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#526912 - 1st Jun 2011 5:49pm New Brighton Tower Grounds
pablo42 Offline
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Tommy Manns miniture railway


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#587191 - 22nd Sep 2011 12:04pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42]
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Rides in the Tower fair


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a1a1a1NewBrightonCrichton.jpg



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#590328 - 28th Sep 2011 3:00pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42]
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Tower Grounds outdoor fair


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#590330 - 28th Sep 2011 3:01pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42]
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Aother shot of the outside fair, Tower Grounds


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#666553 - 13th Feb 2012 11:04pm New Brighton Tower Grounds
uptoncx Offline

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On 24th July 1896, the Liverpool Mercury reported on the state of New Brighton and the proposed new Tower. The report was not very complimentary about the state of the town, describing it as being ‘behind the times’ with the ‘ugly frontage’ of the Ham and Egg Terrace and with a ‘limited choice of recreation’ for the visitor. The report goes on to describe the plans of the New Brighton Tower and Recreation Company to buy the Rock Point Estate, former home of the late Captain Molyneux. The estate extended to about 21 acres of wooded land to the south of the pier, with an extensive frontage to the river.

The company’s plans, apart from the 544ft octagonal tower, included a football ground, a full size bowling green, an open-air platform for dancing, a lake, half an acre in extent, which would be available for water polo matches and other aquatic sports and an al fresco tea ground modelled on the Parisian plan. The syndicate also planned to buy Wallasey Tramways, in order to extend them to the site, and to run a tramway along the beach in front of the promenade.

The venture does not seem to have been helped by the Corporation of Wallasey, for example, it was decided to open the tower grounds for the Whit holiday in 1897, so on 2nd June, 1897 Mr Rollwagen, licensee of the Albion Hotel, applied to Wallasey Petty Sessions for a license to sell intoxicating liquor for six days during the Whit Holidays, in the Japanese Tearoom and other buildings where meals would be served, and the 1st and 2nd class bars underneath the grandstand at New Brighton Tower. No opposition was offered to the application, however, it was refused.

The Tower Grounds opened on Whit Monday, 7th June 1897. Some additional land had been bought, making a total of 25 acres, about 3,000 trees had been cut down to enable the various attractions to be built, the tower itself was only partly built when the grounds opened, it would be another year before it was completed, opening on 30th May, 1898.



1897 was also the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, the New Brighton Tower Company had a medallion struck, this had a bust of Queen Victoria on the obverse and picture of the tower on the reverse. The aluminium medallion was probably sold to visitors on the opening day.



An existing large pond had been enlarged and deepened to form a miniature lake with a water chute running in to it. The water Chute had specially built boats which ran down rails on a 130ft incline into the lake.



The boats then travelled across the lake to a landing place where the passengers disembarked. The boat was then drawn back to the top of the incline ready for the next group of passengers. On the bank of the lake was the Japanese Cafe.



A 14,000 sq ft dance platform was constructed in front of the site where the tower was being constructed.



A switchback railway (this may have been the ‘Himalaya Railway’, although the National Fairground Archive lists this as arriving in 1898) was built, and behind this was the menagerie and Lion House.

In 1905 the ‘Figure of Eight’ roller coaster was installed near the entrance of the grounds, this would remain in operation until the grounds closed. In 1908 the ‘Himalaya Railway’ was replaced with a scenic railway.



On the athletics ground and cycle track, a full program of athletic and cycling events were arranged from the opening day onwards. In order to attract people to New Brighton in winter, the tower company formed New Brighton Tower Football Club in 1897. In 1901, the team having failed to reach the first division of the football league, the company withdrew its support from the team. A new club was formed in 1921 but they didn’t play at the tower ground until after the war when their own ground was requisitioned for housing. The team finally disbanded in 1983.



In October 1899 the S F Cody Cycle, Horse and Variety Tournament performed on the Athletics ground., this ‘Wild West’ show, which toured the variety theatres of England, was not related to Buffalo Bill Cody.



