mick2me

Colwick park ferry C.1907

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Yes Gunthorpe was another place, near the Unicorn pub there were Slot machines and a few swings/rides. This would be early sixties.

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Remember the pleasure park well,used to be two pence to get in,or go through thr back,past the air force cadets,and the dog track,into the old Dako football field,you could then climb over the fence,there was a penny arcade,pull me swings,a rounder out,push by hand,a paddling pool,which got so slippery in the hot weather with algae,that it was dangerous to walk in,a fenced off area for swimming,the landing stage for the ferry boat,great for diving off,a bit grotty

but we loved it.

Also just before the entrance there was the ferry where the boatman would take you across with a rowboat,for a penny each,good old days.

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Living on Grainger St. Meadow Lane, the Pleasure Park was only five minutes away. Along Daleside Rd. turn right at Trent Lane, go to the end and there it was. It was like denshaw and lupo described it as. There was always an ice cream van near the entrance and if she'd got enough money my Mum would treat us. The chap that used to take you over the Trent on a rowing boat only had one leg. There was also a steamboat that would take you to Trent Bridge and back. There was also one that would take you towards Colwick on a sightseeing cruise. An area into the river Trent had been cleared to make it safe for the swimmer's and for paddling. In the warm weather it was a very popular place to visit because it was local and cheap to get in.

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I recall seeing a bloke dive off the Suspension Bridge into the river as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations, seem to recall either the Trent or Him "0n Fire"? Not sure if Alisoncc still comes on? but far as I know "Beeston Cut" (not a canal as such but a "bypass" never entered The Trent near the power station? could it have been Nottingham Canal? though I always thought that joined the cut near Treverthicks? any maps?

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Royston Albert Fransen (born January 4, 1916 in Tottenham, north London, England) was a British High Diver and Stuntman. He was best known for his public displays of high and acrobatic diving, usually into shallow depth tanks and pools. These high dives were often performed with both diver and water surface being set ablaze with burning petrol. Roy Fransen's professional high and fire diving career lasted over 40 years - until his accident and death in 1985 during a performance, when aged 69.

His 1948 record high-dive, from a height of 110 feet into a depth of 8 feet, remained unbroken Worldwide for 49 years. This acrobatic diving record was in the category of highest into shallow. Whilst not including fire, incorporated a full somersault followed by a head first entry into a 16 ft diameter (above round) diving tank. During his lifetime Roy Fransen remained unchallenged - European High and Fire Diving Champion.

As a youth and during the 1930s, to improve his athletic hobby and sporting skills. regular daily practice was conducted dry and without water at home in suburban Pinner. This gave him a time saving on travelling to and from swimming pools. Here the disciplines of swallow and pike diving were practiced and perfected without interruption - from a spring board in to safety-netting set up in his parent's back garden.

In the late 1940s together with his elder brothers and friends, including stuntman/diver George Baines and Vera Beaumont, diving beauty, a high dive stunt and show was created - simply to generate an income. This it did, and within two seasons had grown into a full-scale water show production called Aqua-revue. Enjoying popularity at open air lidos and indoor swimming pools, a troupe of 20 to 30 performed a mix of acrobatic water skills, beauty, comedy and danger. Roy Fransen's Aqua Show, plus Aqua-Belles and Aqua-Zanies toured many UK holiday resorts well in to the mid 1950s.

By 1960 a more compact arena show was performed. This was billed as The Dive of Death, and as a spectacle attracted large audiences. Circus and Trade Fairs throughout the capital cities of the World were regularly visited. Many European and UK television broadcasts were transmitted. Timex, of wrist watch fame, ran a TV ad campaign praising their product's longevity - successfully enduring several 'On Fire Into Fire' high dives, whilst strapped upon Roy's wrist.

Although a regular swallow dive, from a height of 75 feet is twice the average of Olympic diving, the water was less than half as deep ! Also, the small surface area of the water tank hardly compared to any swimming pool.

However the Dive of Death, as posters announced, including its On Fire Into Fire sub-title, left little to the imagination exactly what the purpose of the equipment was for. The tank and tower both extreme in their respective small and high proportions.

As a sensational spectacle, at whatever venue it was performed, the 'Dive of Death' was usually saved until after dark - allowing the flames to add greater drama. Whereas in daytime, Roy, wearing only swimming trunks, would dive in to burning petrol spread upon the water surface. This was not without danger. Severe burns to bare legs and feet resulted from diving through an excessive column of flame. Likewise, thick dense smoke rising from the tank surface, could linger and so obscure Roy's targeting aim.

Otherwise the 'On Fire, Into Fire' dive was performed - on occasions thrice daily. Then Roy would wear a full body costume - a silver painted cotton boiler-suit - when diving. However here, doused with petrol himself, a moment was selected to set alight both tank and diver. Then, as a blazing torch, Roy's only sanctuary was the water 70 ft below - beneath its burning surface.

Every dive, even without fire, required precision alignment and split-second reactions. Head first (swallow dive) entry into the tank itself - a mere 16 feet diameter - needed a perfect aim and secure footing launch from the diving platform above. Whilst, of course, a degree of showmanship was included, there was no trickery involved. Every high dive was, without question, a very dangerous daredevil feat.

Sadly, on July 5, 1985, during a public performance in South West London, Roy Fransen died whilst attempting his Dive of Death for the final time. He was then age 69, and remained a very fit man for his years.

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I took the name George Baines from the side and searched Wikipedia and found this article above. It seems to clear up the doubt for me.

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Nice Detective work Michael :)

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but far as I know "Beeston Cut" (not a canal as such but a "bypass" never entered The Trent near the power station? could it have been Nottingham Canal? though I always thought that joined the cut near Treverthicks? any maps?

