Friday 23 March 2018

Prehistoric Pinning: Drayton Manor Dino Land

As addressed in my previous Prehistoric Pinning devoted to (former) Dinosaur World Colwyn Bay I do love me a fibreglass dinosaur! Another park which catered to this love of model dinos was Drayton Manor which I visited back in 1995. A relaxing walk leading up to the Zoo it also had some handy placards providing information about dinosaurs and yes being an excitable, hormonal teenager I hammed it up for the camera... Drayton Manor Theme Park near Tamworth first opened to the public in 1950 after the Bryan family converted 80 acres of derelict land into this tourist attraction which now sees more than one million visitors each year. Always wanting to give the public something new and exciting they introduced Dinosaur Land to the park in 1975 before opening a phase 2 the following year that adjoined the park’s zoo and this was filled with life-size models of dinosaurs (as Wikipia put it, “to intrigue and enthrall the kids”) sadly I have been unable to find a list of all the dinosaurs that featured however when ‘Dino Land’ closed in 2009 the attraction had featured the following exhibits,

Brontosaurus (Brachiosaurus)
Cave Bear
Baby T-Rex
Egg Nests

I say “closed” it was actually re-located and re-named ‘Dino Trail’ in 2010 and I am pleased to report that some of the original dinosaurs feature in it, namely the T-Rex, Baby T-Rex, Euoplocephalus, Iguanadon, Dimetrodon, Titanis, Pachycephalosaurus, Ornithomimus, Styracosaurus, Protoceratops, Placodus, Tanystropheus, Tylosaurus, Elasmosaurus and the Nothosaurus.
Back in 2016 it was revealed that the old section, despite being closed for several years was still standing and offered some amazingly beautiful sights of derelict dinosaurs and cobwebbed cavemen! Seeing as the previous post featured some postcards from the attraction I thought I would also include the ones I have from Drayton Manor (referred to as 'Lost World') If I manage to track down others I will update accordingly.
My sincere thanks to Drayton Manor’s Education Officer Lee Green for his time and kindness.

Drayton manor 'Lost World' Postcards Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex
Iguanadon, Phororachos, Cave Bears and Sabre Tooth Tigers

© Arfon Jones 2018. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


  1. If they don't want to display the older dinosaurs, it's a shame they can't loan them out... one might look nice in your garden ;-)

    1. You think so too Mim? I'm glad to know I am not alone in that plan! ;)

  2. Hi Arfon, very interesting and insightfulblog. Any idea who originally designed the fibreglass models? Curious that it opened around the same time as the Jungle Cruise ride ('75/'76 ) and was wondering if the American guy who designed that was responsible for Dinosaurland. They both existed in the same kind of area as I'm sure you remember.

    1. Hi Kam, thanks for commenting :) I fondly remmber the jungle ride! I'm not sure who was responsible for the dinosaurs though- the one thing to note is that they are the exact same design at Dinosaur World, Colwyn Bay so i wonder if that was someone else? Be great to know!

    2. Cheers for getting back to me! Very interesting to learn that the figures are identical to Colwyn Bay. I assumed that the design of the models was from an attraction designer called Alan Hawes given the fact that Drayton's Jungle Cruise was literally next to Dinosaurland and opened around the same time, but now that you've pointed this out, I'm starting to think it's gotta be a UK based firm. I see that Mike Farrell was behind Dinosaur world, perhaps he was involved at Drayton (even if that was a year or two before he did Dino World). Drayton's Dinoland had the indoor sections too with the cavemen and the mammoth, so whoever did them had experience doing large scale attractions I'd think. Thanks again

    3. A pleasure, its always nice to chat to anyone about this subject! I don't think Mike Farrell had any connection with Drayton but find the idea that both Drayton and Farrell obtained their dinosaurs from the same man/ mold plausible... This requires further research ;)

    4. Great article Arfon! I am a huge fan of fibreglass creations too, not just dinosaurs, but the ones you used to find in pub play areas and little chefs, like giant trees with slides coming out of them. About a decade ago I tried to photograph any many 'Fibreglass Friends' as possible when I realised they were all disappearing without a trace, taking a chunk of my childhood memories with them. I did find out that the tree slides were made by a company called Artifibre, but no further information. Interestingly, those dino moulds got used for at least a couple more attractions, Black gang chine on the isle of wight had some identical ones (all gone now sadly, replaced with rubbery animatronic ones) and Paradise Park in Newhaven which still has an identical set on display. My dream is finding a catalogue showing all the fibreglass creations available, if one ever existed that is?!

    5. oh, just remembered that Knebworth House, just north of London (which doubled as Wayne manor in Tim burtons batman) has a dinosaur trail, which has at least some of the same dinosaurs too!

    6. I remembered there was a feature in the Tenth Blue Peter Book (dated 1973) about the Black Gang Chine dinosaurs being transported from the factory to the Isle of Wight by helicopter. I checked it in case the company name gets a mention, but no luck. It only says that it's in Hunmanby, Yorkshire. A quick google search does bring up an industrial estate in Hunmanby, but I drew a blank there unfortunately.

  3. Wonderful post. Thanks to author for your amazing work. However, people really likes dinosaur. And that's why nowadays realistic dinosaur costume is also very famous. You can also discuss about this things.



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