If Colwyn Bay was genteel in comparison to Rhyl
the final resort of our journey, Llandudno, was
small children's park operated on the seafront
close to the Gaiety Theatre. This was called
There was a children's Ferris wheel, roundabout,
trampolines, swingboats, coin operated mini
dodgems and a western stage coach ride on which
the stage coach and fake horses travelled round
This park was revamped at the start of the 70s
and I remember a Moon Walk and a square slip
arriving. The Moon Walk was one of the type
which had a face on it with a big bright yellow
nose at the entrance and a blue and yellow top.
There was a mini octopus and the toy roundabout
stayed in place.
Although the resort never had a permanent full
size amusement park, each summer Wrexham-based
showman George Simons would pay an extended
visit. The fairground would set up in a field
just behind the Kiddies Funland for the main
part of the summer season.
The two large rides were the 'Carousel' Ark
Speedway and Dodgems.
There was also a walk through haunted castle
built onto a lorry and a large set of swingboats
with children's roundabouts.
Some years later these were joined by a Big
Wheel and Paratrooper, which was thrilling to
ride as the cars swung out over the main road.
One summer I remember also seeing an open top
whip ride. This was similar to the one found at
Blackpool Pleasure Beach but much smaller in
Finally, the resort's pier was home to a small
selection of amusements.
Originally there was a set of Water Dodgems at
the landward end of the pier. They were
basically dodgems but they floated on water.
These were removed when the neighbouring
amusement arcade was redeveloped.
Two rides were constructed half way along the
pier. These were a Ghost Train and an indoor
veteran car ride which travelled through scenes
from different countries called Around The
Unfortunately none of these attractions exist
The last time I visited Llandudno the only
amusements were an Astroglide and small
Gallopers on the pier itself.
That brings to an end my trip down memory lane
and look at some of the many amusement parks
that are no more.
seems a great shame that so many seaside
councils hold the view that progress can only be
made by removing so many of the very attractions
that once helped bring visitors to their
Perhaps it would be worth their while making a
trip to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki or
Vienna to see what happens when traditional
parks are maintained and old rides still stand
proudly alongside the latest thrillers.
Maybe then they would not be so keen on
demolishing this country's heritage - only to
replace it with new (but not necessarily needed
or affordable) housing, and yet more awful
retail developments or leisure centres that
nobody ever uses.
About Phil Gould
Phil was born in Stoke-on-Trent in the early
After gaining a degree in communications at Sheffield
University, his first foray into the heady world of journalism
occurred when he landed a job as a cub reporter at the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph.
Today Phil lives in London and is
an editor on a national celebrity magazine where he gets to regularly rub shoulders with the famous "and not so famous."
In this article - written especially for themagiceye
- Phil revisits the North Wales of his childhood summer holidays from the '60s and '70s.
Phil kindly shares his memories and photographs
of a bygone time.
All words and pictures courtesy of Phil Gould unless
Thanks also to Dawn (a reader of themagiceye) for kindly supplying