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.
Here's a look at the park's entrance, with its distinctive water tower.
Most of the park's rides had been removed and sold by 2006.
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.
The log flume was still in place at this stage (it was removed in 2009), with a lonely locomotive sitting underneath it.
By this stage, the entrance was looking very run-down.
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!