Jobe

Manly Fun Pier

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Hi Guys!! Does anybody remember this small amusement pier at Manly?? ^_^ It was located next to the Ferry wharf and was torn down in the late 80's. I can remember visiting there a couple of times...had a fantastic Ghost train!!! ;) Its a shame that it isnt still around!! Anyway enjoy these images. Cheers Jobe

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Does anybody else have any memories of Manly Fun Pier?? I have scoured the 'Net and these are the only pics of the place that I could find.Does anybody know of a similar fun pier or park that used to operate elsewhere in Australia? This is another rare & fantastic piece of Australian and Sydney amusement history that is extremely important and should be looked upon with much nostalgia and fondness( Especially if you had experinced it like me!!) Also, Richard, I have asked that my earlier pics of White City be added to the site's database, could this also apply to Manly Fun Pier??( I havent seen ANY pics of this park on the net and it would be great for Parkz to recognise it as its own listing!!) Cheers Jobe

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:lol::lol::lol: !!!! Hey, I totally remember it. I still live down Manly and it really is a shame that it's been reduced to two poncey bars and a few fast food shops! I clearly remember the Octopus in particular that went over the water and the giant sharks jaws! I loved it there! My family all come from around Manly as well and I have had stories handed down that there was actually a shark pool just to the left, I think, if you are looking at the wharf from the corso. Oh the memories!!!! I love your visit Manly postcard too!

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Yes, I remember the Manly Fun Pier. My parents used to take me there during the 1960's. Sometimes it was the only amusement park open as Luna Park used to close down for maintenance during the winter months back then. The rides that I can recall at the Manly Fun Pier were the Dodgems, ferris wheel, merry-go-round/carousel, ghost train, upside down house, Rock-o-plane, Octopus, what I used to call Dodgem boats, mirror maze. I think there was a shooting gallery and maybe a Penny Arcade. During the Ghost Train ride, the car would crash through doors and you thought you were going to end up in the harbour but a couple of sharp turns and you would be back inside. When did it close down? Apart from the merry-go-round (Kales Carousel) which is now set up at Darling Harbour, I wonder what happened to all the rides? Scrapped I suppose. Thanks for posting those postcard pics of the Fun Pier.

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I also have fond memories of the old pier during the 1960s! My great aunt Jessie Green owned the stall with the clowns which you would place ping pong balls into thier mouths. I would ride for free all day as all the operators new each other on such a small pier. The last time I visited in easter 1975 my aunt and partner were still there working in thier late 70s. I wonder if anyone would have any memory of Jessie and Queenie as she was known? Thanks for jogging my memory K.

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My parents took me there in the 70's. Yes there was a shark tank and from memory it had some fairly large beasts in there. The rides were rough and ready but were absolutely great fun. I can remember playing my first ever arcade game there which was the first version of Space Invaders. Fond memories!!!

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I also worked there in the 70's and have fond memories of the place. I recognise a couple of people in the postcard pictures posted above. I remember the lovely ladies who operated the sideshows. Also, there was the Mirror Maze man, Fred, who loved his job and gave everyone badges (Maze Master) as a reward for finding the way out of the maze. Ian S(I think) operated the Boats which were in the pool in the back corner, (they were similar in operation to the dodgem cars). Ken ran the Rock-o-plane. John S. owned the FunHouse and the shop. Lin operated the Octopus. 'Junior' and his Dad operated the Dodgems. Peter C. was one of the bosses with John S. I can't place a Brian Green but there was a Brian H. who was possibly a junior partner. I think Jackie operated the Ghost Train for a while. Leonie did various jobs, as I did, which included operating the small Carousel, Shop, Mini Cars, at the front, and the Choo Choos down the back. I also worked on the little cars which went round over little hills but I can't remember what this ride was called. It was a kiddies ride beside the Ghost Train. I also remember that there was a TV show filmed there one day. I can't remember the show's name but the episode's name was Mixed Doubles and I think Ray Walston (My Favourite Martian) made a guest appearance in this episode but he wasn't at the pier for the filming. An actor, the criminal, had to grab the Octopus's arm and hold on as it rotated, then drop into the ocean to escape (or maybe he was "shot" and dropped for a dramatic "death"). After the big storm, the pier was thought to be possibly unsafe and was closed while tests were carried out. The tests involved placing hundreds of oil drums of sea water as weights over the pier to test it's strength. The pier was able to re-open after quite a lengthy time, following the results of the tests, but I think the lengthy closure had brought economic problems to the owners. The sign greeting ferry arrivals stated "7 miles from Sydney and 1000 miles from care.." I think that's how it was for me.

