused many of the old ride's effects. Relocated to Dreamland Margate.
1997 2006 "Tagada" Current location unknown. Similar ride currently operates on site.
1995 2002? "Himalaya" Sold, Current location unknown.
1949 2010 "Haunted Inn" The Haunted Inn (formerly the "Crazy Cottage") was the last remaining part of the old Pleasureland, but was burnt down on 30 January 2010.
1994 2000 "Astroslide" Sold, now in Tatsminda Park Georgia (Replaced by dodgems)
1930 1977 "Noah's Ark" Destroyed by fire in September 1977
1949 2003 "Waltzer" Numerous Waltzer rides have been on site since 1940s

Incidents[edit]

Sky-Ride[edit]

While under the ownership of the Thompson family, two incidents occurred.

First Incident[edit]

In April 2004, four people were stranded on the ride due to an electrical fault.

Second Incident[edit]

On 25 August 2004, a 59-year-old employee was killed after he became trapped on a cable car as he was performing maintenance on the ride. The park was fined £95,000 for breaching health and safety laws and was also ordered to pay £50,000 in costs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.southportpleasureland.com/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ http://www.southportpleasureland.com/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Pleasureland Theme Park". UK Attractions.com. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Joe. "Southport Pleasureland’s owner Norman Wallis talks about the resort’s future". Liverpool Echo newspaper. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Mersey Reporter & Southport Reporter - News page
  6. ^ . Southport GB News http://www.southport.gb.com/southport/news_list/Easter_fury_at_Pleasureland_for_Michelle-42693.htm.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Mersey Reporter & Southport Reporter - News page
  8. ^ Club Pleasure Beach
  9. ^ Sefton MBC and A local newspaper report also RSS report from local paper
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ [2][dead link]
  12. ^ http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/breaking-news/2009/04/21/massive-fire-at-southport-s-pleasureland-101022-23440405/
  13. ^ "Liverpool - Places - Wildcat reopens at Southport Pleasure Beach". BBC. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  14. ^ Ben Turner. "News - Liverpool Local News - Arson suspected to be behind fire at Southport's Pleasureland Haunted House fairground attraction". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  15. ^ Yaqoob, J (2011) "Monster fun in store for truck fans at Southport’s Pleasureland this week", http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2011/04/20/monster-fun-in-store-for-truck-fans-at-southport-s-pleasureland-this-week-101022-28547737/
  16. ^ Yaqoob, J (2011) "Southport’s first Urban Art and Street Painting Festival launches this weekend", http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-entertainment/2011/04/15/southport-s-first-urban-art-and-street-painting-festival-launches-this-weekend-101022-28520860/
  17. ^ Dutton, C. (2012) "Southport New Pleasureland Attractions and Rides - Air", http://www.southportfunfair.co.uk/attractions-rides.html
  18. ^ http://www.southportpleasureland.com/how-much-do-the-rides-cost/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]