Posts

On this day …….. 9th of June 1979

On the 9th of June 1979, the park’s Ghost Train caught fire. The fire quickly destroyed the ride, which was understaffed and not adequately covered by the park’s fire hose system, although it was contained before spreading to the nearby Big Dipper and River Caves. Searches of the charred rubble revealed the bodies of six children and one adult. The park was immediately shut down. A coronial inquest was unable to establish the cause of the fire, but concluded that Luna Park’s managers and operators had failed in their duty of care towards the park’s patrons.

On this day …….. 22nd of December 1923

Madge Bolton, 21 years, was injured at Luna Park on this night in 1923, her forehead being badly cut and her nose smashed and cut, and her forehead requiring 14 stitches. Lorna Eyres got into the water chute boat at about 10.30 pm the seat at the other end being occupied by Robert Williams, 27 years, and Bolton. The boat after leaving the water, landed safely, but in negotiating a sharp turn, after landing, the occupants were, jolted out of their seats. Each clung to the hand rail, but Miss Bolton’s head-struck a beam. When the boat pulled up she was lying unconscious, huddled in a corner, her head hanging over the side. Miss Eyres was slightly injured about the head, and Williams had two teeth knocked out.

 

On this day …….. 21st of December 1936

Falling from one of the cars of the ‘big dipper’ at Luna Park, St. Kilda, on this day in 1936, Harry Maltby (22), of Albert Park, was struck by another car and was so severely injured that he died. Maltby, who was accompanied by Vincent Clancy of Albert Park, was riding in one of the three cars of the ‘big dipper’ train. He stood up and fell onto another track of the ‘big dipper.’ The brakeman applied the brakes and then rushed across and tried to drag Maltby clear of the rails, but Maltby’ s clothing was entangled in the brake slides. Another train struck Maltby, and then struck the rear of the train from which he had fallen.

 

On This Day – December 6, 1938

John Joseph McCarthy aged 45, of Elwood, civil servant, died in hospital on the 6th of December 1938 from injuries received when, it is alleged, he was assaulted in a reserve behind Luna Park. Desmond Patrick Toole a salesman, of Elwood, who was released on bail after having been charged with assault, was rearrested and charged with murder

On this day …….. 12th of October 1990

On the 12th of October 1990, the “Luna Park Site Act 1990” was gazetted by the NSW Government. The Act was intended to protect the site of the park, dedicating it for amusement and public recreation. This act made Luna Park one of only two amusement parks in the world to be protected by government legislation, the other being Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens.

 

On this day …….. 8th of October 1930

Luna Park was opened in Glenelg, South Australia on 8 October 1930. The park grounds were open to the surrounding area, with admission instead charged to the individual rides and attractions. Sadly due to a dispute with the local council it closed in 1935.

 

On this day …….. 4th of October 1935

Sydney’s Luna Park opened to the public on this day in 1935. The current Luna Park Face was based on the enormous smiling faces at Luna Park, Melbourne, Australia and Steeplechase Park in the United States, Luna Park’s 9-metre-wide (30 ft) smiling face, as well as its flanking towers, have presided over the main entrance for almost all of the park’s existence. There have been eight distinct faces, installed in 1935, 1938, 1939, 1946, 1950, 1973, 1982, and 1994. The seventh Face was donated to the Powerhouse Museum in May 1994.  The eighth and current Face, completed in 1994 and carved from polyurethane, is based on Arthur Barton’s 1950 “Old King Cole” version.

 

On this day …….. 9th of June 1979

On the 9th of June 1979, the park’s Ghost Train caught fire. The fire quickly destroyed the ride, which was understaffed and not adequately covered by the park’s fire hose system, although it was contained before spreading to the nearby Big Dipper and River Caves. Searches of the charred rubble revealed the bodies of six children and one adult. The park was immediately shut down. A coronial inquest was unable to establish the cause of the fire, but concluded that Luna Park’s managers and operators had failed in their duty of care towards the park’s patrons.

On this day …….. 10th of January 1952

A woman “Wall of Death” rider was fatally injured in a spectacular fall from her machine at Luna Park on this night in 1952. She was Miss Una Langmende, 36, of Neerim Road, Highesdale, a member of a family who perform this act. More than 100 people were watching, when the accident occurred shortly after the act began Mrs Langmende had manoeuvred the machine about half way up the inside of the bowl when she fell, landing at the bottom with the machine on top of her. She was taken to the Alfred Hospital but died shortly after admission.

 

 

On this day …….. 5th of January 1974

The Public Health Commission will hear a report this month on safety at Melbourne’s Luna Park after a number of accidents there last year. In one accident, an 11 year-old girl broke her legs and nearly lost an arm on Christmas Eve. She was found submerged in the River Caves, a boat train, and rescued by a 16-year-old boy. There were at lest three other minor accidents in the River Caves, the last on December 27, involving a 4-year-old boy. These and other accidents, involving different facilities were discovered during an investigation into the accident on Christmas Eve, when Lisa Schmid, 11, was trapped in an elevator machinery after leaving her boat. She and her sister, Monica, 10. began to crawl along a narrow ledge beside the boat channel when their boat struck, but it moved again and Lisa was knocked into the water. Her arm became entangled in the machinery. She is still in the Alfred Hospital, where a spokes man said today she was in a satisfactory condition after three operations on her arm.

 

On this day …….. 3rd of January 1952

Government investigations will be made at Luna Park, St Kilda, where more than 40 people were hurled from their seats and two were injured in a Scenic Railway collision on Tuesday night. Mrs. Joyce Johnson (22), of Port Kembla, N.S.W., and Phillip Slavin (44), of Union Street, Surrey Hills (Melbourne) were admitted to Prince Alfred Hospital. They were carried on stretchers along a track high above the ground and then across roofs and through Noah’s Ark. Police were told the front car stopped when a red danger light showed ahead. It was struck by the following car and forced along the tracks.

 

On this day …….. 26th of December 1916

A single man named David Skelly, 26 years, of Albion street, Brunswick, caught one of his feet in the cog wheel of an aeroplane ride at Luna Park on this day in 1916. He was conveyed to the Alfred Hospital, where two of his toes were amputated.