Monday, 30 November 2015

Third Blackpool 1977 Photo Album 5 - Pleasure Beach At Night

I seem to be spending all my time back in 1977 at the moment! This time we travel back without endangering the Space-Time Continuum to have a look round the Pleasure Beach during September/October 1977. It's likely that these photos were not all taken on the same visit.

We'll start by heading into the Pleasure Beach through the north entrance. I always think of this as the main entrance. To the left is the Casino Building and in front of us is Noah's Ark with the Hiram Maxim Flying Machine visible behind it.

The latter ride could be seen to advantage from a balcony reached by walking up a flight of steps at the side of the Ghost Train. It could also be accessed from the side of the Gold Mine ride up on the raised platform above Watson Road.

Another view from ground level with the Grand National and Auto Shooter in the foreground.

Having walked in through the north entrance, a turn to the right brings us onto the main route towards the Big Wheels, The Whip, Wild Mouse and River Caves.

Following this route brings us towards Watson Road, on the other side of which is the station for the Big Dipper, underneath the iconic first turn.

The tear drop shaped finial was still only three years old in 1977, having replaced a spherical finial (say that 3 times fast!) that had long been in place.

The double Big Wheel - they were Ferris Wheels, having been designed by the Ferris company - had a huge figure of a clown articulated to look as though the figure was cranking the northernmost wheel around. At some point the clown's head was replaced with Mr Funshine's head, this not necessarily being an improvement.

A row of sideshow stalls sited opposite The Monster ride and leading up to the northern station of the Cableway and the Fun House. The 1922 Reel can be seen behind the row.

The wonderful Fun House. It had lots of traditional fun attractions inside - a walk-through rolling barrel, a spinning disk that threw riders off, huge wooden slides and a shorter metal one with a near-vertical drop, cakewalk etc.

A glimpse of the Space Tower from a spot in front of the Alice in Wonderland ride. The top of the Ghost Train can be seen on the left.

The Space Tower was so successful that a smaller version was created aimed at younger visitors.

The Ghost Train. Mainly a dark ride, it had two small loops on the track where the car came out into open air. One is partially visible to the left. These helped promote the ride to visitors passing outside. There was also a single dip which again came out into the open at the rear of the station, clearly visible here.

And I'll end this time with a shot of the Gold Mine which was accessed from the raised level above Watson Road. I used to love the Gold Mine, it too was a dark ride but had fast running sections where the small car whizzed down a track, swerving past little tableaux of miners and equipment. At one point it emerged into an open space over the boats of the River Caves and became visible to patrons of a small cafe.

I'm drawing to the end of this particular photo album. The final article has only a few photos left to show us. They will show some of Blackpool's illuminated tram fleet.

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