The Indoor Play Centre: A Merseyside Historical Treasure

As its motto states, ?something for everyone? The New Palace and Adventureland is a stunning combination of old and new amusements. From the most technologically advanced jaw-dropping rides to the simpler but still crowd-pleasing pleasures of old, this indoor play centre (Merseyside?s finest) moves boldly into the 21st century without forgetting its 19th century roots. The New Palace and Adventureland?s history spans three centuries. It is quite a story to tell.

The idea for this indoor play centre came when the Wilikie brothers tied a rope to the roof of a factory roof and slid down it into bales of hay. This is considered to be the original invention of the Aerial Ropeway. It became quite popular with the other workers, who used it during their break times. The Wilkes brothers capitalized on the popularity of their invention by quitting their factory jobs and setting up a similar system to operate at the summer fairground. There, they continued to create innovative rides such as the reversible joy wheel, a delight that was virtually unheard of during the time period. These inventions helped make the fairground very successful, which the Wilkie brothers decided to buy with their profits. After the brothers? deaths, the business was kept in the family by being passed down to a nephew.

In 1939, the New Palace Amusement Centre building was rebuilt and a promenade was added, giving it the form that we all know and love today. However, World War Two broke out shortly afterwards and the centre was converted into a munitions factory and storage depot. 200 women worked there both day and night. But once the war was over, the indoor play centre of Merseyside quickly regained its momentum. As always, the Wilikie family made sure to stock the centre with the latest and most innovative rides. They even took a travelling circus to South Africa. All went well until the mid 1960?s, when ?package holidays? abroad become popular.

Former customers abandonded the New Palace Amusement Centre in favor of traveling abroad. This trend continued until the late 1980?s. The business?s bottom-line suffered.

The indoor play centre of Merseyside bounced back when the grandson of the original founders, David Wilkie, begged to be given a shot at injecting new life into the business. David?s first order of business was to create a Go Cart Track, which attracted many new customers and proved popular with business clients as well.
This attraction was so successful that David Wilkie was able to buy up all the shares in the company as well as buy the land surrounding the indoor play centre. Between 2001 and 2002, the site was developed further. Unfortunately, the Go Cart Track had to be closed to make way for these developments. Since then, the New Palace and Adventureland continues to wow thrill seekers with the new amusements that it unleashes out year after year.

The indoor play centre truly has come a long way from its roots as a rope hanging from a factory roof. It has gone through many transitions, including serving as a factory for the war effort during World War Two. As it boldly marches into the 21st providing one thrill after the other, the New Palace Adventureland still takes pride in looking back on its history.

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