I had free tickets to Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the 70s and saw behind the scenes of some of the best rides

Blackpool historian Juliette Gregson shares her memories of the Pleasure Beach in the 70s and 80s
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

I have wonderful memories of Blackpool Pleasure Beach as a child in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. My late grandad, Frank Gregson was a joiner for the company so that meant I got free tickets and got to see behind the scenes of some of the rides. In most cases I got to stay on longer than the ticket allowed! 

One of my favourite rides at the time, was ‘The Monster’, if memory serves me correctly, I think it was a B ticket that transported you onto this glorious adventure. 

The Grand NationalThe Grand National
The Grand National
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I used to love watching the reactions from when folk went on the ‘Astro Swirl’, also known as the Millennium Bug. This was housed under a 70 foot Perspex dome that as far I know still stands today. Looking quite innocuous as a ride itself, until of course its started to spin round and round and then tilt at an angle. I remember watching the looks of either pure delight or sheer terror on the faces of the riders. 

‘The Black Hole’ was what you would class as a ‘waltzer’ that was completely in the dark covered by a large white dome. Popular music of the time was played as the lights would dim down and off you went round and round. If you were lucky the ride operative would spin your car faster. The cars would fit four of you so we would arrange by height and weight so we could obtain top spin and speed! Not everybody’s top ride but this was definitely one of mine. 

The Revolution The Revolution
The Revolution

Now I bet I am not the only one that did this with the ride ‘Revolution’, best bit of course was going backwards where you would temporarily leave your seat for a few seconds. I would stand underneath the big loop and see if any goodies or cash would fall out of the pockets of the people being flung upside down. On a good day you could gather some money that dropped and then treat yourself to a donut or candy floss on one of the many food stalls. 

I lived probably a good 20 minute walk from the Pleasure Beach and on a good day you could hear the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ ride and some of the ride announcements if the wind was in the right direction. ‘Please do NOT stand up’ echoing around Blackpool that was used on the woodies at the time, of course some folk would try! 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Looking back I did enjoy the roller coasters but it seems that I loved anything that span and threw me round and round to make me dizzy, then followed by a sugary treat before it was time to go home until the next visit. 

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.