Flamingoland: 1963 - 1993



BACKGROUND


Flamingo Park opened on 28th June 1961 by Pentland Hick as The Yorkshire Zoological Gardens. In 1963 it was the first to display cetaceans in the UK followed closely by Marineland Morecambe. The original dolphin pool was a small figure of eight facility in the reptile house. As well as bottlenosed dolphins other whales were imported including a young white whale in 1964 and a young pilot whale in 1966. In 1965 Hick decided to float the zoo on the UK Stock Exchange and became Associated Pleasure Parks. The success for the pioneering dolphins exhibits was due to the insight of the zoo professional Reg Bloom who later was involved in similar developments at Windsor Safari Park, London Dolphinarium and Clacton Pier.


Dudley Zoo - Dolphins & Whales: 1971 - 1974









BACKGROUND

Dudley Zoo spent a period of time owned by Scotia Leisure who also at this time owned Flamingo Park. The dolphin and whale pools were modified seal and sea lions pools with the walls being built up to create more depth. However, these plans fell foul of the local planning laws and the zoo was ordered to return the pools to the original state. As the zoo was not prepare to invest in new purpose built pools the whale 'Cuddles' was put up for sale. Sadly the whale died 6 February 1974 before being moved from long-term gastro-intestinal problem. The pools were return to their original design and now house sea lions.

Coventry Zoo Dolphinarium: 1972 - 1975




 

BACKGROUND

The Coventry Zoo was opened in 1966 by cousins of the Chipperfield family. It was notably famous for a large fibreglass Zulu warrior standing at the main gates. Coventry Zoo housed two bottle nose dolphins, 'Chipper' and 'Nero' for a number of years in the early nineteen-seventies in a geodesic dome. The animals had been originally imported from Florida for a dolphinarium in an amusement park in Weymouth in Dorest for one summer season in 1971 before being moved to Coventry. The animals eventually left the zoo and where re-homed at Tierpark Hagenbeck's dolphinarium Hamburg, Germany.

Cleethorpes Marineland & Zoo: 1966 - 1974



BACKGROUND

Cleethorpes Zoo & Marineland was founded by Pentland Hick and was operated as a satellite zoo to Flamingo Park both of which was later owned by Scotia Leisure. The marineland complex compromised of three fibreglass pool; two pools 6 feet deep and a free standing pool with underwater viewing window in the region of 12 feet deep. The display of dolphins at this park was not continuous with some years presentations being from sea lions only. The last dolphins to be displayed here was in the summer of 1974 with animals supplied by Aquatic Mammal Enterprises. The zoo closed in 1977 and was later redeveloped into Pleasure Island Theme Park.

Clacton Pier Dolphinarium: 1971 - 1985



BACKGROUND

The pool complex on Clacton Pier was a former outdoor swimming pool. It converted and operated by Reg Bloom and his family; he was responsible for the introduction of dolphins and later whales to the UK at Flamingoland.The main residents were the bottlenose dolphins, Bubbles and Squeak, and later young killer whales. When the dolphins and whales left the pier their continued to be displays with sea lions and fur seals and also a marine aquarium. Their continues to be a marine aquarium on the pier The SeAquarium.

Brighton Aquarium & Dolphinarium: 1968 - 1990







BACKGROUND

Detail of the hostory of the aquarium can be found in the guide books displayed below on this page and also in A Review of Dolphinaria published in 1986.

The aquarium last remaining dolphins "Missy" and "Silver" became part of the controversial Into The Blue project and were eventually release into the sea in the Caribbean in September 1991. Their fate remains unknown.

Brean Down Dolphinarium - 1974




BACKGROUND

Brean Down Dolphinarium was a seasonal facility of 'in ground' breeze block construction and plastic liner.

Blair Drummond Safari Park Dolphinarium: 1974 - 1984



Picture of the pool in its opening season; a roof was added the following year and can be seen of the picture at the foot of this page. The pool is now used for sea lion displays.




BACKGROUND

Blair Drummond was a satellite dolphin show originally operated by Scarborough Marineland & Zoo.

Blackpool Dolphinarium - 1969




Photo taken from 100 Years of The Seaside: Twentieth Century in Pictures published by Ammonite Press/Press Association copyright.


BACKGROUND

A seasonal temporary show ran for only one summer at Blackpool in 1969 by Joe Raber's
Marine Mammals International with two dolphins name "Simbad" (pictured) and "Pronto". "Simbad" was later transferred (along with a number of animals) from Marine Mammals International (Battersea Park Dolphinarium, Royalty Folies) to the company who owned Margate Dolphinarium and other seasonal dolphinaria. These two companies did have business links at one point and the transfer of some animals to Queens Entertainments was agreed when they ceased joint business operations.

Battersea Park Dolphinarium: 1971 - 1973





BACKGROUND

The dolphinarium was housed in an existing building in the Festival Gardens, Battersea Park. It opened in March 1971. Press reports at the time detail the head trainer as Jean Tiebor with three dolphins called Flipper, Skipper and Buddy. It is reported that these animals were collected from the Florida in January 1971.