Southport Pleasureland owner Norman Wallis

A new exhibition will open at The Atkinson in Southport this June dedicated to Southport Pleasureland owner Norman Wallis. 

‘Barnum in the Blood: Six Generations, One Passion’ will open at The Atkinson, on Lord Street, on Saturday, 25th June 2022 and will run until  Saturday 17th December 2022. Admission free. 

A spokesperson for The Atkinson said: “Discover the story of the sixth generation showman behind Southport’s historic Pleasureland. 

“From a young age Norman Wallis worked on his father’s rides and his grandfather was known as The Seaforth Barnum.

“Today he’s driving Pleasureland’s new heyday. The best is yet to come.” 

One of the photos that will feature in the exhibition ‘Barnum in the Blood: Six Generations, One Passion' at The Atkinson in Southport

One of the photos that will feature in the exhibition ‘Barnum in the Blood: Six Generations, One Passion’ at The Atkinson in Southport

Southport Pleasureland was badly affected by Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns over the past two years, with the park unable to open at the start of the season in 2020 and 2021. 

This year however Southport Pleasureland opened on 26th March, attracting visitors from around the UK. 

New for this year is The Big Wheel Southport, which is 35 metres high, is illuminated at night and offers stunning views across the North West coastline on one side, with the Marine Lake and Southport on the other. 

The 35-metre tall wheel offers visitors unparalleled 360-degree long-ranging views from the highest accessible vantage-point in Southport.

The wheel has been created by Universal Rides, owned by Norman Wallis, who operates Southport Pleasureland and Southport Pleasureland Miniature Railway. 

When he unveiled his plans, he said: “The wheel is a real show-stopper and I think the town deserves a landmark feature of this calibre and we believe it will be incredibly popular. 

“The views will be breath-taking and the observation wheel itself will be able to be clearly seen when approaching the town.

“This fabulous iconic feature will give people yet another reason to stop and admire the sea views – and make a hugely positive addition to Southport’s visitor appeal.” 

Work is currently taking place to create the new Viking themed adventure golf course at Southport Pleasureland. 

Earlier this month Mr Wallis unveiled his plans for a brand new Dinosaur Park that will lead the way in environmentally friendly attractions, as part of a mission to make the family attraction the first net zero carbon theme park in the UK.

Planning permission has also been granted for a new 260-metre long roller coaster, which will be situated along Marine Drive, and for a new cafe, ice cream parlour and station terminal at the Ocean Plaza end of the historic Southport Pleasureland Miniature Railway. 

Owner Norman Wallis is also preparing long-term plans to transform the park into a year-round attraction with a number of new facilities. 



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