The Radio 1 Roadshow in the Floral Hall Gardens in Southport in August 1983

Do you remember growing up in Southport in the 1980s? What are your favourite memories? 

Here are six superb photos of our town, guaranteed to bring those memories flooding back! 

We enjoyed some superb attractions and great days out back then. 

We are publishing these pictures to celebrate the opening of the brand new I Grew Up 80s exhibition, which runs at The Atkinson on Lord Street in Southport from Saturday, 13th November 2021 until  Saturday, 19th March 2022. 

A ride at Southport Pleasureland March 1981

A ride at Southport Pleasureland March 1981

Our first photo shows an observation wheel style ride at Southport Pleasureland in March 1981. You would have needed a head for heights for this one! 

Southport Pleasureland, under the ownership of Norman Wallis, is going from strength to strength today, with new plans for the next few months including a Viking themed adventure golf course and eatery, an impressive rollercoaster – and a brand new LED-lit observation wheel next to Marine Lake. 

Did you enjoy days out at Southport Pleasureland in the 80s? Did you enjoy rides such as the Fun House, The River Caves or The Haunted House? 

Southport Sea Bathing Lake July 1983

Southport Sea Bathing Lake July 1983

Generations of Sandgrounders enjoyed lazy summer days basking in the sunshine at the old Southport Sea Bathing Lake. 

This photo shows the attraction in July 1983, a decade before it was demolished to make way for the Ocean Plaza leisure and retail park. 

What are your memories of the Sea Bathing Lake? Do you remember the events they used to hold there? 

The Classic Cinema, Lord Street in 1985

The Classic Cinema, Lord Street in 1985

Southport town centre used to be a superb place to enjoy a great movie. Back in the 80s we had a choice of three cinemas on Lord Street alone!

They have since made way for a block of apartments, Sainsbury’s supermarket and The Vincent Hotel. 

The 80s was a superb decade for movies, with classics such as Ghostbusters, Back To The Future, E.T., Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Goonies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Trading Places, Police Academy, Top Gun, Karate Kid, Gremlins, Dirty Dancing, The Lost Boys and so many more. 

This photo shows The Classic Cinema on Lord Street in Southport (now The Vincent Hotel), in 1985. The cinema later became The Odeon before its closure. 

In this picture, on Screen 1 you could enjoy Water, starring Michael Caine, Leonard Rossiter and Valerie Perrine while on Screen 2 you could catch City Heat with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. 

The Radio 1 Roadshow in the Floral Hall Gardens in Southport in August 1983

The Radio 1 Roadshow in the Floral Hall Gardens in Southport in August 1983

Crowds couldn’t wait to head down to the Floral Hall Gardens in Southport in the 80s when the Radio 1 Roadshow came to town. 

Britain’s top DJs and the big name pop acts of the day delighted audiences outside the Floral Hall. Were you there? What was your favourite memory? 

Visitors to Southport Beach on Bank Holiday Weekend in May 1984, with Southport Pleasureland (including The Cyclone rollercoaster) in the background

Visitors to Southport Beach on Bank Holiday Weekend in May 1984, with Southport Pleasureland (including The Cyclone rollercoaster) in the background

Whenever the sun shined, a day out at the beach was always popular. 

This picture showed hundreds of motorists parking on Southport Beach to enjoy a day at the seaside to mark the May Bank Holiday in May 1984. 

The Land Of The Little People in Southport in April 1984 with The Kingsway nightclub in the background

The Land Of The Little People in Southport in April 1984 with The Kingsway nightclub in the background

Our final picture shows a much-missed attraction – The Land Of The Little People in Southport, shown here in April 1984 with The Kingsway nightclub in the background. 

The site, aka ‘Merrivale’ was a wonderfully created masterpiece of landscaping, which totally transformed a wasteland.

The village – built on part of the old fabulous Winter Gardens complex – was located on what is now Morrison’s supermarket car park, originally behind and adjoined to the Ribble Bus Station. 

After opening on April 17 1957 – what was then one of the first model villages in Britain – several million people enjoyed what the beautiful and fascinating gardens had to offer. 

You can relive life in the 80s through the new I Grew Up 80s exhibition at The Atkinson on Lord Street in Southport. 

You’ll travel through the cultural landscape of 1980’s Britain through the eyes of a child – revisiting the vibrancy, quirkiness and innovation that defined the decade.

Discover over 200 iconic treasures – from BMX to Betamax, Dirty Dancing to Donkey Kong, Thompson Twins to Transformers.

If you grew up in the 80s get ready to exclaim “I remember that!”

The exhibition is curated by Matt Fox and is drawn from his personal collection of 80s memorabilia.

I Grew Up 80s is at The Atkinson in Southport from Saturday, 13 November 2021 to 19 March 2022. The Atkinson is open Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm. Admission is free. 

Share your photos

Did you have a Polaroid Camera, Kodak Ektralite, Canon AE-1?… We want to see your iconic 80s photos; the fashion, the hair, the memories!

Tag The Atkinson on social media or email your photos to info@theatkinson.co.uk. 

They will display their favourites in the galleries. 

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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