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10 Things Scarborough Should Bring Back

Written by Glenda Young.

Reminiscing about my childhood holidays in Scarborough throughout the 1970s, has brought back some happy memories. Sadly a lot of these memories originate from places that no longer exist.

Although I continue to visit Scarborough on a regular basis, I often wish that some of these great attractions still existed. Perhaps it's just me being sentimental, but if I could bring them all back, I would - starting with these 10 favourites.

How many of these do you remember too?


1. Funhouse on the South Bay

If I remember correctly, this was on South Bay sea-front where the Olympia Leisure is now. It was indeed fun, we loved it, especially the cake-walk where you had to hold on to rails to walk across a moving platform that wobbled under your feet.


2. Chair lift

There’s still bits of the aerial chair lift left in Scarborough, rusting away on the North Bay sea-front. In its full glory it was fantastic, with multicoloured cable cars trundling along wires from the beach to… where exactly? Can anyone recall?


3. Scarborough Zoo & Marineland

My memory’s a bit hazy on this but I do seem to remember there was a zoo in the area at the top of and behind the Open Air Theatre. There were penguins which were let out from their enclosure to roam in a penguin parade once a day.


4. Funfair

The funfair was beside the zoo, wasn’t it? I’m hoping someone can help fill me in on the details of this one. The last time I walked through this area at the top of the Open Air Theatre a few years ago, there were remnants of the funfair in the shape of huge dinosauars - left to rust and rot.


5. Outdoor Swimming Pool, South Bay

By ‘eck it was bracing, but it was great.


6. Watersplash, North Bay

Slides, water, fun, what more do you need? I learned to swim here, finally discarding my orange arm-band floaters, so this place has special memories for me.


7. Waffle shop, North Bay

I can’t be the only one who remembers the waffle shop on the sea-front at the North Bay, can I? It was a tiny little hole in the wall place, around the corner from the Corner Cafe. Lovely warm waffles smothered in fresh cream, bananas and chocolate sauce.


8. Hispaniola Pirate Ship on the Mere

There’s still a Hispaniola Pirate ship in Scarborough but back in the 70s it used to sail out to the Mere and drop everyone off on a treasure island. There were doubloons buried in the sand and us kids had to unearth the treasure before the pirates sailed us back to the shore.
Scarborough Tree Walk Peasholm Park


9. The Tree Walk in Peasholm Park

The Tree Walk was my most favourite part of Scarborough. I honestly thought it was magic (and to be honest, there’s a bit of me that still does). It’s good now, but it was magic back then.

You walked up and around the hill in the middle of the Park among the twinkling fairy lights and there were illuminated storyboards at every turn. And on one of the turns there was a glass cabinet with a mechanically operated flea circus inside. Magic.

scalby mills
© Copyright Alan Walker

10. Astroglide at Scalby Mills

We used to get the little train along to Scalby Mills and at the station there was a six lane, blue, Astroglide slide. You paid your money and were given a hessian sack which you lugged up the steps at the side of the slide. Then you waited in a queue until it was your turn, sat down with your bum and legs in your hessian sack and slid all the way down the undulating slide. And then you’d get up and do it all over again.

So, that’s the10 things I miss most in Scarborough. What’s yours?

10 Things Scarborough Should Bring Back Reviewed by Editor on 18:42:00 Rating: 5


  1. My family .. That's what I miss in Scarborough

  2. We fancied a change thought well have a few dats break in scar...very disapointed...very...the weather was appalling....there was nothing to
    do..the futurist theatre has closed down. ... we went to sea life centre had to que for over an hour to get in....NEED. more things to do indoors. scarb. ..when on several occasions smelt ccannabis alot....from people....

  3. I think the chair lift went to Scalby Mills (whatever that was). I can't believe all these have gone. What's left?

  4. As a child my parents and I used to go to Scarborough every year in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the things I remember with affection were:

    Donkey rides (of course!)
    Walking along the beach to Scalby Mills before the Seaworld complex was built
    Gala Land in the South Bay, a glorious underground Aladdin's cave of amusements.
    Sammy the Shunter, in one of the buildings on the South Bay, a cheeky little train who used to amuse the kids with his antics.
    Quarton's fruit stalls
    Peasholm Park, where you could hire rowing boats and, of course the tree walk in the evenings.
    The miniature train ride from Northstead Manor Gardens to Scalby
    The Open Air Theatre, where they used to have Gala evenings and stage musicals.

  5. The chair lift went from Peasholm park (near the entrance to the outdoor theatre), up the hill to Marvels, and then another ran down into the north bay.

    1. The chair lift was on the prom by the Scalby Mills side of the Open Air Theatre & went up to Mr Marvels/ Zoo & Marineland.I worked up at the zoo for a while but there was no chair lift at Peasholm side.

    2. Oh yes there was. You still can still see the top cabin and an intermediate pylon on Bing Maps aerial.

  6. I agree with every one of them, re zoo n funfair, the funfair replaced the zoo cand the cable cars ran from the north bay just down from old train stop under where burniston rd caravan park used to be up to Marvels then down to just outside the open air pool (which I also ditched the armbands!!)Waffle shop also did savoury waffles ie mushrooms etc mmm taste em now, Tree walk was seriously magic,Lucky we still got the naval warfare

  7. yes I remember all of these from my childhood. no wonder people came to scarborough for their holidays. what have they got now? I could be wrong but I think the chairlift went to the zoo and oh god how I loved those chocolate waffles. yum.

