Gerald Reece’s Chasewater in the 1960s

I thought I’d continue sharing the hugely popular recent run of archive images today and the real treat from the immense Gerald Reece collection this weekend consists of some rather special, but austere-looking shots of Chasewater, I’d say in it’s 1960s heyday.

This set is unusual in that it features two preoccupations of readers over the years that we never really got pictures of – the concrete, brutalist pouring fountain and the rollercoaster, which I must confess for a while I was convinced was a myth.

For a great companion memoir to these images, check out Stuart Cowley’s recollections in this article and a second one here.

These images have been scanned by David Evans from Gerald’s material recently donated to the blog.

The original gatehouse, and a fee was chargeable, at least to cars, on entry. I don’t believe the entry point has changed much, so I’d guess this is about where the island is today. Note the wooden rollercoaster in the distance. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.

Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.WLooking over to the pier, from the children’s castle that still stands. today. Note the welters, right. What is apparent is how few trees there were here then. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.

I remember the rotting remnants of this sign on the A5 at the bottom of Pool Road.Don’t recall the bench though. Note the chap waiting, I guess for a bus, or a lift. Watling Street Scholl is on the right, with cars rushing by on the A5, Note the pre-Worboys roadsigns. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.

This one has me lost. I guess this is the old pit on Highfields Farm? Open to suggestions. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.

The only decent image I’ve ever seen of the funfair at Chasewater – in it’s day it must have been quite something. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.

Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.The original paddling pool was filled with water from the main lake, using pipes running on the underside of the pier. Obn the skyline is the gatehouse, and here today we’d be looking directly at the business units and innovation centre. Note the concrete ‘pour’ fountain. I believe the low building left was the cafeteria/amusement arcades least some of which became the ranger’s hut and remains to this day. Image kindly supplied by Gerald Reece, via David Evans.

These remarkable images have been very generously supplied by the great local historian himself, and beautifuly scanned by the wonderful David Evans for blog readers to enjoy.

I thank Gerald and David for yet another remarkable set – you are a very wonderful and generous gentlemen.

The donor of these remarkable images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
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8 Responses to Gerald Reece’s Chasewater in the 1960s

  1. Rob says:

    The pit photograph is one of the shafts on Highfields Farm, viewed from Pool Lane. Interesting how relatively level the fields in the middle-distance are compared to the undulations of today.

  2. Clive says:

    Lovely photo’s brings back lots of memories, good to see the last photo of the water fall, that is the upside down mushrooms. when we visted Chasewater back in the 1960s it was like going to the seaside. many thanks.

  3. Pete Birch says:

    Cracking photos! I remember the funfair from when I was a kid back in the 60’s. I remember the Big Wheel, the Ghost Train and the House of Fun. Pity there aren’t more photos of it kicking around somewhere. They seem as rare as hens teeth!

  4. Philip roe says:

    If I remember correctly I think bagnalls had something to do with the fun fair at chase water. I went to school with one of the family I’m not sure of his name though it may have been Mark

  5. Sue Harris says:

    My memory is a bit hazy – but does anyone remember an actual outdoor swimming pool there by the waterfall and cafeteria ?

  6. Craig Peace says:

    Phillip Roe it was the Peace and Bagnalls family. They were my nan and grandad..

  7. Craig Peace says:

    My Dad has loads of old photos if anybody would like any copies for anything 🙂

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