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In Pictures: The UK's Abandoned Frontierland Western Theme Park

Frontierland Western Theme Park logo

West End Amusement Park operated under a number of different names following its opening day in 1909. With the 1980s boom in theme park construction in the UK, though, it was given a new lease of life as Frontierland Western Theme Park in 1987.

The park was one of several owned by the Thompson family, who still own and operate Blackpool Pleasure Beach Today. By 1986, visitor mumbers were flagging, prompting the "wild west" makeover for the park. Visitors to the park during its heyday may remember some of its most notable attractions, which included:

  • The Polo Tower - an enormous, 150-feet-tall gyro tower, sponsored by Polo Mints.
  • The Sky Ride - a cable car system that crossed the park and offered views over Morecambe's promenade.
  • Stampede - a relocated roller coaster from Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
  • Log flume - a classic water ride.
  • Runaway Mine Train - a wooden "wild mouse"-style roller coaster.

The transformation into Frontierland sparked a brief turnaround, the but the long-term trend was still one of decline. By 1998, the park had begun to move or sell of its attractions, and by the end of 2000 it had closed for good. Let's take a look at what became of it during that period.

2005

Here's a look at the park's entrance, with its distinctive water tower.

Frontierland 2005
Image: Ivan Lucas, Wikipedia

Frontierland (8)

Image: James Welsh, Flickr

2006

Most of the park's rides had been removed and sold by 2006.

Frontierland (2)

Image: 4D, Flickr

2007

A deal with a mobile phone company to place a mast at the top of the Polo Tower meant that it remained in place. The deal ran until 2013.

Frontierland (5)

Image: Christopher Robertshaw, Flickr

2008

The log flume was still in place at this stage (it was removed in 2009), with a lonely locomotive sitting underneath it.

Frontierland (3)
Image: Christina Rose Howker, Flickr

Frontierland (4)
Image: Christina Rose Howker, Flickr

Frontierland (7)

Image: Christina Rose Howker, Flickr

2010

By this stage, the entrance was looking very run-down.

Frontierland (1)

Image: Terran Brown, Flickr

Frontierland (6)

Image: Terran Brown, Flickr

The future

Frontierland redevelopment

With the Polo Tower mobile mast deal now having expired, the Frontierland site is set to undergo a £17 million redevelopment led by supermarket chain Morrisons. This will add a hotel, retail outlets, restaurants and parking spaces - but sadly no rides!

Share your memories!

Do you remember visiting Frontierland? Share your memories of the park in the comments section below!


There are 6 comments.

Morecombe used to be a family favourite day out in summer, daytime spent in bubbles outdoor pool followed by fish and chips for tea and always rounded off with an evening pass at frontier land. Brilliant times.

I sadly only visited once on an overcast Summer's day in Jul/Aug 1987. By the way, I couldn't believe your article omitted the main wooden roller coaster, the Texas Tornado (formerly Cyclone). I never forget taking a quick look at it as we drove past the park perimeter, getting the impression it wasn't much of a ride so didn't bother to ride it. Having seen videos of it on YouTube since how I regretted that fateful error. People have told me it was quite a ride and not to be fooled by its apparent height. They tried to sell it on but unhurt unfortunately without success. Another lost classic woodie. Really wished I'd taken a closer look around that day now, but then one never thinks things like this would ever actually disappear. Thankfully, I visited the Thompsons' former Southport Pleasureland several times before its very sudden demise in I believe September 2007. (I helped to try to save its classic Cyclone woodie, sadly to no avail).

I visit frontierland every year at least once on our family holidays i was so sad to see what has happened to it as i loved this place with its rides and shows it made my holidays so much fun for me and my sister

I visit frontierland every year at least once on our family holidays i was so sad to see what has happened to it as i loved this place with its rides and shows it made my holidays so much fun for me and my sister

I visit frontierland every year at least once on our family holidays i was so sad to see what has happened to it as i loved this place with its rides and shows it made my holidays so much fun for me and my sister

used to visit from whitehaven in cumbria, was absolutely devastated when i heard it shut down i always favored it over pleasure beach

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