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The pleasure gardens were considered the best the North West had to offer.  The entrance was through
the magnificent Jubilee arch which stated the price of "3d".  The posters around the arch would advertise
the spectacles found within such as "Ohmys Circus" and the "Tops Turvy passenger railway".  

The pleasure gardens contained a zoo with many unseen foreign animals that included birds, bears, lions,
monkeys, tigers and antelopes.  This type of thing was very luxurious in those days as most of the visitors
had not seen these types of creatures.  One notable recording was of a middle aged man who was seen
fleeing from the zoo screaming in terror at the sight of the beasts.  The park also contained kiosks for
drinks and ice creams.  Also scattered around were various tea rooms for the more civilised visitors.  The
park was landscaped with Rhododendrons, Azaleas, ornamental trees and fountains and contained many
quiet glades where visitors could sit and unwind.  Other attractions included an open air stage, a formal
tea room, a bandstand, a ballroom, a boating lake, a water chute and a loop-the loop roller coaster.  The
ballroom in particular was noted by many visitors and considered premiere amongst many.  It was made
from fine beech and elm, and illuminated at night.  The circus ring within the gardens was used for live
entertainment.  There was an additional charge of 1/- for a seat, as many were relatively poor in those
days a large majority of them chose to sit on the grass embankment instead.   The parks brass band
would play their routine every morning to start the shows off, and throughout the day various artists and
bands would attempt to woo the crowd with their form of music.  In addition to the live entertainment a
circus would generally win over the crown with their death defying stunts and comical entertainment.  The
circus had many acts which included singers dancers, pierrots and most famous of all the fearsome bear
acts.  (Which as we known today is extremely cruel).  One notable performer whom entertained there was
known as Blondin, he was a legendary tight rope walker.  During one act he is said to have pushed a
small boy in a wheel barrow across a tight rope of magnificent height.  Blondin was so impressed with the
young boys bravery and cool that he took him on full time as a performer.  The Pleasure Gardens
eventually fell into disrepair during the 1930s and the Iron pier and Jubilee Arch were later dismantled.  
Today the Rhododendrons and Laurels in this area are the most visible signs of the Victorian ornamental
gardens.  The Rhododendrons still provide a spectacular display of colour in late spring. Azaleas, Yew and
Monkey Puzzle trees can also be seen here.  Amongst the bushes lie the remains of three fountains and a
bear pit, once part of the 19th century zoo.  The adjacent grass area was the site of the stage and
bandstand where entertainers performed.  The walls of the garden are now damaged and derelict but
you can still make out various areas including the circus stage and kiosks.
Pleasure Garden Entrance
The Circus & Stage
The Topsy Turvy Roller Coaster
Victorian Fountain
Victorian Fountain
Wood Sculpture
Tree trunk chiseled into a lion
Victorian Fountain
Steps into the Bear Pitt
The Bear Pitt
Above: The Circus & Stage
Above: Pleasure Garden Entrance
Above: The Topsy Turvy Roller Coaster
Above: Fire Pitt
Above: Victorian Fountain No 1
This fountain was only discovered in 2006 by work
men in the area.  In 2007 local volunteers helped
to unearth the old fountain.
Above: Tree trunk chiseled into a lion
Above: Steps into the Bear Pitt
Above: The Bear Pitt
Above: Wood Sculpture
Below is a selection of
photographs of the
Pleasure Gardens from
the Victorian area and
today:
he site of the old Band Stand
Right: The site