  8. When I was little the chair lift went from the beach up to Mr marvels.I loved water splash world, I only ever went once or twice it was so expensive. I miss kinderland! It was the treat of the year to go there but there's only the water splash left of it now. I agree there's naff all to do now for the kids.

  9. When I was little it was an ice skating rink above Olympia leisure!

  10. Hi. The chair lift went up to mr marvels on the hill top, which replaced the zoo when that closed down. Mr marvels was a fun fair type thing.....american themed.....awful. The treasure island at the mere was fantastic. Our kids all loved it. Its the same ship that now sails in the bay. No treasure though. The outdoor swimming pool at north bay is now a mess. Its some sort of military firing range for kids and is a complete eyesore, but soon to be replaced (present plans) by a cinema so that should go some way to cheering up all those people who want something to do on a rainy day. Maybe. Anyway i love all your old photos on here.

  11. Mmmmmmm...brandy snaps stuffed full with thickly whipped double cream. Can't get them anywhere else now :(

    1. I remember all these from going to Scarborough as a kid in the 70s and 80s ,such a shame its nothing like it was. I take my kids now but only for a day out now and again because there's just not enough for them to do to stay any longer

  12. I have a memory of a place on the seafront which housed a display of toys. I remember action men displays in realistic settings with jets and helicopters suspended above action scenes. I think they also had similar displays for trains and star wars action figures. It was housed in a corner building with a blue door and i think it was 10 or 20p for admission. It wasn't a big place but it used to captivate me when my gran took me. Does anyone else recall this place and if so can anyone remember what it was called? I also remember many of the things detailed above ahh happy days ��

    1. i remember this, i'm sure you could pay another 20p & drive a radio controlled car round for a few mins.

      Used to go here everynight in the 70's / 80's with parents happy days !!!

      Other things i miss

      1) the blue motor boat that used take you round peasholm. Skippered by a Captain Birdseye lookalike - would love to see a picture

      2) The many pubs, nightclubs that have shut over the years

      3) The railings round marine drive - much better than that awful wall & artificial boulders !!!

  13. great days back then, if I could only turn back time

  14. The naval battle and the tree walk in the park I remember the most as a kid on holiday there every year in the 70's.

    Just below the zoo down those steep concrete seats/steps they used to do a version of "It's a Knockout" in the water near where that water splash ride was.

    The zoo I remember all the dinosaurs you could climb on, and those huge volcanoes which you can still see in some photos in the background I used to go inside and it was scaffolding all the way up to the hole in the top of the volcano which you could climb up through if you had the nerve for the height!
    No health & safety worries in those days - it would be closed down in seconds if they saw kids climbing those huge dinosaurs and volcanoes with no sign of wood chippings only concrete below :)

    I remember on the caravan site watching a jet flying overhead one day, I saw it go down towards the sea in the distance, told my Dad I thought it had crashed as it never came back up again - we drove down to the bay and they were rescuing the pilot in his capsule from the sea, think he died?

  15. So many memories from the 60s... Northstead Manor Gardens with the open air theatre musicals and the fireworks display after the shows, Peasholme Park boating, the night time illuminated tree walk with the cowboy and indian figures and the pagoda lit on the top, the open air pool, heated by the outside temperature, sadly now a total shambles... why was it allowed to get into this state, the Corner Cafe with the Chuckle Brothers, the cliff lift opposite which I used to race up alongside when I was a kid, the Floral Hall with its summer shows with top stars, the Marine Drive in rough weather dodging the waves when you could actually see the sea through railings, now ruined by the "wall" and the abomination of the stone blocks, (will we ever see waves crashing over the drive again?), the Yorkshire Lady, Regal Lady and Coronia, climbing up the lighthouse, loads of kids and non-kids fishing from the piers and Marine Drive and actually catching fish, standing outside the gift shops for ages laughing at the cheeky postcards on the stands, the lucky duck glass shop, looking in the windows at Bonnets chocolate shop not able to afford a single thing, the fishing tackle shop at the bottom of Eastborough buying worms, mussels and hand lines, the fish dock pier watching the boats landing their catches and the rows of boxes of fish on sale in the warehouse, the cafe on the same pier and the early morning breakfasts and pots of tea, the stall selling crabs etc by the lifeboat station, the actual lifeboat station itself has now gone, Jimmy Corrigans amusements, Jaconellis lemon top icecreams, Max Jaffa at the Spa and the little tubs of icecream and wooden spoons, the miniature gardens above the Spa with the little models and landscapes and the herb garden, the United buses. I'm sure there are many more but that's for another time.
    Hope some of these brought back memories.

  16. Remember most of these. Loved Scarborough as a kid and we went for a fortnight several times in 70s and early 80s, always with plenty of things to do.
    Still love it now, but it isn't the same.
    Some random memories include having to get more money to buy crisps at 2.5p at Scalby Mills, the water skiers at Peasholm Park, paper sellers in the parks and beach flogging papers from Sheffield etc, Fred Feast from Coronation Street always being advertised at the Corner, the long gone cliff lift at the north bay, the waffle shop (mmmm), wrestling always being on at the Opera House, great times at the Mere and on the Hispaniola (seemed massive then but you see it in the harbour now and it is pretty small), always bumping into people we knew from Scotland (half the country seemed to be there), busy nights on the pitch and putt at peasholm park, taking part in putting competitions when they got all the winners to compete for the town title at the end of the summer, trying to outrun the cliff lift from Olympia to the Grand and managing it until about halfway and feeling crap as it raced away in the second half as you started to tire.
    Great place.


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