Southport Pleasureland is an amusement park located in Southport, Merseyside, England. The park originally operated from 1913 to 2006 as Pleasureland Theme Park under the ownership of the Blackpool Pleasure Beach company. In 2007, the park re-opened under the ownership of Norman Wallis.
|Slogan||Where Memories are Made!|
|Location||Southport, Merseyside, England|
|Operating season||February - November|
|Area||Southport, Merseyside, England|
|Roller coasters||4 rollercoasters|
|Water rides||1 log flume|
The first Pleasureland had operated since 1913 as a sister amusement park to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. In 2005, the park introduced an entrance fee, which proved unpopular 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 station building has been demolished. In February 2008, the site of the Cyclone Rollercoaster 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.
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. 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.
The 'Haunted Inn', the only remaining original feature of Pleasureland, was destroyed in a fire on 30 January 2010. 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.
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.
The park opened during the Easter Holidays hosting a Monster Truck weekend. A circus was also moved onto the site for the spring season. The previous weekend hosted an Urban Graffiti Art Festival.
The park opened in March, with a new ride called "Air" 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.
The park re-opened in March, with 3 new rides from Camelot Theme Park which closed in 2012.
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.
The park opened on 28 March with The Crazy Mouse roller coaster amid many other minor additions.
In October 2015, The Crazy Mouse was dismantled to make way for a new yellow looping roller coaster. Construction for the ride was completed in 2016 with the ride's name being "Speed Loop".
|2008||2010||"Indy's Lost World"|
|2008||-||"Rock 'N' Roll Express"|
|-||-||"Junior Quad Bikes"|
Notable Past RidesEdit
|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 Blackpool Pleasure Beach. A taller & faster clone of this ride under the same name can be found at Indias Nicco Park|
|1978||2006||"Wild Cat"||Manufactured by Pinfari.|
|1998||2006||"Chaos"||Manufactured by Chance Rides. Relocated to Lightwater Valley as "Hornets Nest".|
|2004||2006||"Sandstorm"||A Frank Hrubetz & Company Round Up (ride). Operated previously at Blackpool Pleasure Beach from 1969 to 2003. Relocated to Dreamland Margate (June 2007).|
|1975||2006||"The Sky-Ride"||Cable cars manufactured by Ivan Bennett. Relocated to Dreamland Margate (June 2007)|
|2003||2006||"Abdulla's Dilemma"||Workings relocated to Dreamland Margate (June 2007)|
|1997||2006||"Tidal Wave"||A HUSS Park Attractions Pirate Ship (ride). Operated previously at Blackpool Pleasure Beach between 1980 and 1996. Relocated to M&D's Scotland as "Captain's Curse".|
|2004||2006||"Desert Convoy"||An I.E. Park children's track ride. Relocated to Knowsley Safari Park.|
|1999||2006||"TraumaTizer"||Relocated to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.|
|2000||2006||"King Solomon's Mines"||Operated previously at Frontierland, Morecambe. Relocated to Dreamland Margate.|
|1982||2006||"Big Apple"||Current location unknown. Similar ride currently operates on site. Manufactured by Pinfari.|
|2002||2006||"Lucozade Space Shot"||An S&S Worldwide Double Shot (ride). Relocated to Loudoun Castle.|
|1922||2009||"Lost Dinosaurs of the Sahara"||Previously named "River Caves". Workings relocated to Dreamland Margate. Building demolished 2009 after an arson attack. Dinosaur figures and central chamber volcano relocated to Blackpool Zoo as part of the Dinosaur exhibit.|
|1950||2006||"Gallopers"||Classic galloping horses manufactured by Thomas Walker.|
|1914||2006||"Caterpillar"||Relocated to Dreamland Margate.|
|1991||2006||"Chewits Log Flume"||Manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. Relocated from Magic Harbour, USA. 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.|
|1960s||2006||"Marakesh Express"||A children's track ride. Manufactured by Lang Wheels.|
|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 was initially used for "Indy's Lost Adventure", but now houses the "Ghost Train".
