WikiWirral Online with you since 2003, fantastic.
Forum Statistics
Posts1,027,439
Topics75,537
Members13,472
Forums65
Posts in last 24hrs11
Most Online14,906
Nov 23rd, 2019
Who's Online Now
48 registered members (11kendo, 7 invisible), 1,257 guests, and260 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Social Media : Follow Us


Popular Topics(Views 7days)
New General Forums
New Brighton racing memories
by johncon. 12th Aug 2020 9:02am
TV licence
by casper. 11th Aug 2020 5:27pm
Hi everyone.
by Harp1st. 6th Aug 2020 12:16pm
The cat got the cream
by snowhite. 23rd Jul 2020 2:25pm
New Wirral History
Woodside Ferry on Upton Rd
by mikeeb. 11th Aug 2020 12:50pm
A Stanworth Shop, Birkenhead North
by diggingdeeper. 6th Aug 2020 11:11am
Toll booths Birkenhead Tunnel
by mikeeb. 4th Aug 2020 2:34pm
Ron Gittins Stories ?
by DaDoRon. 2nd Jul 2020 9:59pm
Outdoor swimming pools
by mikeeb. 30th Jun 2020 4:26pm
Forum Tips
Photo Gallery Forums
Boaty McBoatface takes shape
The gathering storm: Mersey waterfront today
Topic Replies
Men's mountain bike
by Peter0787. 12th Aug 2020 1:58pm
Any Auto Electricians here?
by Pete_M. 12th Aug 2020 10:10am
Woodside Ferry on Upton Rd
by mikeeb. 12th Aug 2020 9:24am
Toll booths Birkenhead Tunnel
by bert1. 12th Aug 2020 5:31am
What song are you listening to?
by GaryFromWirral. 11th Aug 2020 9:36pm
Ron Gittins Stories ?
by DaDoRon. 10th Aug 2020 8:13pm
Xbox One Console With RDR 2 And 22" LG TV
by rhoobarb2002. 10th Aug 2020 4:15pm
Hi everyone.
by Harp1st. 10th Aug 2020 2:43pm
676 Queens Royal Hotel Marine Promenade Wallasey
by mikeeb. 10th Aug 2020 12:22pm
August
M T W T F S S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31
Recent Posts : What's On ?
Restaurant/pub with outdoor seating - Bromborough
by diggingdeeper. 8th Aug 2020 11:17am
Previous Topic
Next Topic
Print Topic
Rate Topic
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
New Brighton Tower Grounds #526912
1st Jun 2011 4:49pm
1st Jun 2011 4:49pm
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey
pablo42 Offline
Veteran
pablo42  Offline
Veteran
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey

Tommy Manns miniture railway

Attached Files
tommymanns.jpg (311 downloads)
Google Ads
Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42] #587191
22nd Sep 2011 11:04am
22nd Sep 2011 11:04am
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey
pablo42 Offline
Veteran
pablo42  Offline
Veteran
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey

Rides in the Tower fair

Attached Files
Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42] #590328
28th Sep 2011 2:00pm
28th Sep 2011 2:00pm
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey
pablo42 Offline
Veteran
pablo42  Offline
Veteran
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey

Tower Grounds outdoor fair

Attached Files
nbfair-2.jpg (361 downloads)
Re: New Brighton Fair [Re: pablo42] #590330
28th Sep 2011 2:01pm
28th Sep 2011 2:01pm
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey
pablo42 Offline
Veteran
pablo42  Offline
Veteran
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 731
Wallasey

Aother shot of the outside fair, Tower Grounds

Attached Files
nbr1.jpg (363 downloads)
New Brighton Tower Grounds #666553
13th Feb 2012 11:04pm
13th Feb 2012 11:04pm
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 683
Wirral
uptoncx Offline OP

Veteran
uptoncx  Offline OP

Veteran
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 683
Wirral
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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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’

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

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).

[Linked Image]

Other related threads:
New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Fair


Last edited by uptoncx; 15th Feb 2012 6:40am. Reason: Links added
Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666560
13th Feb 2012 11:21pm
13th Feb 2012 11:21pm
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,236
my house
M
mrhanky Offline
Forum Addict
mrhanky  Offline
Forum Addict
M
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,236
my house
bottom pic is earlier than '92

Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: mrhanky] #666567
13th Feb 2012 11:33pm
13th Feb 2012 11:33pm
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 683
Wirral
uptoncx Offline OP

Veteran
uptoncx  Offline OP

Veteran
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 683
Wirral

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.

Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666575
13th Feb 2012 11:51pm
13th Feb 2012 11:51pm
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 28
Liverpool
I
IrishSeaShipping Offline
Newbeee
IrishSeaShipping  Offline
Newbeee
I
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 28
Liverpool
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

Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666590
14th Feb 2012 6:46am
14th Feb 2012 6:46am
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 574
Canary Islands
MikeT Offline
Smartchild
MikeT  Offline
Smartchild
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 574
Canary Islands
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

Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666595
14th Feb 2012 7:57am
14th Feb 2012 7:57am
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 21,231
Wirral
Mark Offline

Wiki Master
Mark  Offline

Wiki Master
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 21,231
Wirral
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.


My Avatar images are all from the Wirral Gallery.Click Me
Wow Wirral History is coming along Great! Wirral History

we get +200 new members a month now smile
Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: Mark] #666604
14th Feb 2012 9:09am
14th Feb 2012 9:09am
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 8,176
tranmere
B
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran
bert1  Offline

Wiki Veteran
B
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 8,176
tranmere
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".


God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.
Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666617
14th Feb 2012 10:09am
14th Feb 2012 10:09am
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,445
New Brighton
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict
Tatey  Offline
Forum Addict
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,445
New Brighton
Excellent article & photographs, brings back many happy memories.

Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666626
14th Feb 2012 10:22am
14th Feb 2012 10:22am
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,904
Wallasey
S
Salmon Online content
Forum Addict
Salmon  Online Content
Forum Addict
S
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,904
Wallasey
Fabulous pictures and reminders of many happy days.
Thanks for putting them up and taking the time to do the research.

Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666643
14th Feb 2012 11:43am
14th Feb 2012 11:43am
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,006
New Ferry
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian
Waddi  Offline

Forum Guardian
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,006
New Ferry
great read, do you have any details on the menagerie?


[Linked Image]
Re: New Brighton Tower Grounds [Re: uptoncx] #666644
14th Feb 2012 11:44am
14th Feb 2012 11:44am
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,006
New Ferry
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian
Waddi  Offline

Forum Guardian
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,006
New Ferry
great read, do you have any details on the menagerie?


[Linked Image]
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Mod 

Random Wirral Images

Click to View Topic.
Newest Topics
Any Auto Electricians here?
by Pete_M. 12th Aug 2020 10:08am
Woodside Ferry on Upton Rd
by mikeeb. 11th Aug 2020 12:50pm
Restaurant/pub with outdoor seating - Bromborough
by CarterUSM. 7th Aug 2020 9:00pm
Restaurant/pub with outdoor seating - Bromborough
by CarterUSM. 7th Aug 2020 8:59pm
Hi everyone.
by Harp1st. 6th Aug 2020 12:16pm
For Sale & Free
Men's mountain bike
by Peter0787. 12th Aug 2020 1:58pm
Xbox One Console With RDR 2 And 22" LG TV
by rhoobarb2002. 6th Aug 2020 4:13pm
Roland U-20 Vintage 80s/90s RS-PCM Keyboard/Synth
by rhoobarb2002. 6th Aug 2020 3:41pm
Three light unit
by gerry1. 3rd Aug 2020 10:36am
Carlton Players Birkenhead Theatre Programmes
by NickWirral. 19th Jul 2020 8:54pm
Member Spotlight
Gibbo
Gibbo
Oxton
Posts: 2,185
Joined: December 2010
Show All Member Profiles 
Newest Members
LACEWWING11, Bobblenose, Johan_Enrik, Oscar27, Barry02020
13472 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
New Wirral Info
Restaurant/pub with outdoor seating - Bromborough
by CarterUSM. 7th Aug 2020 9:00pm
Restaurant/pub with outdoor seating - Bromborough
by CarterUSM. 7th Aug 2020 8:59pm
What Wood?
by rocks. 1st Aug 2020 7:12pm
Covid testing with certification on Wirral
by CarterUSM. 23rd Jul 2020 10:46am
Neowise comet
by mikeeb. 20th Jul 2020 9:04pm
News : New Topics
New Merseyrail trains covered in graffiti
by mikeeb. 28th Jul 2020 6:38pm
Found bicycle seat cover
by BultacoAstro. 25th Jul 2020 10:43am
Regeneration of New Ferry
by Excoriator. 24th Jul 2020 3:53pm
Painted frontages of new Ferry Shops.
by Excoriator. 23rd Jul 2020 11:29pm
Liver building
by cools. 26th Jun 2020 11:14pm
New Enthusiast Forums
Any Auto Electricians here?
by Pete_M. 12th Aug 2020 10:08am
Advice Needed Hellcat Carrera rear Wheel
by BultacoAstro. 28th Jul 2020 11:04am
River Mersey , then and now
by cools. 23rd Jul 2020 7:19pm
What is sitting on roof
by BultacoAstro. 9th Jul 2020 11:03am
Cruel ear cropping breeders moved to Bromborough
by venice. 21st Mar 2019 4:10pm
Popular Topics(Views 24hrs)
Wirral Sunrise Sunset
Sunrise Wed 5:48am
Sunset Wed 8:45pm
Local Time Wed 7:37pm
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1