Are Beeston Cut and Beeston Canal two names for the same thing? Various websites describe Beeston Cut as a bypass of the Trent from somewhere in Beeston to somewhere in Lenton. And on maps today there is a canal going from the south-west corner of Beeston Rylands which eventually joins the Nottingham canal near Dunkirk, so that fits the bill. And it certainly doesn't go anywhere near any power stations

This might give a few answers http://canalplan.org.uk/gazetteer/rh1c

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That Fransen bloke, it wasn't him who did that high dive into about a foot of water at Wembley on the evel knievel day was it?

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When i came back to Nottingham a few weeks ago i went to the trent marina to see if it was where the pleasure park used to be in the 1950s,we used to walk down the street that the Manvers pub was on the corner of, but now the loop road is there you cannot get that way. The kind lady in the office confirmed that it was the place, she added that sand was transported from Skegness to form a mock beach.She has photos but had not got them with her but she was very kind and i will go and visit again next time i return to Notts.

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We would be really glad to see them Carni.

I am often down that way and would be willing to photograph them if they will allow it?

Trent Marina, you say?

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cliffton yes the cut and canal are same place cut an old bargemans term as canals were cut through land to avoid shallow water or weirs in rivers.

pleasure ark has many happy memories of summerdays spent down there and swinning in the trent but like most of the trent at that time full of leeches hated them but as i said had some great days down there and always remember the great music that blasted out loud speaker system very primitive but effective

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the pleasure park was near were the big new house is now at the bottom of trent lane little tennis st.

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Seems to be a lot of confusion here, prob because there was indeed a pleasure park at the end of Trent Lane but there was also Colwick / Colwick Park which was just down from this pleasure park and boats did pull in there as late as the 1960s. I visited the Trent Lane park as a child in the late 50s, there were a few rides,one like a chair-o-p-lane, some arcade machines and there were some railings near the Trent shore to allow safe bathing. Must mention this pleasure park was nowhere near Trent Marina which is a 1970s-19800s creation and was cut out of old meadows beyond Colwick Hall between the old Trent course and the new one leading to the sluice gates. My uncle who was raised in Sneinton recalls "Peg-Leg" as the one legged ferry boat man of Trent Lane, who did a roaring trade when Forest played at home.,dont think he was the same famous high diver! Quote from my uncle..

" The fastest way over the Trent from Cosby Rd was to go down Trent Lane and have a chap called Peg-Leg row people across! I believe he lost his leg in the war. In his early days he rowed people across for a penny each way, but he must have become quite affluent at those high charges, for I believe he upgraded to an engine

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we always went to pleasure park,shamed to say we never payed to go through the turnstile,always cut down by the air cadets onto the games field that greenwood boulevard school used,then a little hop over a small fence and we were in,if we had threepence in our sweaty palms we would rather use it to have a sweet or drink than pay entry,always played in the 2 paddling pools,one concrete made,the other a little bit of the trent fenced off,we loved it when the bloodsuckers were sucking on our legs,happy days,also remember that rotten smell as you walked by bitterlings,putrid meat and next door was a pair of semi detached houses,imagine living with that smell,at the top of trent lane now at the junction of the loop road was a hay/wheat field and we used to love running and hiding in there,a sad time was when we heard a lad of kingsley road drowned when he fell of the wall at the end of trent lane into the trent,i know his surname was lynch,his family were heartbroken,have often been to it as its now the yacht club,sit outside having a beer in the summer and it can evoke many happy memories aahh

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Hello Sneintongal,Nice to read about your memories of the Pleasure park,for a lot of years it was just a memory i had stored away and now other people are remembering the place it brings it all back.we spent a lot of our days there i think it was the closest we got to the seaside in the 1950s.It was a long walk down trent lane for little legs but worth it when we got there.It didnt take much to please us in those days,i cant remember every thing but i recall the swing boats and the chairs that swung out.Great Stuff.We went to the place last time we came to Notts and the lady in the shop says she has photos but i didnt get chance to get back to see them.Will definately call next time im in notts to see if she has them.

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I can remember going to the Pleasure Park and have a photograph of me in the concrete paddling pool that I will find and post up.

Mum used to take us down Trent Lane from the Boulevard and I think there was a scrap merchant there called Trickets on the right hand side. There was a railway crossing part way along there and lots of steam trains. We also used to wave to the train drivers as we waited at the gates and they always used to wave back to us.

I also think the Rec - recreation ground - park was down there too, opposite the Co-op laundry/

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VWGolf

Hiya,Its nice to read your memories of The Pleasure Park,It was one of my favorite childhood places,It would be interesting to see your photo, as no one seems to have any,I did say i would go back and see the lady in the shop at the Marina as she told me she had some photos,But I keep forgetting(sorry Mick2me #38)I will make a special effort next time i come to Notts.

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The memory I have of the trip from the Bridge to Colwick, was the interesting smells of the engine in the little pleasure boat. (Sure some anorak will know all the details). Would never be able to ply its trade today-no life saving gear kids scramblig everywhere, There are a few photos on this topic somewhere in the records ,(but they were on the football side of the bridge).

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I remember going to the colwick park by boat, all I know is it was pre 1959, by that time the boat there left from where the rowing boats are now

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That's it, the text says c1950, there was a rumour that went over to Dunkirk? though I only heard it from an ex Treverthick's employee

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1950s picture....In that case the rumour ought to mention that it got back too :biggrin:

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have heard a search for info, found photos of it on the River Yare and info that it was sold by owners down there in 1947 but didn't say who to. re the c1950's date, was wondering how they dated such? reckon that boat still there mid 1950s? maybe via type of bus on the bridge? the missing horse bridge? or lack of floodlights at forest ground? if the latter could have been as late as 1961

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