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Looking Back at Long-Lost Teen Hangouts

Posted: 12pm 18 Oct 2019

Amusement rides, arcade games and water slides proved to be a magnet for youngsters at these attractions during their heyday.

While these teenage hangouts may have gone away long ago, memories of good times remain for those who spent their youth there.

REDCLIFFE FUNFAIRS

There were two amusement parks — one at Suttons Beach and the other on the site, formerly known as Centenary Park, where the RSL building now stands.

It was run by Cec Clarke and had a merry-go-round, horse-o-plane and slippery-dip.

These parks were not only popular with locals during the war, but also with servicemen.

In the book Redcliffe Remembers, Norma Kennedy recalls going with her sister and friend to Cec Clarke 's park.

“The American soldiers were always there enjoying the rides and would buy rolls of tickets. When they were sick of it, they would generally give the remaining tickets to those nearby. We had quite a few free rides,” she says.


PENNY ARCADE

The amusement arcade was a feature of the second Redcliffe Jetty built just north of the original, in 1922.

The new jetty included a halfway house and in 1938 it was proposed by Harry Pearson to transform it into an amusement arcade or what the locals called a 'penny arcade.'

At the time it suited Redcliffe's carnival atmosphere and locals remember diving off the jetty in search of fallen pennies.

Bee Gee
Barry Gibb is among those who remember many days spent at the penny arcade with fondness. In December 1973 the jetty and arcade were demolished to give way to the current jetty.

ROLLERDOME

The Redcliffe Rollerdrome opened to much fanfare in time for Christmas in 1938, on the now Anzac Place memorial site.

It had canvas walls, which welcomed the breeze and allowed for open-air skating during warmer weather. It attracted roller skaters of all abilities, including world champion Ethel Flanagan, the best female artistic roller skater of the 1930s and 1940s. After almost 50 years of service, the Rollerdrome closed in 1985 to make way for the Anzac Place memorial.

FUNLAND WATER PARK

In November 1986, this multistorey, 183m water slide and water park opened at the corner of Goodwin Drive and Cotterill Ave. It had a swimming pool, wading pool, kart track and 15-hole mini golf course.

There was also a kiosk, picnic grounds, playground, video games and barbecue area.

It was a popular hangout for youths in the 1980s, as well as families. The structure was sold and moved to Lawnton in the early 1990s where it stayed until maintenance became an issue and it was dismantled.

AUSTRALIAN WOOLSHED

The Ferny Hills attraction opened in 1982, in a bid to lure tourists and offer locals a place to visit on the weekends and school holidays.

It featured displays, animals and shows illustrating what life was like in the country, and was the brainchild of farmer Ken Mander-Jones. Former Pine Rivers Shire Councillor Brian Battersby remembers it well.

“As time went on, they wanted something else to bring more families in,” he explains.

“They turned the area of Rangeleigh St into a picnic area and added water slides.”

The water slides were a hit with local teens, who even went there instead of playing inter-school sport. It closed in 2006 to make way for a housing development.

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