The area between the athletic ground and the lake were the pleasure and recreation grounds, these were used for travelling shows, on the opening weekend these included a circus, a cinematiograph show and Japanese perfomers.

For Whit 1899 three Venetian Gondolas, complete with their native gondoliers, arrived to convey visitors around the lake.



Most of the rides and sideshows in the fairground were owned and operated by individuals who paid the Company rent for their space. One of the better known of these was Tommy Mann, a showman who ran the Marine Lake on the promenade, he rented the space between the figure of eight and the promenade.



A Kiddies area was formed in this space, and in the 1930s and early 1940s there were, successively, two miniature railways. Nothing is known about the first of these, but it is known that the second , the Jungle Railway, was 22in gauge and was hauled by a Fordson petrol engined locomotive. Both of these railways were short lived.



In 1947 Tommy Mann bought the remaining equipment from a closed railway at Jaywick Sands, near Clacton in Essex. The equipment was 18in gauge and consisted of three saloon coaches and a strange steam locomotive based on a Sentinel steam car. The vertical boiler was in the dummy coal bunker and the oil tank was in the smoke box, the Stanley steam car engine was slung between the frames and drive to the axels was by means of chains, the locomotive was named ‘Tim Bobbin’



The line, which was officially called the Fairy Glen Miniature Railway, was only about 200yds in length. It started by running straight, parallel to the promenade, and then turned into the old quarry where there was a tight loop the train returning to the station along a track parallel to the outward track. Part of the loop was covered over to form a tunnel with a illuminated miniature fairground on a ledge inside.



A new locomotive, was designed for the line, this was called ‘Crompton’ and was a conventional anthracite burning steam engine, it was delivered on 3rd May 1951. By 1955 Charlie Mann had taken over running the railway and inn 1959 the railway bought an ex-war department diesel locomotive.



The railway closed at the end of the 1965 season.

The Kiddies fair also contained the oldest ride in the grounds, this was a set of Dobby Horses which, it was claimed, dated from 1820.



Some of the other rides which have been in the grounds

The caterpillar was built in 1929 by Henry Iles and moved to New Brighton in 1935. It was operated by Green Brothers and was scrapped when the grounds closed in 1969.

The octopus was built around 1947 by Lusse at Blackpool, its first home was the Tower Grounds, were it was operated by Peter Wilson and then later by Ernie Brennan. It probably remained in New Brighton until the closure of the grounds, when it was shipped to Ireland. It still existed, although in a modified form, in Ireland in 1993.



The Waltzer was built as an Ark in Germany by Ortons in 1930, between 1946 and 1950 it was converted into an 11 car Waltzer. It arrived in New Brighton about 1950 and was operated by Leo Clarke. It was last recorded in 1966 when it was photographed in the Tower Grounds.



The Ark was built in 1933 by Orton and Spooner, it arrived in New Brighton in 1939 and was operated by Bob Ryder. After leaving New Brighton it was converted into a Waltzer in 1983 and is still operating.



The chair lift was installed in 1960, it took passengers up to the roof of the Tower Building. Although it was called a chair lift, passengers had to stand in the small carriages. Following the closure of the grounds it was shipped to Ireland.



In the early hours of Easter Saturday 1969, the day the grounds were due to re-open for the 1969 season, a fire started in the Tower Theatre, this rapidly spread throughout the building. The remains of the building where declared unsafe and where demolished.



Some attempts where made to re-open parts of the grounds, but these failed. The picture below claims to show the derelict site in 1992. (Please see following posts concerning the date of this picture).



Other related threads:
New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Fair



Edited by uptoncx (15th Feb 2012 6:40am)
Edit Reason: Links added

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#666560 - 13th Feb 2012 11:21pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
mrhanky Online   scary_mood
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bottom pic is earlier than '92

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#666567 - 13th Feb 2012 11:33pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: mrhanky]
uptoncx Offline

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I would agree with you, but it comes from an article in the Liverpool Daily Post from March 1992 written by Nick Hilton. The picture is captioned 'No fun at the fair - a sad sight in 1992', without that I would date it as mid to late 70s.

