The World Of Holograms: A Proper Introduction

The World Of Holograms arrived in Scarborough in 1985 – the same year in which Kinderland opened. Only one year earlier Scarborough Zoo had been rebranded as Marvel’s, and the North Bay Bathing Pool had been transformed into Waterscene. This was an exciting time to holiday in the seaside town, as new and existing attractions competed for visitors.

*All quotes and images in this post were kindly donated by Carl Racey*

[The World of Holograms] was conceived and run by Carl & Julia Racey from Hull ( Laser Light Image, Hull). Carl & Julia ran this exhibision from 1985 to 1991 when it was sold (in part) to Jim Corrigan, who ran it with his staff for about four more years. It was then sold on to a company in Keswick who exhibited at Lake Windermere.

Located on Foreshore Road, in the same building as Corrigan’s Amusements (now Coney Island Amusements), the World of Holograms boasted an impressive collection of intriguing optical illusions, and, as will soon be revealed, some very unusual live performances.

Above: Original poster for the attraction

Below: The opening year, in 1985

In Carl’s words:

The corner of Corrigan’s Arcade and the entrance to the Hologram Show. This was the first year 1985. The following year the entrance was made bigger, as the exhibition proved very popular, attracting around 50,000 visitors each year.

It is impossible to talk about the World of Holograms, however, without mentioning two of the attraction’s most vibrant and engaging live performers.

Above: Nick and Robert

Nick Hardy and Robert Horwell played various roles, set to quite loud music which could be right heard across the beach. Soon attracted the crowds.

Below: Some of the crowds gathering on Foreshore Road to see Nick and Rob perform

Indeed, these wacky performances were incredibly popular:

This turned out to be a traffic stopping event performed every hour in the summer season, until the police asked it to be stopped due to traffic problems below. Two separate rubber necking incidents with cars crashing brought this about but did last for most of July and August 1985.

Below: Mad professor and his robot (aka Nick and Rob) performing

Above: The two performers at the Amazing World Of Holograms (July 1985)

Teaming up live action with light displays was a clever idea, and no doubt both Mad Professor and Robot did much to bring visitors into the attraction, which spent a number of years entertaining crowds in Scarborough.

A huge thank you to Carl, who kindly shared all the images and information (see them in their original context on the Stories From Scarborough Facebook Page) – he and Julia Racey launched and ran attraction, so we have them to thank for this part of Scarborough’s attraction history!

You can see a video of the World of Holograms here, and you can click on the links below to find out more about the history of the building it was located in:

Before The World Of Holograms

From Turkey To India – Via Scarborough

Do you remember the World Of Holograms? If so please do comment here or on the Facebook Page – pictures and memories are very welcome!

Kinderland Opens!

On May 25th, 1985, queues of excited children and families could be seen on Burniston Road in Scarborough. As clocks across the town struck 10am, Kinderland – the North Bay’s newest attraction – opened its doors for the first time.

Above: An early advert for Kinderland from 1985 (Stories From Scarborough Image Archive)

It had been a nail-biting few days for Dudley Wallis (the park’s founder) and his team. Construction workers, impeded by poor weather, had been laying grass and installing fixtures up until midnight on May 24th. Some parts of the attraction, such as the swing ball and quoits games, were yet to be installed, and finishing touches were needed. Not only that, but the park had faced fierce opposition from local residents – from the early planning stages right up until the opening day.

Nonetheless, the first visitors to Scarborough’s latest children’s attraction were greeted by sunny skies and warm weather – perfectly timed for Kinderland’s big day.

Kinderland was dreamed up in the early 1980s, when founder Dudley Wallis was watching TV. A German attraction with the same title provided the name, and an idea formed that Wallis described as follows:

…good old fashioned fun, the way it used to be, with no slot machines or electronic wizardry.

(Scarborough Evening News, May 1, 1985)

However, Wallis was initially unsure about how he, as an adult, could truly imagine what the children of the 1980s wanted from a seaside attraction in Scarborough.

The problem in being 58 years of age is in seeing things through the eyes of a five-year old, so I have spoken to my own children about the design. I hope Kinderland will be an asset to the total holiday scene.

(Scarborough Evening News, May 25, 1985)

The attraction truly was a family affair, with Dudley’s brother Stanley and his mother Edith both contributing to the financial investment required to create the park. Funding was given a substantial boost by the English Tourism Board, who awarded a grant of £125,000. The Board’s chairman Duncan Bluck even arrived in a helicopter to tour the site on Burniston Road, award the cheque and plant a maple tree to mark his visit. The location of this tree was not specified – perhaps it still exists somewhere in Scarborough?

However, before building could commence in October of 1984, extensive plans were made. There was to be an indoor play area containing 47, 000 plastic balls and fibreglass slides. There would be new boats and canoes for the boating lake in Northstead Manor Gardens, which was leased out to Kinderland during the attraction’s tenure, along with the Water Chute – both this and the boating lake had been in existence since the 1930s.

Above: The Water Chute was constructed in the 1930s (Stories From Scarborough Image Archive)

Kinderland was to be as visitor and family friendly as possible, with baby changing areas, a lost child point, first aid centre and extensive provision for disabled visitors, including wheelchair-friendly walkways and accessible entrances. Bizarrely Wallis also purchased 3 traditional red telephone boxes – in the 1980s many of these were being decommissioned and sold off. Bought for £500 apiece, these were placed around the park for the use of visitors.

The venue was capable of hosting 1450 people and was to have two entrances – one near to the Water Chute and the other further up Burniston Road. There were even plans to create a Kinderland Club, with savings to be had for frequent visitors and local Scarborough residents.

Above: Kinderland had plenty of frequent visitors (Stories From Scarborough Image Archive)

May 25th must have been an exciting day for the Wallis family – perfect weather and plenty of visitors, no doubt drawn in following an extensive advertising campaign that included numerous adverts in local papers and beyond. The North Bay was then becoming a tourist haven – Marvel’s, Waterscene, Peasholm Park, Manor Gardens and more. The area is a much quieter one today.

Above: Former entrance to Kinderland in 2014, seven years after closure (Stories From Scarborough Image Archive)

Courtesy of the North Bay Railway Company, visitors to Scarborough can still enjoy the Water Chute, but the gates leading to the former Kinderland site remain closed. Once a lively adventure park, and before that, allotments, this overgrown patch of land sits waiting amidst long held promises of re-development.

What do you think should be done with the Kinderland site? Did you visit when the park first opened? Do you remember the allotments that stood on the site before 1984? Please comment or get in touch.

All information from this post comes from old articles in the Scarborough News, viewed in the Scarborough Room at Scarborough Library.