Farewell Pleasureland

It’s rare that a post like this needs to written – but this is a sad day for the amusement industry here in the UK.

The UK has today lost another long-standing seaside park – Southport Pleasureland. Now I have to admit I have only visited the place once, but it had a classic charm that many modern parks lack – and a decent selection of both historic and modern rides.

Early reports, including this one from the BBC weren’t clear on the date of the closure. Further posts to other coaster forums and websites have revealed that the date of closure is not at the end of the season, but was in fact today. Staff laid off with no notice, rides shut down and closed, in some cases possibly for the last time.

For a company the size of that which owns the park (and also, owns another park up the road – Blackpool Pleasure Beach) to do this to their staff is disgraceful, being told “tomorrow you have no job” is not the way to lay off your staff.

Despite all this, the parks website still shows the park as being open tomorrow. I hope their lost customers aren’t too disappointed when they reach the park and find the eerie silence of a deserted themepark behind the locked and chained gates, rather than a day of fun and excitement in the fun-house and on the rollercoasters. Update: the website is now showing a “the park is closed” message, and it appears the Fun House will remain trading as a seperate entity

Southport Pleasureland is the home to many rides, some classics of a bygone era, including one of the last seaside fun-houses remaining, one of the last 2 wooden wild mouse coasters, and many other classic rides, including a traditional “River Caves”.

Many of the rides will more than likely be sold and relocated, especially those which are modern enough (Traumatizer – already rumoured to be heading to the sister park in Blackpool) or designed to be portable anyway. However, it’s the old, classic rides which will be missed, and these are the ones less likely to be saved, the wooden coasters, the river caves, the fun house. These rides which cannot or do not get sold, will likely meet a messy and destructive end at the steel jaws of the demolition crane. If these historic rides aren’t saved, it’ll be a great shame.

Some pictures of the rides at Southport, all seen in happier times (thanks the the European Coaster Club for these pictures – follow the links, please, then look around these galleries)
Cyclone – Wooden coaster
Flying Scooters
Social Mixer (one of many unique attractions in the fun house)
Yours truely on King Solomon’s Mines

Sources and further reading:
UK Rides
Rideas – where at least one poster was employed at the park.
Southport Forums


3 thoughts on “Farewell Pleasureland

  1. ‘I was employmed at the park at the begining of the season in 2006 as a ride operator, I ended my employment in the July due to receiving harrassment by some of the customers and my Colleagues whilst on duty.’ ‘That caused me to feel uncomfortable and un welcomed so I quit the job, during my employment I also had preminition feelings about the parks future.’ ‘I had told both of my parents and other family members that something was going to happpen to the park and that it would end up closing down.’

    ‘The day that the park closed down as the news had appeared on a visit to the park to record the closure one of my parents said to me,’ “If you were still employed at Southport Pleasure land today you would of been sent home.” ‘I asked why and my parent said,’ “Because the business of the park has closed down, the staff have been sent home and they are taking the rides back to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.’

    ‘I think it was a good desicison.’

  2. Southport will suffer from this closure of Pleasureland. watch as tourism drops leaving a large loss of income for southport in general. also it makes me so upset to see pictures of the park being pulled a part as its stripped for what good reason. the Cyclone has already been destroyed. watch Southports money go to Blackpool.
    Well done Sefton Council or whoever responsible for destroying a heritage park and Southport!

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