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#666575 - 13th Feb 2012 11:51pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
IrishSeaShipping Offline
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Registered: 9th Feb 2012
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Thanks for posting some splendid photos of the Tower Grounds and especially some new views of the Tommy Mann railway including the track plan. As someone who has had a lifelong interest in transport and still enjoy visiting narrow gauge railways it was nice to bring back memories of the railway that I had in the early 1960s.

I remember going back after the line closed and was disappointed to see the empty track bed. I must only have been 6 or 7 at the time.

My paternal grandfather actually had shares in the New Brighton Tower Company. He died in 1978.

I remember finding the share certificate in the 1980s some years after he died. I think he had bought them in the late 50s / early 60s and presumably the company went bust around the time of the fire.

Unfortunately when I moved house some years ago the certificate was lost.

John

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#666590 - 14th Feb 2012 6:46am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
MikeT Online   content
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Registered: 23rd Apr 2010
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Originally Posted By: uptoncx
On 24th July 1896, the Liverpool Mercury reported on the state of New Brighton and the proposed new Tower.


Fantastic photos, thanks very much for posting them! happy happy happy happy happy happy happy

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#666595 - 14th Feb 2012 7:57am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Mark Online   Reading

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Excellent Post happy
I doesnt seem so long ago for it all to gone. You just cant imagine everything shown there is almost rubbed out by modern times.
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#666604 - 14th Feb 2012 9:09am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: Mark]
bert1 Offline

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Well done Upton,

You are right in pointing out there was no relationship between Samuel Franklin Cody and William Frederick Cody (Buffalo Bill).
S F Cody's real name was Cowdery and was changed for theatrical purposes. Buffalo Bill was successful in taking S F Cody's agents to court to stop him using show billings such as "Son of Buffalo Bill" and "Wild West Show".
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#666617 - 14th Feb 2012 10:09am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Tatey Offline
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Excellent article & photographs, brings back many happy memories.

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#666626 - 14th Feb 2012 10:22am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Salmon Offline

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Fabulous pictures and reminders of many happy days.
Thanks for putting them up and taking the time to do the research.

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#666643 - 14th Feb 2012 11:43am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
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great read, do you have any details on the menagerie?
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#666644 - 14th Feb 2012 11:44am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Waddi Offline

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great read, do you have any details on the menagerie?
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#666647 - 14th Feb 2012 11:57am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
buddy Online   content
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Very interesting - thanks for posting

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#666649 - 14th Feb 2012 12:10pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Moonstar Offline

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Such happy days - remember all the late 50's onwards stuff, the Victorian information was an eye opener and put things into perspective.

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#666662 - 14th Feb 2012 1:01pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Helles Online   content
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Brilliant photo's. One point made that is not true and that is the Octopus was not there when the grounds closed. It was removed (sold?) many years before that. I can vaguely remember it in the late fifties and it disappeared. At one point it was sited where they built the base for the chairlift.

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#666707 - 14th Feb 2012 5:09pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
julie253 Offline
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I really enjoyed reading this. You can see from these pics and descriptions why it was such a great tourist attraction. Must have been fab. The water chute and the lake etc must have been brill. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

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#666943 - 15th Feb 2012 8:43am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Max1967
Unregistered


wonderful photos and very interesting info. me and my parents enjoyed looking at them, they had great memories to share with me thank you

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#667244 - 15th Feb 2012 10:30pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: Waddi]
uptoncx Offline

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Originally Posted By: Waddi
great read, do you have any details on the menagerie?

There doesn't seem to be much information on the menagerie, all I've been able to find so far is that the menagerie was not among the attraction in the Tower Grounds when they opened on 7th June 1897, this is confirmed by an advert for the Tower which appeared in The Era on 17th April 1997 which includes the Menagerie in the list of attractions ‘in preparation’.

A report in the Liverpool Mercury for April 1st 1899 states “A new attraction on the Fair Grounds will be a large menagerie, which arrived in the Mersey last night by steamer from Havra. The wild animals will be conveyed across the river from Liverpool landing stage during this forenoon by the Wallasey luggage boats, and will be on exhibition later in the day”.

