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Heysham Head

This is Heysham Lodge on Heysham Head built c.1816 as a private residence by George Wright, one time steward for John Marsden at Hornby Castle. It is now again a private residence but to anyone coming on holiday to this area in the mid 20th century it was an amusement arcade in Heysham Head Pleasure Gar
The postcard photograph left was taken from the Rose Garden which in the Pleasure Gardens was a favourite spot and a venue for frequent concerts. You can read about these and the other attractions in the gardens in Kath Gregson’s childhood memories in the 1940s . Kath also has recorded her memories of Heysham on YouTube,  click here to  listen to them
The next postcard photograph show a crowded Rose Garden all listening to the performance - the performers cannot be seen, they are off the picture bottom right. The rose garden probably predated the the Pleasure Gardens which were opened in 1926 by Septimus Wray followed by his son Fred Wray until 1964.

A section of the 1931 Ordnance survey map is also pictured with Heysham Lodge shaded green and the Rose Garden outlined in red with the performers stage at the bottom. The long drive to the area from the village can be seen at the top right of the map and at the village end of the drive is the Gatehouse.

Alongside the Heysham Head poster from the Visitor newspaper below is an image, restored by Steve Smith PrintsAlive, of the start of Barrows Lane showing the entrance to the Pleasure Gardens from the village. The line of horse drawn carriages are waiting to take visitors to Half Moon Bay.

The first appearance of the puppets Pinky and Perky was at Heysham Head in 1956, designed by the Czech puppeteers Jan and Vlasta Dalibor. The signed programme below  is reproduced with from the website of Ian Denny (with his permission);

Ian is also a marionetteer. He spent a Summer Season with colleagues entertaining  on the Central Pier in Morecambe with his own marionettes in about 1981. He recalls - “ I have a wonderful picture in my mind of Heysham village on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon when I visited the village fete.


The posters left and right  relating to Heysham Head aRE available for sale in the Heritage Centre as Jumbo postcards

There are also some high quality prints of some Heysham Head posters now on  sale

The Pleasure Gardens closed in 1964 and were dismantled. Fred Wray sold the site to a development company Shearers from whom the local Council leased the site.
They tried to maintain the home holiday market with a revamped Heysham Head which opened in May 1966. It included  Winged World, an old English Village and a go-kart track on which Nigel Mansell had early teen-age experiences of track racing


The picture right is an inn in the old village with a litter bin disguised as a monk; the inn sign reads ‘Shearer’s Arms’. The picture below of Winged World was posted recently by Nigel King of Nottingham as a ‘boring postcard’ on this website. Winged World was an ambitious ‘zoo’ project which unfortunately was only short lived, closing along with the go-kart track in the late 1970s. It featured exotic, mainly foreign, birds and was notable for the first recorded UK breeding success (in captivity) of a number of species, for example the Red-billed Hornbill (1968) and the Green Wood Hoopoe (date unknown). Someone who was a youngster in the 1960s and made frequent visits to Winged World recalls seeing the exotic Golden Oriole   there which does have a very limited UK wild breeding presence in East Anglia; the male has a fluty yodelling whistle frequently heard by soldiers in the trenches in France in the Great War (see extract from Philip Gibbs   Now It Can Be Told). (It may have been the Indian variety which is very similar.)

The first curator of Winged World was Clive Roots who came from London Zoo and later (in 1970) emigrated to Canada to run a larger zoo project in Winnipeg. The zoo also had an Education Officer to provide services to local schools. The information here is mainly gleaned from scattered references on the web and prompted by correspondence from Glynn Woollam, an aviculturist who is writing a paper on Winged World, which when complete will be notified here.

Golden Oriole (male)


After lying derelict for many years the National Trust took over the part of Heysham Head which contained the kart track to add to their 1996 purchase of the barrows field and St Patrick’s Chapel as part of their strategy for coastal protection, Enterprise Neptune. The kart track has been removed and the land restored to maritime heath,