|1992||2006||"Viking Boats"||Relocated to Lightwater Valley.|
|1992||2006||"Safari Bugs"||Owned by Caddick Engineering. Location now unknown|
|1913||2004 or 2005||"Sultan's Towers"||Helter Skelter. Destroyed 2004 or 2005.|
|1999||2006||"Flying Camels"||Manufactured by I.E. Park. Operated previously as "Flying Elephants" at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Relocated to Lightwater Valley.|
|1997||2006||"The Mistral Flying Machine"||A Bisch Rocco flying scooters ride. Relocated to Dreamland Margate.|
|2006||2006||"Big Wheel"||Temporary ride before closure. Relocated to Dreamland Margate|
|1931||1996||"Ghost Train"||The park's original ghost train ride. Removed at the end of the 1996 season, and "Journey Into Space" dark ride was converted into a new ghost train.|
|1997||2006||"Tagada"||An Eli Bridge Company Twist (ride). Operated previously at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Similar ride currently operates on site.|
|1985||2002||"Himalaya"||A Reverchon Industries Matterhorn (ride).|
|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.|
|1970||2000||"Astroslide"||Sold, now in Tatsminda Park Georgia (Replaced by dodgems)|
|1930||1977||"Noah's Ark"||Destroyed by fire in September 1977. Built by William Strickler.|
|1954||2003||"Waltzer"||Numerous Waltzer rides have been on site since 1950s|
|1976||1990s||"Ski Jump"||A Mack Rides manufactured flying coaster ride. Owned by the Silcock family.|
|1978||2006||"Ghost Train"||A dark ride with spinning cars, originally called "Journey Into Space". Was transformed into a more traditional ghost train attraction following the scrapping of the park's original 1930s ghost train.|
|1957||2002||"Hurricane Jets"||Lang Wheels manufactured jets ride. Owned by Helters Ltd. until 1977 when ownership passed to Herbert Silcock (New Modern Products 'jets' fitted to the ride at this time)|
|1988||1992||"Rok 'N' Rol"||An Allan Herschell Company looper ride. Operated previously at Frontierland, Morecambe.|
|1976||1982||"Cresta Run"||A forerunner to the "Himalaya". Built and operated by the Jackson family.|
|1955||1960||"Moonrocket"||A traditional Lakin/Maxwell moonrocket ride.|
|1938||1955||"Octopus"||A Lusse Octopus (ride). Relocated to Ocean Beach, Rhyl.|
|1973||1996||"Paratrooper"||An Ivan Bennett lifting paratrooper, operated by the Silcock family.|
|1983||1983||"Viking"||The park's first Pirate Ship (ride), manufactured by Zierer. Relocated to Coney Beach Pleasure Park.|
|1986||1987||"Hanseatic"||The park's second Pirate Ship (ride), manufactured by HUSS Park Attractions. Originally owned by Bremen based travelling showman Rudolf Robrahn, then operated at Dreamland Margate.|
|1985||1987||"Looping Star"||An Anton Schwarzkopf looping star rollercoaster. Operated by Jan DeKoning.|
|1983||1984||"Mad Mouse"||A wooden wild mouse rollercoaster. Previously operated at Manning's Amusement Park, Felixstowe.|
|1983||1993||"Meteorite"||A Sam Ward manufactured Round Up (ride). Operated by the Silcock family.|
|1977||1980||"Scat"||A scat ride manufactured by Fairplace. Relocated to Frontierland, Morecambe.|
|1950s||2006||"Black Hole"||A traditional swirl/skid ride, built and originally operated by the Jackson family. Converted into a dark ride.|
|1987||1997||"Satellite"||A Chance Rides trabant/satellite ride. Located just in front of the "Cyclone".|
|1974||1983||"Tri-Star"||The UK's first Troika (ride). Built by Ivan Bennett and operated by the Silcock family. Relocated to Spanish City, Whitley Bay.|
|1983||2000s||"Log Runner"||An Ivan Bennett manufactured steel circular water chute. Previously operated at Alton Towers.|
|1971||1991||"Speedway"||A traditional ark/speedway ride manufactured by Maxwell. Relocated to Marvels Amusement Park, Scarborough and converted to a Waltzer.|
While under the ownership of the Thompson family, two incidents occurred.
In April 2004, four people were stranded on the ride due to an electrical fault.
On 25 August 2004, a 59-year-old employee was killed after he became trapped while performing maintenance on the ride. In 2007 the park was fined £95,000 for breaching health and safety laws and was also ordered to pay £50,000 in costs.
- "Welcome To Southport Pleasureland". Southport Pleasureland. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- "Pleasureland Theme Park". UK Attractions.com. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Thomas, Joe. "Southport Pleasureland's owner Norman Wallis talks about the resort's future". Liverpool Echo newspaper. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Mersey Reporter & Southport Reporter - News page Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Southport GB News. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|dead-url=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Mersey Reporter & Southport Reporter - News page Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- Club Pleasure Beach Archived 20 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Sefton MBC Archived 10 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine and A local newspaper report Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine also RSS report from local paper Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived 21 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- [dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-25. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Liverpool - Places - Wildcat reopens at Southport Pleasure Beach". BBC. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Ben Turner. "News - Liverpool Local News - Arson suspected to be behind fire at Southport's Pleasureland Haunted House fairground attraction". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Yaqoob, J (2011) "Monster fun in store for truck fans at Southport's Pleasureland this week", "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Yaqoob, J (2011) "Southport's first Urban Art and Street Painting Festival launches this weekend", "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Dutton, C. (2012) "Southport New Pleasureland Attractions and Rides - Air", "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Southport Pleasureland Ride Tokens". Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Cyclone - Southport Pleasureland (Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- "Traumatizer - Southport Pleasureland (Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- "King Solomon's Mines - Southport Pleasureland (Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- "Big Apple - Southport Pleasureland (Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- "Looping Star - Southport Pleasureland (Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 30 August 2019.