Theme Park Insanity

The Leeds based Blackpool Pleasure Beach rival that never was!

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The Leeds based theme park & zoo of the 1930's said to be Yorkshire's answer to rivalling Blackpool Pleasure Beach!

Golden Acre park (a sprawling public park based in Bramhope which borders the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire) is mostly known by locals as the perfect place to go for a walk and escape the stress of everyday life.

There was a time however back in the 1930’s when this scenic beauty spot was set to be utilised as something completely the opposite to what we see today and remnants of this can still be seen at the park to this day.

Golden Acre park plays host to some wonderful open grassy spaces, a small lake and a great independent cafe serving hot food and drinks for all who visit.

In March of 1932 a huge theme park & zoo opened on the site to huge fanfare from locals!

The attraction was built to resemble the classic American amusement parks of the day such as Coney Island and as such it drew a lot of inspiration from their grand designs.

The park featured many different rides and attractions such as a mile long model railway, a Helter Skelter and even featured an open air swimming pool dubbed ‘The Blue Lagoon’.

The privately owned attraction was said to have been established with the main aim of rivalling the one and only Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

The Golden Acre theme park of 1932 - Image Credit: Leodis.

The model railway would ferry guests to the park along it’s mile-long track to all the rides and attractions (some of the track from which still remains at the park to this day).

The park even featured an onsite zoo where guests could visit a varied range of different birds and animals even including exotic birds.

Out on the lake guests could rent their very own boats and dinghies and a large music tower rose up from the centre of the lake projecting music out across the lake and the rest of the park.

In 1938 however the park sadly and very abruptly closed due to the world teetering on the brink of a second world war, and as such this glorious amusement park rapidly halted it’s operation

Remnants of the model railway still remain at the park to this day.
more track left as an ever lasting reminder of the attraction that was sadly never meant to be.

Throughout the full duration of World War Two the site remained derelict and unused, sadly never destined to reopen in it’s former amusement park form.

In 1946, the site was acquired by Leeds City Council who had the initial aims of reopening the site in it’s current form, however plans were sadly quickly adapted and changed in favour of transforming the site into botanical garden¬†instead.¬†

The botanical garden still remains popular with visitors to this day, and the Blue Lagoon stayed open a further two decades with families congregating to the area, however this too sadly closed in the early 1960’s.

Not quite a 'Blue Lagoon', however the park does still feature a small lake with local wildlife such as ducks, swans and gulls.

If you know where to look other remnants of this once glorious attraction can still be found to this day if you know where to look with the Blue Lagoon now being buried close to the duck hut at the Wildfowl Lake.

Therefore, if you ever find yourself walking around Golden Acre Park, why not try and picture how the site would have looked back in the days when the attraction was open?

It’s very fair to say that the park we see today will look entirely different to how the site would have looked as an amusement park back in the 1930’s.

Do you wish that Golden Acre Park had remained a theme park & zoo? Or are you happy with the park we all know and loved today? Let us know how you would have loved to see Golden Acre’s vast site utilised in the comments below!

Thank you very much for reading.

The Duck Hut on Wildfowl Lake!

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