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Empire Exhibition

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Empire Exhibition

This photograph, looking from the south towards Tait's Tower, shows a section of the Amusement Park at the Empire Exhibition in 1938. The whole area occupied 16 acres and was run by Billy Butlin, who was later to make his name a pioneer of holiday camps.

As in previous exhibitions, the provision of amusements was considered essential to boost attendance figures. There were thrill rides such as the mountain scenic railway and the loop-o-plane; dodgems which allowed drivers to ignore normal traffic rules and water dodgems which did the same with boats; side shows such as shooting galleries and slot machines. The Empire also contributed to this area, with an Indian Theatre and an African Village, "Savage West Africa", featuring Chief Mekewwhe and his Yoruba tribe.

There were some who regarded the Amusement Park as being too noisy and detracting from the seriousness of the Exhibition. But there was no denying its popularity with the public, and its role in supplying lasting memories.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC ef606.4 (1938)

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Amusement Park, amusement parks, dodgems, Empire Exhibition, Empire Tower, exhibitions, funfairs, Indian Theatre, loop-o-plane, mountain railways, Savage West Africa, shooting galleries, slot machines, Tait's Tower, Tower of Empire, Yoruba

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