The funfair at Manning's Amusement Park in Felixstowe started in 1933. The attraction was built by Sir Billy Butlin and was one of his early resorts.
The rides were inspired by ones dreamt up in America and would have been quite a spectacle in their day.
A man made boating lake was created in the bottom half of the park with an island in the middle which was inhabited by monkeys! Visitors would take to rowing boats and actually row a boat around monkey island, hoping not to pick up any additional passengers!
At the bottom end of the park which later became a dodgem track there was also once a zoo. Apparently according to legend before the war if it was quiet they used to have an old harmless, friendly lion and they would sometimes get him out of his cage and walk him up the front! They would then phone the papers and say. '"The lion's escaped!" This would bring additional publicity and whether factually true or not, it was always a nice story to tell...
Manning's Amusement Park in Felixstowe has been owned and managed by the Mannings family since 1946.
You could say it was destiny that led the Mannings family to Felixstowe as Charlie's father was a travelling showman who was fortunate to have met Mr Butlin whilst on holiday with his wife.
When the war ended Mr Butlin offered the park in Felixstowe to Charlie's father because he had it under management prior to the war and he wanted to rent it out. It was obviously fate and Charlie who was only a one year old child at the time moved from London to Felixstowe with his family.
The rest is history as they say and the family continues to this day to play a big part of life in this quaint seaside town. Mannings Amusement Park has not only created a traditional seaside experience full of memories but has also become an intrinsic part of Felixstowe's leisure and entertainment industry.