A look back at Frontierland

The old Crazy Horse Saloon at Frontierland.
The old Crazy Horse Saloon at Frontierland.

With plans to build a shopping park on the site of Morecambe’s former fairground drawing ever nearer to fruition, we take a look back at Frontierland through the years.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, this week gave the green light to the £17m Bay Shopping Park at the Frontierland site in Marine Road West.

The former Frontierland site.

The former Frontierland site.

The development, by Yorkshire firm Opus North, includes 13 one or two-storey units for shops, restaurants or cafes plus one kiosk, a three-storey 62-bedroomed hotel (expected to be a Premier Inn), a family pub to replace the Ranch House, 336 car parking spaces and two public art features.

It could create more than 500 jobs. Morrison’s, owner of the land, has also put in a planning request to demolish the Polo Tower.

Frontierland operated from 1909 until November 1999, with a final year consisting of only travelling rides in 2000.

The site originally operated as West End Amusement Park, Fun City and Morecambe Pleasure Park from 1909 to 1986, before being transformed into Frontierland Western Theme Park for the 1987 season in an attempt to defeat dwindling visitor numbers.

The old tea cups ride at Frontierland.

The old tea cups ride at Frontierland.

In 2000, Frontierland was officially closed down by Geoffrey Thompson, managing director of Pleasure Beach Blackpool.

All of the rides, excluding the Polo Tower and Log Flume, were demolished or dismantled and sold on.

The Rattler was moved to the Pleasure Beach while The Wild Mouse (later called Runaway Mine Train for the new-look Frontierland) and the Chair-o-Planes were moved to Pleasureland Southport, which later closed down in 2006.

Unlike Pleasureland, Frontierland was never resurrected and the site remained wasteland until 2007, when three large outlets were built.

How the Frontierland site looks now, with the Polo Tower in the distance.

How the Frontierland site looks now, with the Polo Tower in the distance.

These outlets were positioned at the back of the park, an area that previously featured the Stampede, Tea Cups and Parrots ride.