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To add to the post above... I think the boats were called Bumper Boats and the kiddies car ride was called the Autocars. The sideshows were Clowns, Roll 'em Down and Basketball (Shooting Goals).

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I remember that place as a little kid, the Ghost train was cool, and there was the madhouse. Those were the days. sydney used to have some dinky little amusement parks around the place. I recall this other one that was out west somewhere that had slides and a field with little houses and stuff, no idea what it was called. I also recall being just tall enough (with a lot of cheating) to ride the original big dipper, unfortunately the fire put paid clocking some serious laps.

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wow..so many great memories of the fun pier........... I worked there as the clown from 1970, aged 7 and still attending Manly Public School. The owners of the Fun Pier (fun shows pty ltd) were Peter C, Managing Director, John S, Director, Brian H, Director. The TV show that was being filmed there was called "Shannon s Mob". I was an extra on the octopus scene when the guy ran in and got thrown over the side into the water. This scene took hours to film, and we were on the octopus all that time....never thrown up so much in my life!! The Big storm referred to earlier was on the 14th of May 1974. a mini cyclone that destroyed the walkway/promenade and damaged many of the beach front properties. I remember going for a walk with my dad the morning after and seeing the huge sandstone blocks, cars, boats and all sorts of other things that had been thrown around like paper...the devastation was unreal. The fun Pier was damaged and the losses were quite severe for the owners. I will always remember the Fun Pier as a great place to go and enjoy yourself. It got a bit sleazy toward the end and was more like a pinball parlor on the water when it closed down.......but always will stay with me as a huge part of my childhood. :D

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Mike, I am wondering if you are the little boy I remember from Manly Fun Pier. He would also help out by buying food for the workers from the shop near the front gate and deliver it to them. I recall two boys and a girl whose name was possibly Maibrit, or similar, doing this. Other memories: Also, the Manly Fun Pier management built an attraction at Kings Cross around '74, perhaps earlier. My brother worked on the building of it. It was a maze and I think it was close to the Wax Works. I recall going through this maze of Mirrors. It had a number of rotating doors which activated strobe lighting as they rotated. Each door had a couple of exits which randomly opened and added to the challenge of finding your way out. Does anyone else remember this maze? The Fun Pier management also owned the Shark Aquarium and then bought the Oceanarium. I recall working at both but was more often at the Shark Aquarium when not needed in the Fun Pier shop. People loved coming through the Shark's mouth to enter the Aquarium. It was one large pool and the sealife was viewed from above.

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post-29213-0-84330100-1350906665_thumb.jpost-29213-0-12597300-1350905728_thumb.jpost-29213-0-67500900-1350905777_thumb.jpost-29213-0-04111900-1350906395_thumb.jpost-29213-0-42086700-1350906411_thumb.jpost-29213-0-52107400-1350906424_thumb.jHi "Funpier", Yes...I was one of the kids that went to the local shops for staff lunches. The maze at Kings cross was called the "Minitour's Maze", was next to the wax works. Funshows Pty Ltd also owned the Manly shark aquarium (next door to the Fun Pier with the big sharks head as the entry) and were part owners of Manly Marineland. The picture used as my ID (above left) was taken when I was 16 and working at Marineland. Lots of memories from the pier...most good. Still, if I had my life to live again...would do it all the same.

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Fun Pier and Manly topics...... Things I remember about growing up in Manly.............

