the B3022 approach to Windsor Safari Park

Windsor Safari Park approach road B3022 the Park opened in 1969 and these images are courtesy of The Royal Windsor Forum dated 1970, the park had just opened and already the punters were coming from miles around.

Text from Royal Windsor Forum :

This aerial view shows the road layout 44 years ago in 1970. The photograph is dated 3 May 1970 (11.40am) and a short distance from the main road vehicles can be seen queuing at the two pay booths. On the day when this photograph was taken, traffic was not a problem, but this system was subsequently altered, although I don't have dates for the change. In those days there was a short stretch of dual carriageway by the entrance which afforded a small amount of protection to right turning traffic arriving from the M4 and Windsor, but it was not nearly effective enough at preventing long tailbacks on busy days.

If you look at the road map below, you will see the huge amount of space (144 acres) that in 1969 the Smart brothers: Billy Smart, Jr., David Smart and Ronald Smart had to play with. The massive area is plain to see on the road map and one of the first things they set about doing was creating Seaworld, a dolphinarium complex housing dolphins, a killer whale, penguins and sea lions.

If you read the book on Windsor Safari Park by David Taylor you will see Taylor's assertion that the amount of electricity needed to power the water filters in the new 21st Century Seaworld (required by the imminent "new" Government Regulations on holding Dolphins) would have been economically prohibitive. He doesn't go on to discuss the whole situation of Public Resistance to Dolphins being held captive, maybe such Resistance wasn't even present when he wrote his book (in 1995).

a new era has descended with Movies such as Blackfish, a 2013 American documentary film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite concerning Tilikum, an orca held by SeaWorld in Orlando.

So with significant public opinion against holding Killer Whales or Dolphins aggravated further by Taylor's comments on electricity bills it's hard to see how a new Windsor Safari Park Seaworld (in its original form) could have been successful.

Windsor Safari Road map
Click on the map to ZOOM (or if you wish to see the 2MB source pdf click here)

Windsor Safari Park approach road B3022 So with the 2nd photo below, can you make sense of it? (Click on it to zoom). You'll find the B3022 is at the bottom and I am sure you will remember that the site slopes up, up, up to the Seaworld which can be seen on the photo, top left!

The vast white semi circle area in the middle was car parking, Falconry display (had it arrived by 1970?) but just check out that photo! 144 acres is truly awesome and I dare say the Smarts couldn't have wished for more!

Little did they know then, the park would last for just 20 years! How could any of us have known, it certainly didn't ocur to anybody that the park would close down, it was a going concern, it was paying for itself although as Taylor states in the 1995 book, imminent new Regulations on holding Dolphins were a huge problem that management had simply "put on the backburner."

Instead, modernisation of the site had started, with the superb killimanjaro toboggan ride , but pretty soon even more amazing new features, the new Elephant House, the Roadtrain, the African Queen Riverboat Ride and the Moroccan village simply transformed the Park almost beyond recognition!