North Promenade Boating Pool

By Phil Gould

This final site was never home to any great collection of amusements but I have included it as a matter of interest because of one of the attractions.

The main draw for visitors were the paddle and rowing boats on the lake but the site was also home to a handful of juvenile rides. One of these was the Jigsaw Train.

The train travelled around a winding track which was sunk below ground level. Instead of sitting in carriages passengers climbed into tubs. Once the ride started these tubs would spin round.

I know there were other examples of this ride at Peter Pan’s Playground in neighbouring Southport and in Peter Pan’s Playground Southend. When I visited Blackpool last year you could still see what remains of the boating pool. But it now operates as a go kart track.

This is the end of my brief stroll down memory lane looking at Blackpool’s amusement parks which are no longer with us. With the renewed interest in the resort’s history with events like Showzam maybe we might see a return of amusements to different parts of the town? Maybe Carters Steam Fair could bring some of their rides to Olympia for the event in 2011? In the meantime there are plenty of amusements to keep visitors occupied on the town’s three piers and at its world famous Pleasure Beach. 

The Boating Pool on Blackpool’s North Shore featured a Jigsaw Train. Some of the track can just be seen in this shot. Look at the bottom left hand corner and you can see a telegraph pole. Just to the right of this is the twisting sunken train track. Photograph: Nick Laister collection.