Southend Dolphinarium - 1970 - 1975


Southend-on-Sea dolphinarium was a summer seasonal show operated by the owners of the Margate Dolphinarium. The dolphins were originally displayed in 1970 in the old disused Westcliffe-On-Sea swimming pool - the site is now the Westcliff Leisure Centre. When this site was acquired by a developer the owners of the dolphins then constructed a dolphin pool on the sea-front on land leased from Southend Council to the right of Southend Pier on Marine Parade. The dolphinarium closed in 1975. 

NB: A touring dolphin show was presented in the Southend Kursaal Amusement Park's Coronation Dome in 1969 for one summer but this company and it's animals were unrelated to Margate Dolphinarium and it's satellites. This show was operated by an American James Tiebor who was based in Germany and undertook a number of touring dolphin shows in Europe during the late 1960s and 1970s.
A Review of Dolphinaria states:

An outdoor exhibit, with a 10.70 m diameter, 2.13-2.44 m deep plastic lined sunken pool. Open for about 10 weeks in summer, with dolphins wintering at Margate, at winter shows in the UK and abroad or exported. Williamson and Schomberg (1976) report that an educational lecture was available on request. Mr Holloway and Mr Franklin are noted as trainers in 1974.
See an article from the Southend Timeline web page for more information on dolphin displays in Southend HERE. 


Photos taken in 1970 at the disused Westciffe On Sea swimming pool that was used for one season prior to the construction of Southend Dolphinarium.


Screen capture from a BBC Nationwide feature of Southend on August Bank Holiday 1973. Link HERE. The Flipper sign for the dolphinarium can been seen on the left of picture.

1 comment:

  1. Whenever I tell people there were dolphins in Southend nobody remembers. Thank you for providing me with the evidence.