Adverts for the tower, which appeared regularly the Mercury, included the "Grand Menagerie” until 17th May, when it changed to “Menagerie and Lion House – a magnificent collection of animals from all parts of the world”. The same edition of the Mercury reports “The menagerie has been increased by a fine group of six young leopards, whilst a handsome white bear and a grand Russian brown bear have found a new abode in two very fine cages on the fair ground”.

The regular adverts in the mercury changed again in June 1899 with the addition of a Monkey House.

The 1912 guide to the tower states “... at the rear of the [Scenic] railway one may inspect the open-air Zoological Pens, whilst further on is the Shooting Gallery and the Menagerie and Lion House. The menagerie contains a most interesting and varied collection from all parts of the world, including the celebrated Lion, ‘Pasha’, acknowledged to be one of the finest in captivity, and, in addition, the huge favourite elephant ‘Punch’.

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#667255 - 15th Feb 2012 10:57pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
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According to at least one web-site, the menagerie Lion House had two beautiful Cape lions named 'Prince' and 'Pasha'.

http://www.merseyside.net/newbrighton/Pages/tower.htm

Cape Lions are now extinct.

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#667262 - 15th Feb 2012 11:09pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: Geekus]
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I remember going to see the banger car racing with my dad every week as a nipper on the site of the old football grounds i think!!!

Is the closing date for the minature railway correct??
I was born in 65 and have vuage memories of it!
Anyone know the minature railway in someones back garden in Moreton? Just off Upton Rd somewhere. went there as a kid


Edited by hoseman (15th Feb 2012 11:11pm)
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#667263 - 15th Feb 2012 11:13pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: hoseman]
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#667271 - 15th Feb 2012 11:22pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
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what fab pictures,great memories, my friend married a lad that worked on the waltza in 1962.

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#667273 - 15th Feb 2012 11:27pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: Geekus]
hoseman Offline
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Ah yes, the art of smashing up classic cars......Mindless bliss!!!! LOL.
Yeah, remember it well. Think my dads mate drove. His name would have beem Dave Cross or his brother Mike. They owned the scrappies at the bottom of Cross Lane in Leasowe.
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#667275 - 15th Feb 2012 11:31pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: hoseman]
jaki1 Offline
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remember the banger racing. we used to climb over my aunty lils wall and get in free. many a good times had.

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#667280 - 15th Feb 2012 11:42pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: jaki1]
Geekus Offline
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...used to be very popular with Tony Wilson, the guy from Granada TV and the Manchester music scene ('Factory Records'). A regular visitor at the Tower Grounds banger racing.

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#667301 - 16th Feb 2012 7:20am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: hoseman]
uptoncx Offline

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Originally Posted By: hoseman
Is the closing date for the minature railway correct??


I'm fairly confident of the date of closure of the line, as it has been extensively researched by the Miniature Railway Investigation Group, also, the newsletter of the Ranemglass and Eskdale Railway records the arrival of the Jaywick saloon carriages and the Rushton diesel at their railway on 8th October 1965. For completeness, the carriages where sold in 1975 and in 1978 where moved to the Narrow Gauge Railway Centre at Gloddfa Ganol (near Blaenau Ffestiniog). Two of the three where scrapped when the centre closed in 1997.

The remainder of the New Brighton equipment, which included the track, one open 'toast rack' type carriage, the frames and axels of Tim Bobbin and the un-serviceable 'Crompton' remained in storage at New Brighton until 1968 when it was sold for use on the Bromyard and Linton Light Railway. In 1985 Crompton was sold to John Selway of Walsall, who planned to restore it to its original condition.


Attachments
carriages 1992.jpg




Edited by uptoncx (16th Feb 2012 7:25am)

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#678640 - 23rd Mar 2012 9:11pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
AlanGarrett Offline
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When I was a kid living in Egerton St (1950s) the far side of the tower building (river side) had a "zoo" which I think cost 2/- to enter and was just the length of the tower building with animals in cages on the river side, it was just a 2 min walk past a few bedraggled specimens which wasn't that good.

