Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Prehistoric Pining: 'Dinosaur World' Colwyn Bay


I love fiberglass dinosaur parks but unfortunately I have to travel a fair way to see them these days, this wasn’t always the case however as back in the day we had Dinosaur World situated in Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay North Wales. Dinosaur World reportedly housed over 50 life-sized dinosaurs within its grounds with one fondly remembered dinosaur (Edmontosaurus?) standing beside the A55 Expressway promoting the park. Dinosaur World was created by a Mr. Mike Farrell (an entrepreneur who would later try unsuccessfully to revamp the Blue Dolphin outdoor swimming pool complex at Rhos on Sea into a Treasure Island themed water attraction in 1981). Mr. Farrell leased the site from Colwyn Bay council on March 17th 1977 and the park opened to the public on June 5th the same year with an official opening by the Mayor of Colwyn Bay, Councillor Alice Robinson a week later on June 9th. The park remained open until 2003 before being converted into an outdoor centre for schools a great shame, as there has been nothing like it since. As is often the case very little is written about it and only a hand full of photos exist, so permit me to do something about that and right this wrong. I have included a photo of the park's badge, a photo of myself next to the Tyrannosaurus Rex (the year the park closed) and these postcards that I purchased at the park’s gift shop during a visit in the early 1990’s. These postcards (sadly missing number 1 and 6, which I suspect to be the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Pteranodon) offer a glimpse into the park’s early days. Did you visit? Memories to share? I hope to keep this post open and update accordingly so I welcome any further information, either post them at the bottom of this post on contact me directly at arfon@arfon.net and keep the memory of Dinosaur World alive!

My sincere thanks to Colwyn Bay Library for providing me with the relevant dates.

Dinosaur World 02 Mammoth

Dinosaur World 03 Stegosaurus

Dinosaur World 04 Triceratops

Dinosaur World Postcard 5 Styracosaurus

Dinosaur World 07 Cave Men

Dinosaur World 08 Elasmosaurus and Tylosaurus

Dinosaur World 09 Smilodon

Dinosaur World 10 Iguanodon
Dinosaur World Postcard 11 Cave Bear

Dinosaur World Postcard 12 Phorusrhacos

 © Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

15 comments:

  1. Oooh, I wonder where the dinosaurs ended up? I've always been fascinated by the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, probably as a result of seeing the BBC production of 'The Enchanted Castle' as a kid. (I don't even know if the dinosaurs in that WERE the Crystal Palace ones, but that's how I remember them.)

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    1. I love, LOVE the Crystal Palace dinosaurs (shan’t say too much though I’m working on a follow up ;))For many years they were just something I read about (inevitably a dinosaur book would contain a photograph) and I aspired to go see them. Finally did and it was wonderful making it one of my all time favourite places on Earth. Not sure if the dinosaurs were used in 'The Enchanted Castle' but I can’t imagine the BBC not using them, they have been used as many a backdrop over the years.
      I also have no clue as to what became of the dinosaurs of Dinosaur World, I should image that another attraction benefited from the closure. Lets hope someone reading this will be able to shed some light on that mystery? x

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  2. There used to be a dinosaur in the grounds of Glasgow University. You can see some pics of it here: http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2012/08/dinosaur-seen-in-glasgow.html

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    1. Its on my 'things to look out for in Glasgow' list ;)

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    3. It's not there anymore, alas. (The dinosaur that is, not the university.)

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    4. * puts a line through the before mentioned 'things to look out for in Glasgow' list...
      An annual cost of £2,000 to maintain it? Surely there would have been a cheaper option to preserve it? Placing a camera to capture people up to no good and then getting them to pay the repair cost? Ah well, I’m not surprised …

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    5. The university's worth a look 'though, AJ - as is the nearby Hunterian Art Gallery and MacKintosh House.

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    6. *Adds “Hunterian Art Gallery and MacKintosh House” to the 'things to look out for in Glasgow' list but adds in brackets (no dinosaur though… and a sad face)

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  3. Hi
    thanks for this very rare insight into the history of Dinosaur world.
    i have attached a link to here from one of my photos on flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/perki496/20866584012/in/dateposted-public/ I hope this is ok. If not let me know and i will remove it.
    Ash

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    1. Not at all Ash, Great photo! thanks for posting the link and keeping the memory alive! :)

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  4. Took my sons there as kids they loved it, last went in 2005,gutted when we found it was closed, great pics.

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    1. Ah, that's rough! As I understand it the sign still points to it even though its been gone for over 10 years!

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  5. I notice that Dinosaur World, Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay is still advertised on the"Days Out" website and in their magazine.

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