South Elmsall Animal Training School And Dolphinarium : 1972 - 1974


This was old public swimming pool built in 1932 and was operated by Jervale Ltd a company owned by filtration engineer John Nolan and his wife. The pool was mainly used as a centre for holding and training dolphins from March 1972 (see picture below from the Yorkshire Post) until around 1974. The owners also operated the dolphin shows at Flamingo Park and Ocean Park in Sunderland and the pool was used in the early 1970's to house animals destined for the first dolphinaria operated by Etam (Trust House Forte) at Rhyl.

There has been some controversy relate to the number of animals that past through this facility with an American animal-rights group, the Animal Protection Institute of America, claming that documents discovered in Florida Government office reveal that no less that 34 dolphins were actually shipped to the South Elmsall establishment in that two year period. However, closer investigation reveals that these were permits to capture and export and that this number of animals was never captured or exported from the USA to this holding facility. The animals kept here were moved to Flamingo Park in 1975 and this numbered no more than 6 individuals.

A Review of Dolphinaria states:

Animal Training School and Dolphinarium, South Elmsall, near Wakefield. This swimming pool was used to hold eight dolphins brought from the USA in early 1973. The public were occasionally admitted. The animals were moved to Seaburn in 1974 and four went on to Flamingo.

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