Success Catalina Park


Catalina Race Track

posted by alias Blue Mountains Library, Local Studies on Sunday 19th of March 2017 11:52:31 PM

Notes: The land was purchased by Horace Gates owner of the Homesdale Guest House and Wentworth Cabaret who, in 1946, felt that a new attraction was needed to bring tourists back to the Blue Mountains after peace was declared. Accordingly he dammed Katoomba falls creek and had an ornamental lake and amusement park constructed offering ‘every facility for fun and food’. The park was an instant success and in 1948 the shell of a Consolidated Catalina PBY-5 flying boat was added to the attractions which included speed boat rides, tea rooms, miniature train, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, swimming pool and a Giggle House showing Charlie Chaplin films. Although many people believed the plane had flown there, it had in fact been dismantled and brought to Katoomba by truck, where it was re-assembled and anchored to a concrete block in the middle of the lake. For many years the lake operated as Katoomba’s swimming pool and provided a fireworks display after the New Year’s Eve street parade. However as the town’s population increased, it became run down, its reputation unsavoury and its water polluted. Council purchased the land in 1952 with the purpose of turning the area into a public park and treated water swimming pool. In 1954 the Catalina aircraft, showing signs of age and wear, was pulled up onto the bank and left to the ravages of weather and souvenir hunters. Around 1958 it was sold to Sheffield Welding & Engineering, Auburn NSW, who dismantled and cut it up for scrap. Format: B&W photo Date Range: c. 1950 Licensing: Attribution, share alike, creative commons. Repository: Blue Mountains City Library Part of: Local Studies Collection - LS Images PF 903 Provenance: BMCC Publicity Officer Links:


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