I was a frequent visitor to White City in the late 70s and early 80s. I used to go on the bumpy slide, putting extra wax on the rope mat to make it go faster.
Entrance to the slide cost 10p, and you could have as many turns as you wanted. The kiosk was manned by an old fellow who told us he fought in the war. He used to get grumpy and tell us off if we messed about. Then I played on the bouncy castle, right next to the go-karts which I was too young to go on. I remember hearing lots of disco music blasting out from the amusement arcade. Abba and Boney M were the soundtrack of my White City visits! I went on the ghost train a couple of times, and tried to brave the House of Horrors but it terrified me and I couldn’t make it all the way through. I learnt all the bingo calls from watching the bingo being played – I can still remember them all! “Two little ducks, 22… Maggie’s den, number 10… legs 11… doctor’s orders, number 12… unlucky for some, 13… all the four’s droopy drawers, 44…” There was a fortune teller who occupied a tiny hut at the top end of the site. I used to think she lived in it. And of course there was the kiosk inside the amusement arcade selling different coloured slush puppies. More than anything I remember White City being a very noisy place, with a clash of sounds coming from all the different games, rides, music, and people screaming on the ghost train. What a wonderful place it was! Such happy memories.
In June 1984 we were celebrating my son’s fourth birthday at White City. We were visiting from our home in the north east of England. As usual every Sunday my Dad, John Quayle, and his mates always ‘had a few’ pints in the Half Way (Liverpool Arms ) before going home for Sunday dinner.
Dad had had more than ‘a few!’. So after lunch we went to ‘Onchan head’. for the rest of the afternoon. The memory that will live with me forever is Dad attempting to slide down the huge outside slide. Don’t think it was a helter shelter, the slide was big and had ‘bumps’ in it.You were meant to slide straight down . Dad took his mat to the top, whilst trying to negotiate how to sit on it, in his Sunday best, the mat shot off on it’s own, leaving Dad sitting on the bare slide. Then Off he shot !! In polyester M and S new trousers !! He changed lanes mid way down after taking off on a bump. When he landed in a heap at our feet he staggered up, with his usual grin on his face. Mum was not impressed when she viewed the shiny ‘rear’ of his new trousers, almost worn through. A great laugh was had by all…happy days !
Memory by Adrienne Callister.
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