At some point the "zoo" was moved to the higher ground between the tower and the quarry right on the edge of the grounds I remember clearly that it had an open pen with wolves in it, that must have been the early 60s because I took a photo of a wolf with my 120 film camera from woolies. I then went on to the Guiness clock which was just uphill from the new zoo, while I waited for parent to come out of the rakers bar, I was too young to appreciate a zoo like that, Chester was much better.

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#678660 - 23rd Mar 2012 10:41pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: AlanGarrett]
Helles Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AlanGarrett
When I was a kid living in Egerton St (1950s) the far side of the tower building (river side) had a "zoo" which I think cost 2/- to enter and was just the length of the tower building with animals in cages on the river side, it was just a 2 min walk past a few bedraggled specimens which wasn't that good.

At some point the "zoo" was moved to the higher ground between the tower and the quarry right on the edge of the grounds I remember clearly that it had an open pen with wolves in it, that must have been the early 60s because I took a photo of a wolf with my 120 film camera from woolies. I then went on to the Guiness clock which was just uphill from the new zoo, while I waited for parent to come out of the rakers bar, I was too young to appreciate a zoo like that, Chester was much better.


The "cages" in the first zoo were old tram cars. Terrible conditions for those poor animals but in fairness most didn't know better in those days.

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#687460 - 23rd Apr 2012 3:50pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: Helles]
exnewbrightonite Offline
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In fact the first 2 cages were Crosville busses that had been in accidents. I used to live in Grosvenor Rd, 1945-1953

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#687484 - 23rd Apr 2012 5:25pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
sparky Offline
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Wow, what great pictures some of them I have not seen before.

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#687493 - 23rd Apr 2012 6:15pm Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
Norton Online   Reading

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Registered: 29th Sep 2011
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Loc: Wallasey
Here is another image of the Tower and its grounds. It's from a postcard and I've already posted it on another thread recently.

Of note are the two masts, on the skyline, just to the right of the Tower Buildings. They were for a high-wire act.

The Tivoli Theatre has yet to be built, and we still have the original sea wall.

Just inside the grounds stands a large three-storey house. I'm not too sure on this one, but I think it belonged to the Molyneaux family who sold their land to the Tower Grounds company.


Attachments
NB Tower and Beach wr.jpg



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#708154 - 10th Jul 2012 12:02pm Waxworks at the Tower
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The Waxworks at New Brighton Tower


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#709585 - 15th Jul 2012 2:58pm Tower Fairground
pablo42 Offline
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Tower Fair at night, no date


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017.jpg



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#709586 - 15th Jul 2012 3:00pm Re: Tower Fairground [Re: pablo42]
pablo42 Offline
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Another view


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018.jpg



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#709984 - 16th Jul 2012 7:10pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42]
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On your original photo can you read what's on the building.
I've been told there were 4 places in the fairground where you could have a beer but I've not come across any pics
the lakeside,the rock point,the algerian and the woodlands.


Attachments
fairground pic.jpg



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#709986 - 16th Jul 2012 7:15pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: derekdwc]
Helles Online   content
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Woodlands was nicknamed the Algerian. Tower building had a bar.

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#710044 - 16th Jul 2012 9:23pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42]
CVCVCV Offline
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Can't imagine why Alton Towers people or Six Flags (or one of their ilk) hasn't tried to re-build a new fairground / amusement Park here in New Brighton? Or maybe they have tried but WBC councillors might want to make it er, financially attractive, for their good selves, first? (Perish the very thought!)

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#710047 - 16th Jul 2012 9:32pm Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: CVCVCV]
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WBC councillors are dopes and have been ever since the tower was knocked down. They have dispayed, over the years, some of the worst urban vandalism imaginable.
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#718899 - 23rd Aug 2012 9:05am Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx]
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You state that the fair was due to open on the Easter Saturday .This is incorrect as It had opened on the Good Friday .How do I know its because I was working on the chairlifts on that day opening the gates at the top of the lift,and sneaking a peek at the Rakers v Rhyl match at the Tower Stadium .I was the last person to ride the chairlift.

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