by Phil Gould
: Added June 2011
In 1934 Emberton’s Kiddies Park swung into action for the very first time. The main attraction was the Little Dipper. The designer of this family attraction was Charles Paige and it is believed that he possibly had help from another famous coaster designer Harry Traver. The two-storey tall Little Dipper has a single five-car train that rides along the 2,293-feet of wooden track at speeds of up to 25 miles-per-hour. This has been rethemed and is part of Nickelodeon Land. The other children’s attractions were originally built up immediately to the south of the coaster. The Fairy Whip was one of the rides which moved into the new area. Emberton was also asked to design a crèche - which meant parents could still go off and enjoy the rest of the park on their own.

The Second World War and the following years of austerity meant that there was very few new developments on any part of the Pleasure Beach. The emphasis was on maintaining existing rides and attractions as building materials and mechanical parts were in short supply. It wasn’t until the late 50s that the first signs of new development started to spring up around the park. The Children’s Amusement Park was still on the largely undeveloped south side of the Park. The only large attractions on this side were the Big Dipper, The Roller Coaster and the Pleasure Beach Express. But the vast majority of the area was still sand and scrubland.         

As the Swinging Sixties dawned more children’s attractions were added and these were now built up to the north of the Little Dipper. My first memories of visiting Blackpool date back to the mid 1960s. My family stayed in a B & B just around the corner from the Pleasure Beach for my fifth birthday. I seem to recall that my birthday teddy bear got dragged around all of Blackpool with us for the duration of our stay. That year the monorail had been installed and to make it more attractive a giant Gulliver figure was built in the Children’s Amusement park. His arms outstretched to the sky seemingly holding up the monorail track.     

The Fairy Grotto was at the back of the park. At the front was a Candy House which acted as the crèche. Immediately behind it was a children’s playground on a bed of sand. A wall surrounded this area but parents could look in through the glass windows. Other rides included the Little Turnpike. Roundabouts featured were the Helicopters, large roundabout, The Fairy Whip, Happy Caterpillar and mini Turtle Chase. I remember seeing another one of the latter ride at Morecambe Pleasure Park - it could have been the same ride. There was also the Crazy Dazy - a scaled down version of the adult Cuddle Up that was on the main park at one time. It is similar to the teacups ride you find at modern theme parks. But instead of the rotating cups being fixed to revolving turntables the cups travel between rotating discs on a fixed platform. This ride is still operating underneath the Revolution.

The Emberton-designed Creche, adjacent to the Roller Coaster station at the entrance to the children's amusement park. Picture: From the book Riding on Rainbows.

The children's playground surrounded by a wall with glass windows. The Fairy Grotto can be seen behind, just to the right of the giant Gulliver figure. Picture: The Nick Laister Collection



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