Patrick Ross Collins (Young Pat) was born in Chester on March 7th, 1886. While travelling by train from his home in the Midlands to Ireland he noticed the undeveloped land near the railway line in Colwyn Bay and by April 1934 the local council’s General Purposes Committee had received a letter from Mr. Collins enquiring about their views on his proposal to operate an Amusement Park on land between Victoria Avenue and the main railway line. The council opposed the development at this time. The matter was before them again in February 1935 and the Amusement Park opened at Easter.
A very popular attraction with locals and holidaymakers alike, the Park continued to operate throughout the war.
Arthur Barnard bought the Park from Pat Collins in 1962, having spent most of the years it had been open managing his own stalls and machines there.
The Amusement Park closed in December 1980, at that time having an amusement arcade and sideshows, the gallopers, dodgem cars, children’s speedway track and a ghost train.
The gallopers were at the Amusement Park from the time it opened until it closed and were regularly serviced but the outer circle of horses were eventually pensioned off in favour of fibreglass replacements. Called “Pat Collins’ Famous Galloping Horses” they were eventually renamed “Barnard’s Golden Galloping Horses”.
A dodgem ride, which in the early days cost 3d, cost 20p by the time the park closed.
Pat Collins died on February 24th, 1966 and was buried on the Great Orme in Llandudno.
This article appears in Eunice Roberts and Helen Morley’s book “The Spirit of Colwyn Bay: 2” and is reproduced here with their kind permission.
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