by Phil Gould
: Added February 2006
For me the undoubted jewel in the crown of North Wales amusements were to be found at Ocean Beach park on the promenade.

It seemed like a veritable wonderland of rides, stalls, arcades and sideshows. I could have quite happily have spent all of my holiday there, although the rest of my family obviously had other ideas.

It was built on a pontoon as the land falls away quite sharply from the promenade. The car park at the back of the amusements being at a much lower level.

In the 60s Ocean Beach was unusual in as much as it appeared to be two amusement parks built next to each other. There was an amusement arcade, painted bright orange, which acted as a divide.
The smaller section of the park was nearest to the Casino.

At the front was a wooden Mad Mouse. I just felt terrified looking at the ride let alone even contemplating taking a trip - it did indeed seem like one very mad, bad beast.

Next to this was a Big Wheel, one of two at the park (both of which can be made out in the postcard to the right) which was joined by a set of Dodgems, Waltzer and a Cyclone Twist.

There was also a double decker Ghost Train called Psycho. On one occasion my auntie and cousin were in a car that got stuck inside. When the ride attendant went in to try and get their car started you could hear their loud screams across the whole park.

An unusual type of attraction - the Pony Track - could be found at the back of this section of the park. Here you got the chance to saddle up a real live horse and follow a course. This had railings all around it just in case your trusty steed tried to do a runner.

The second section of the park seemed much larger. At the front was another Big Wheel. Both of the park's wheels used to make an annual trip to the famous Nottingham Goose Fair where they stood next to each other for a few days every October.

When we were driving along the promenade, seeing the two wheels and Mad Mouse was always my first sight of the park. Other rides included a set of Gallopers, large wooden Dodgem track, Waltzer, Twist with a wooden floor and open top caterpillar.

At the very back on the park was a Lighthouse Slip which was painted with red, green, yellow and blue diamond patterns. Next to this was a small walk through Fun House and 1001 Troubles mirror maze.

Nestled in the corner was a German side-friction Figure Eight coaster called Big Dipper. When the cars passed around the top of the circuit the whole structure seemed to shake.

Underneath The Big Dipper was a Ghost Train, which might still be at the park.

There was also a very large Rotor - a ride where you paid to either watch or ride. This had a huge drum which people entered at ground level. The floor would rise and the drum started to spin. When the ride reached a certain speed the floor would drop away leaving you stuck to the wall thanks to the force of gravity. I only went on this once and was sick as a dog afterwards.

The park was also home to a couple of the latest novelty rides: the Satellite and the Flying Coaster. I also remember there was a very large kids' roundabout, which might have come from Germany.
It was a lot larger than any of the kids' rides I had seen on the funfairs back in Stoke-on-Trent.

Postcard of Ocean Beach in the 1960s, showing the wooden Mad Mouse roller coaster.

The harbour and promenade at Rhyl, with Ocean Beach behind. Photograph: Dawn

The Slip and Satellite at Rhyl's Ocean Beach. Photograph: Phil Gould

The Big Dipper at Rhyl's Ocean Beach. Photograph: Phil Gould

1970s postcard showing Ocean Beach (top left). Photograph: Dawn


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