Saturday, 5 February 2011

Pleasure Beach at Night

Taken during October 1981 here are a few photos of Blackpool Pleasure Beach at night.

This shows one of the very early rides of the Pleasure Beach and certainly the oldest still in existence, the Hiram Maxim Flying Machine.

Maxim was interested in flight which was in its infancy at the time and he built several of these machines which must have given thousands of people their first experience of what it must be like to fly in an aeroplane. As it spins, centrifugal force lifts the gondolas outwards from the base.

It has recently been announced that the Magic Mountain ride is to be demolished to make space for a more modern attraction. A fairy grotto dark ride, it was built on the southern half of the Pleasure Beach at a time when this space was reserved for children's rides.

I rode this myself as a young child in the 1950s and used to love watching the "robot", an animated mannekin figure that "played" an organ console at the front of the ride. It's visible on the photo but you'll see it better on the full sized photo at Flickr - see links below. The ride dates from 1934 but sadly 76 years is all it will get.

And from the older rides to one that was bang up to date when the photo was taken. The Revolution was Britain's first looping roller coaster. It was (and is) a short track. Riders climb to the starting point on a level with the top of the loop and the ride goes down a dip, around the loop and up the other side then repeats the journey backwards. In order to have the power to climb as high as the starting point there is a catapult mechanism at either end to give it a boost.

Large versions of the photos: Flying Machine, Magic Mountain, Revolution


  1. i spent many childhood summers at blackpool, still return and love it just as much, iv been racking my brain i could swear that the roller coaster was once called something else???

  2. The Big Dipper and Grand National rides have always been so called, but the one that is currently the Roller Coaster started life as the Velvet Coaster in 1909 - making it the park's first coaster. It had to be knocked down in the 1930s when Watson Road was built splitting the park in two halves and parts of it were rebuilt as the Roller Coaster.


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