Shopping in the Belly of the Whale

‘The Blackgang Chine Bazaar at the Isle of Wight’s Blackgang Chine Amusement Park.  Alexander Dabell established the amusement park in 1843, making it one of the oldest (or perhaps the oldest) amusement park in the United Kingdom.  In 1842 a huge fin whale had been stranded off the Needles.  Dabell bought it at auction, sold off the blubber, had the bones bleached, and transported across the island to a specially built hut.’

Thank you to Boing Boing

4 comments to Shopping in the Belly of the Whale

  • John Kennedy

    Dear Retronaut,
    I went there as a kid and was only telling someone the other day about it…

    It was a truly amazing shop and wasn’t gruesome as you might think. The amusement park as a whole was mad as a box of frogs featuring fighter jets, dinosaurs, western towns, miniaturised english village etc and was used in Dr Who. Unfortunately some of the park was badly damaged during the hurricane in 1989.

    It was built on cliffs leading down to the sea and was over a huge area.

    Thank you for your hard work and triggering memories


    John Kennedy aka ash street ltd.

  • Cally

    I went and saw that skeleton last year; there’s a nick in one of the bones where they sawed off a section (I believe, it I remember rightly, it was so the queen could walk through it and not knock her hat off – but don’t quote me on that!).

    I remember seeing a few of the park attractions that John above me mentions, like the western town. There’s more madness there now with a little rollercoaster and haunted house, but the whale skeleton is still a highlight, even if the bazaar is no more.

  • Mike

    I went there as a child too just after a Blue Peter programme about some dinosaur models that they erected.

    The thing i remember most is a room full of Pinball machines – I’d never really seen them before and I loved them – It started a lifelong obsession

  • Chris

    Most welcome, John

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