All The Pretty Horses…

Whatever Became Of The Lunar Land?
September 20, 2006, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Living

i’m really quite sad about this. When I was a kid, definitely my favourite thing of all was the lunaland / lunardome / moonland. A large – or so it seemed – inflatable dome, with a plastic roof over a large bouncy-castle style inflatable bed. Much bigger, much more enclosed and weird, generally much more impressive than a bloody bouncy castle, I remember whenever the fair arrived – at Branksome Rec or once a year at the HUGE Kings Park fair – my first concern was whether or not the lunaland (if that’s what it was called) was present.

You’d climb in through the ‘escape hatch’ and join a horde of other kids bouncing like tartrazine-fuelled berzerkers, colliding elbows with heads, heads with knees or – oh! sweet bliss – slipping down the side where you’d get stuck between the bouncy bed and the plastic dome and convince yourself you were slipping into the sucky maw of a space monster. I’m honestly struggling to think of ANYTHING that made me happier when I was about 8 or 9.

And now? I’m struggling to find anyone who remembers them, and I’m failing totally in my attempts to source a photo. I’ve tried every combination of ‘lunar’, ‘land’, ‘dome’, ‘moon’, fairground and the like, and the best I can find are pale imitations – basically bland old bouncy castles with some sort of flimsy cover. No sense of scale or sci-fi or danger.

This makes me very sad indeed.


6 Comments so far
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I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog. Like you I’ve been obsessing over that very dome! Yes the one at Branksome Rec in the 70’s. Which considering I live in New York now – is pretty amazing. The only thing I can tell you is it was made in the USA in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – yeah really. Like you, I have totally failed to track it down. The closest I have come is the link above, which isn’t quite the same. I seem to remember the dome of our child hood was somehow much deeper and softer than the 3′ platform they have today, more enveloping, like it was one huge chamber inside, rather than tubes – it probably violates about twenty European Union safety rules now – sad 😦

I’ve been a bit of a raver in my time and still think the ultimate would be one of those and our favorite chems. Maybe stuffed with some huge weather balloons, just to have something else to interact with.

Anyway just thought I would drop you a note, if you find it, be sure to post and let me know.

Cheers, Dan

Comment by Dan

I remember it well also, had a white roof and blue base with porthole type windows round outside, used to belong to traveling show people who used to visit my village macmerry twice a year. must have been round about 1975 to 1977
I think there names were Gambler and Taylor who owned the lunar land attraction

Comment by martin mcgo

i remember it well it was my favourite used to go to ayr and there was one there for years .i cant find one on the web anywhere this is the first time i have come across someone talking about it

Comment by stephen mccafferty (@mccaffcfc)

Lol, i found this as I could not sleep last night, old bones and all, so I tried to picture a super comfy place. Anyhoo, I went via the Cayman Islands and Maui before landing on Lunaland. The one of my youth was a permanent summer fixture in Exmouth, Devon. Every year as a kid we went to this seaside resort and the first thing I did was make sure the lunaland was still there. You are quite right, H&S now a days would never allow it, shame, old bones or not, I would go for one last hurrah!

Comment by Anonymous

I saw one last weekend in a field outside Huntingdon!

Comment by hickeysonic

Just mentioned to my wife about Lunaland she doesn’t remember it but I do . It was just as you described and you’ve confirmed it wasn’t just my childhood imagination. I’m sure it was at Widemouth Bay in Cornwall.

Comment by Karl

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