  • [*]New years eve at the Fun Pier [*]Miss Manly and her string bag full of lemons [*]The Pearl King in the Corso [*]Diving for coins at the ferry wharf [*]Fish and chips from the fish shop on the ferry wharf [*]Skate City up near Marineland (My dad was the Manager there) [*]All night parties at Little Manly Beach [*]Swimming at the baths (before it got blown away in 1974) [*]Manly Public School....and the little bottles of milk at "play lunch" [*]Going to Reef beach....just for a look !!?? [*]Fishing for yellow tail (Yakkas) off the wharf [*]Exploring the old gas works [*]Trying to ride my bike to north head up Darley Road (much more fun coming down the hill) [*]Rollerskating around the Whistler Street carpark late at night [*]School sports day at manly oval [*]Standing at the waters edge when a southerly came in

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Fun Pier and Mike: I remember the Maze in King's Cross. I was only a kid visiting from Adelaide but remember well the impressive sight of it! It looked like a castle but had a "forest" under the castle archway that you enter into. I also recall two stairways on the side of it going up to another level. I was just a kid and too chicken to go inside on my own, but the awesome sight of the maze has never left my memory. I'd really love to hear from anyone who knows anything about the maze or can describe it further. It really was unique and seemed very impressive from the outside. Any info appreciated :)

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On May 1, 2016 at 10:51 PM, DisneyDoll said:

^ There was a maze based on the Minotaur that I remember, it had revolving chambers & hidden doorways, the idea was to find him. Is this what you are referring too?

Hi DIsneyDoll. It definitely had revolving doors or something like that. As mentioned I was too chicken as a kid to go in alone, but I saw a revolving door inside amongst the mirrors that others came through when they left the maze. Did you see it or go inside? I'd love to get a description of it. All I mostly recall is how impressive the entrance was, like a castle and forest with stairways on the side etc. Hoping someone has pics! One day perhaps!

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Hi RobK  Yes I did go thru it, several times & it was quite creepy. There were mirrors all with forest painted frames, Green foliage hung from the roof with spooky music playing. It was all dimly lit & several of the chambers had a revolving doorway that led to other sections. The Minotaur was in the center of it & then there was an exist. He was behind a glass case & was in a static position. That's all I really remember about it, those days, we didn't have mobile phones so I have no pictures.

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On Saturday, July 02, 2016 at 4:30 PM, DisneyDoll said:

Hi RobK  Yes I did go thru it, several times & it was quite creepy. There were mirrors all with forest painted frames, Green foliage hung from the roof with spooky music playing. It was all dimly lit & several of the chambers had a revolving doorway that led to other sections. The Minotaur was in the center of it & then there was an exist. He was behind a glass case & was in a static position. That's all I really remember about it, those days, we didn't have mobile phones so I have no pictures.

Hi guys first of all thanks for solving the mystery of the kings cross mirror mazes name. I never knew it was called the Minotour maze, I knew it only as the mirror maze as I grew up at Kings Cross and it was a place my friends and I loved to hang at. I've tried googling it but had no luck until I found this site and these boards.. so thanks. That place was the most amazing place in the world to a 10yr old kid in the 70s. I spent the next couple of years weekends and school hols up there with friends meeting new friends. On my early visits I can remember the spooky dark revolving doors and the fear not knowing where you'd end up when they turned to the other side. I can remember it seemed like an enchanted forest with slightly different themes in the different sections. I recall the adrenalin pumping when you thought you were lost. Later we knew each room/chamber off by heart and where every revolving door exit lead. You could spend all day there (I cant remember what we did for toilet calls or eating), but I can recall meeting in a middle room of mirrors and would just sit talking for hours to other kids. I can admit to even having a pash in a revolving door between the doors and the most amazing games of chasings and spooking younger kids. I do remember there were old school early video games and pinball machines. My friends and I discovered on some games if you switched the power points off and back on you could get a free games. One of those games was a shooting game based on a video of the old wild west gangsters and we would play it over and over again until the management realised and would kick us out. It was truly a fun and rather bazaar place in my childhood memories and one of the many unusual things you were privy to growing up at the Cross. I can also remember the wax works and learning that if you went upstairs to the exit and waited eventually someone would exit and you could grab the door and sneak inside... Priceless!!

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On July 1, 2016 at 11:30 PM, DisneyDoll said:

Hi RobK  Yes I did go thru it, several times & it was quite creepy. There were mirrors all with forest painted frames, Green foliage hung from the roof with spooky music playing. It was all dimly lit & several of the chambers had a revolving doorway that led to other sections. The Minotaur was in the center of it & then there was an exist. He was behind a glass case & was in a static position. That's all I really remember about it, those days, we didn't have mobile phones so I have no pictures.

