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Ayr Over the Years Back

Any additional information or corrections will be most welcome

Name of Building or Attraction Original Features Changes between 1947 and 1986 Changes during the "Wonderwest World" rebuild in 1988/89 Changes during the Haven rebuild in 1998/99
(built 1940s)
Dining Room, Quiet Lounge, Bar & Games Room. Dining room & Quiet Lounge removed. Old Time Ballroom, Continental Bar, Pig & Whistle Bar, Coffee Bar, Grill restaurant & Billiards all added Renamed the 'Parade Building' with Shopping Centre, Chemist, 'Chuckles' Fun Pub & 'Gatsbys' Bar Still there. Now used as Reception and the 'Bonga Wonga Beach Club.
Shopping Centre
(built 1940s)
Main Reception, camp offices, assorted shops & Quiet Lounge. Reception moved to new Gaiety Building in 1960s. Large shopping centre adde with hairdressing salon, Photo shop, amusements and Radio Butlin. Building demolished and replaced by new 'Piazza' food court. 'Piazza' still there, see below.
Dining Halls
(built 1940s)
Dining Rooms, Games room, Snack Bar and Tea Lounge. New 'Grosvenor' restaurant added along with TV lounges, Table Tennis rooms, launderette, Junior clubhouse & sports centre Renamed the 'Bruce Building' with new 'Showboat' cabaret bar. 'Boulevard' section also added with 'Captains Table' restaurant, Craft Shop & 'Jokers Wild' Still there. Now houses the 'Turnberry Gardens Restaurant' and 'Dixie's Cabaret Lounge'
(built 1940s)
Windsor Ballroom & Theatre with Lounge and Coffee Bar Demolished 1963/64 to make room for new Stuart Building n/a n/a
Outdoor Pool
(built 1940s)
Traditional Butlins outdoor pool with fountains either end No major changes No major changes but pool eventually closed & demolished in the 1990s. Area now grassed over
Heads of Ayr Hotel
(built 1940s)
Luxury hotel situated at the front of the camp next to the main road Closed & demolished in the 1970s n/a Site now used for touring caravans and tents
(built 1940s (?) later replaced by newer building 1960s?)
Nursery, baby sitting, nappy washing, child patrol services also Quiet Lounge & Whist Room Children's Theatre added No major changes Still there and now used for the 'Paws & Tiger' kids club
Boating Lake
(built 1940s)
Boating Lake No major changes No major changes Still there but out of use
West Camp Chalets
(built 1940s)
Full board chalets Later renamed 'White Camp'. Chalets rebuilt/added during the 1960s/70s Chalets refurbished All demolished and area now used for caravans
East Camp Chalets
(built 1940s)
Full board chalets Later renamed 'Blue Camp'. Large-scale chalet replacement during the 1960s/70s Some chalets demolished and replaced with new apartments. Rest refurbished Newer 1980s apartments still there, rest of camp demolished
Main Line Railway Station
(originally opened 1906, closed to passengers 1930. Reopened 1947 )
British Rail station with regular direct trains from Ayr and Kilmarnock Closed end of 1968 season n/a n/a
Indoor Pool
(built 195?)
Traditional Butlin indoor pool with underwater viewing windows Betting Shop added No major changes but pool later demolished in the 1990s. Area now occupied by new amusement arcade building
Miniature Railway
(built 1956)
Passenger carrying train running from the camp chapel to the beach gate Track extended 1978 to new station next to amusement park building Closed & removed Area now occupied by caravans
(built 1959)
Butlins first chairlift ran for 500 yards from the centre of the camp up the hill towards the hotel. No major changes except for new cabins in the 1960s No major changes Closed & removed
(built 196?)
Main Reception, Gaiety Theatre, Disco, Shops, Snooker Room, Darts, supermarket, post office, games rooms, camp offices Renamed 'Burns Building'. Gaiety Theatre moves to old Bingo Theatre and replaced by 'Empire Theatre' Empire Theatre becomes 'Roxy' Cinema Building demolished
(built 1964)
Beachcomber Bar, Quiet Lounge, Coffee Bars, Stuart Ballroom, Bar, Cafe & Amusement arcades Built new in 1964 Renamed 'Galaxy Building'. Ballroom becomes 'Harlequins' & Beachcomber closes to become 'Sweeney Todd's'. New 'Moonrakers' bar added Building demolished. Site now used for caravans
Steam Locos
(arrived 1964)
Two full-size steam locos on static display next to the main road at front of camp. 'Duchess of Sutherland' (built 1938) & 'Martello' (built 1875) Both left winter 1970/71 n/a n/a
Bingo Theatre
(built 19??)
Large Bingo Theatre with Whist Room, Newsagents & Shoe Shop Renamed 'Arran Building'. Bingo removed and replaced by new Gaiety Theatre. Also contained 'Arran' restaurant, Tartan Gift Shop, newsagents, Hair Salon, Betting Shop & Solarium No major changes Building demolished. Site now used for caravans
The Piazza
(built 1989)
Large fast food court n/a New in 1989. Built on site of old Shopping Centre building Still there. Now houses the 'Atlantic Showbar' and restaurants
Indoor Pool
(built 1989)
New indoor subtropical water world n/a New in 1989 and known as 'Wondersplash'. Built next to the old indoor pool Still there.

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