An early magazine advertisement for the park, featuring a photo from Noel's Garden Party and concept art.
Opening 30th July 1994, 'Noel Edmonds' World of Crinkley Bottom', at Happy Mount Park, Morecambe was supposed to reach the same success that the Cricket St. Thomas Park did.
Much like Cricket St. Thomas, Happy Mount Park had already been open to the public for decades, and Lancaster City Council hoped the new Crinkley Bottom rebranding would attract 240,000 extra visitors a year.
The opening six weeks saw 75,000 visitors, but even before the new attractions were built a large number of Morecambe locals were strongly against the takeover, claiming the new addition would taint the park’s historic gardens and turn people away. The park lasted a mere 13 weeks after the city council voted to remove it. Visitor numbers were lower than expected and complaints were made that it wasn't good value for money. This, alongside constant ridicule from local residents and businesses, lead to the Crinkley Bottom section of the park closing its doors.
The park's rebranded entrance - the same gates are still used today.
Noel Edmonds with Mr Blobby's house-by-the-sea in construction.
One of the main concerns raised was that residents were not opposed to Crinkley Bottom Morecambe, but did not think Happy Mount Park was the answer. A reader of the Morecambe Visitor stated that the park was a complete juxtaposition of Cricket St Thomas’ 45 acre grounds. The park itself had always been free to enter, whereas an admission fee was required to enter the Crinkley Bottom section of the park. There was little to do other than see one of Mr Blobby’s live shows and only younger children could use the play area. Though Unique claimed more would be added to the park over three years, when compared to Cricket St Thomas and Pleasurewood Hills, Morecambe may never have been able to house such extravagant attractions for their version of Crinkley Bottom. Lancaster City Council blamed the Unique Group, and vice versa. Noel Edmonds later stated that “Unique Group won’t ever again enter into a licensed agreement with a local authority having seen the problems that have arisen in Morecambe.” The plan had been for a three-year contract with additions to the park during that time, rather than a fully-fledged attraction from the beginning.
The Blobbyland play area.
Though there was significant uproar from the start, local councilors hoped the park would be the answer to Morecambe’s problems. Two helicopters, a rally car, and a branded bus were created to advertise the park, which was driven up and down Blackpool’s promenade, Morecambe’s more successful tourism competitor. They all featured the Crinkley Bottom logo which strangely features a simplified illustration of Cricket House from the Cricket St Thomas logo, despite being 271 miles away!
The park featured a Blobbyland play area similar to the one built at Cricket St Thomas but with a seaside theme. The main attraction was ‘Mr Blobby’s house-by-the-sea’, where he would come out and entertain visitors. Other village buildings included a sign maker who couldn’t spell, and a boat hire (which was a front for an indoor play area). Happy Mount Park is still open today with lots of fun for all the family, just not the pink and yellow kind!
The Sign Writer's Hut.
The Crinkley Bottom, Morecambe Bus.