Thanks SO MUCH for describing it. It was such a long time ago and I was so young, and only saw it once being from SA. A return visit to Sydney, I couldn't find it and couldn't even be sure if it was in the Cross or where!!?! It's really amazing for me to read your description, as it confirms what I recall. I don't know why this maze had such a big affect on me but it did. The forest framed mirrors I remember that! And I had THOUGHT I saw a reviving door but wasn't sure. AND the foliage! Like I said I didn't go in so to hear a description is awesome. Really appreciate it, it's been decades! Do you recall how the entrance looked? I recall stairways at the side, they definitely led somewhere. 

On November 20, 2016 at 10:37 PM, Penny said:

Hi guys first of all thanks for solving the mystery of the kings cross mirror mazes name. I never knew it was called the Minotour maze, I knew it only as the mirror maze as I grew up at Kings Cross and it was a place my friends and I loved to hang at. I've tried googling it but had no luck until I found this site and these boards.. so thanks. That place was the most amazing place in the world to a 10yr old kid in the 70s. I spent the next couple of years weekends and school hols up there with friends meeting new friends. On my early visits I can remember the spooky dark revolving doors and the fear not knowing where you'd end up.........I can remember it seemed like an enchanted forest with slightly different themes in the different sections. I recall the adrenalin pumping when you thought you were lost. Later we knew each room/chamber off by heart and where every revolving door exit lead. You could spend all day there......It was truly a fun and rather bazaar place in my childhood memories and one of the many unusual things you were privy to growing up at the Cross. 

Thank you Penny this is awesome! See my other response above. Fantastic to get descriptions from you. I was too chicken to enter then spent the rest of my life wondering what was inside!! (Well, not every day or anything but now and again I'd have vivid memories of seeing this incredible maze entrance). Any memories of the entrance? I recall 2 stairways (it might have been one with 2 arches at the entry way to the steps) that led up to another level on the side. I dnt think it was to more maze, it might have been to a shop upstairs but it was built into the entrance / castle/ forest structure. THANK YOU AGAIN it's just so awesome to hear your description. It sounds as major as I thought it might have been in terms f size. Any idea would you say how big this maze was? Anything else? Thanks!!

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Hi Rob good to hear from you.  Im affraid I'm abit like Disney doll and its all a bit vague. I remember a central room with the glass cabinet with model fantasy creatures or people and a forest theme but Im affraid the minotaur thing was abit lost on me I think it went over my head at my young age. I think for memory there were about three revolving doors and I think they had two exits on each one with what felt a long time between doors in the dark as you pushed them to rotate them around. They were made of black wood for memory and not much light. I can recall there were several chambers and passages some with walk through door ways and others that looked like doors but were either mirrors or doors to dead ends. Like Disney Doll I recall a forest with vines. I think there might have been some fairy tale themes within but my imagination could be putting those in. 

As for the size, its hard to tell cause as a kid everything seemed huge. I think I'd now be not surprised if it wasnt that big just cleverly divided up. I'm guessing it was wider than deep.  I do recall it was at the back of an early version of a video game arcade/hall. You had to walk through the machine area to get to the entrance of the maze which I think was a fairy tale looking castle. I didn't discover this place until about 1974 so I wouldnt be at all surprised if originally it took up the whole area but shrank as the years went on to make room for the machines??? 

Anyhoo the maze was at the kings Cross village which was a little shopping square based on a central courtyard with restaurants and shops. It was two storey and there were two flights of stairs at either end of a balconey with shop fronts so it looked like a C shape. The wax works was there too. The entrance was down stairs with the breathing sleeping beauty wax model in the window and the exit was upstairs.

I think the entrance that I recall of the maze and video arcade was a neon sign over an archway and yes I think the stairs are next to it. 

Anyway Rob I hope that has stired a few memories for you. Id love to see old photos of the place, as I said it had fascinated me all these years as it was a strange and bazaar place and I've looked for ages for anything on it. Haha I think we are the same person and hopefully now we can sleep lol.

Please let me know if you ever find anything and I will too.

Cheers Penny

Rob I just remembered, as a massive Dragon/Marc Hunter fan of the 70s, if you go on youtube and look up the Dragon song This Time it briefly shows you the village as it is filmed in the Cross.... AND I think it has either the entrance of the mirror maze or the wax works. I'm out at the moment so I cant look, BUT I think its the mirror maze!!!! 

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