Return to Index Page



Owned by business man Joe Raber (with early associations with directors at Margate Dolphinarium and satellites) it ran dolphinariums in Battersea Park's Festival Gardens and also Coney Beach Amusement Park, Porthcawl and for one summer a show on Blackpool's sea front. Towards the end of it operations it also supplied two dolphins to Paul Raymond's 'Royalty Folies' review show in London



The dolphinarium was housed in an existing building in the Festival Gardens, Battersea Park. It opened in March 1971. Press reports at the time detail the head trainer as Jean Tiebor with three dolphins called Flipper, Skipper and Buddy. It is reported that these animals were collected from the Florida in January 1971.

A Review of Dolphinaria states:

A 9.72 m diameter, 3.66 m deep circular steel tank, with tiled bottom within an artificially lit converted building in the centre of the Fun Fair. There were two or three resident animals and others may have passed through on their way from the USA to Europe. The dolphinarium was severely damaged by fire in 1972/3. The dolphins survived and were removed to Porthcawl.

PHOTOGRAPHS Click thumbnails larger view.



The dolphinarium was sited at the Coney Beach Pleasure Park, Porthcawl, South Wales and originally built and owned by Joe Raber's company Marine Mammals International. The last two dolphins to be housed there were in the winter of 1974 undergoing training for the Royalty Folies show in London. The dolphinarium was then used for sea lions shows by Jervale Ltd in the summer of 1975.

A Review of Dolphinaria states:

The pool, in a precast concrete building, was 13.72 x 6.71 x 2.74 m deep. In October 1974 it was said that the dolphins wintered at Flamingo. It is not clear when the change from Battersea to Flamingo animals took place, possibly for the 1973 season.




The Royalty Folies (later to be renamed The Great International Nude Show) was staged at the Royalty Theatre London in Holborn by Paul Raymond owner of the then famous Raymond's Review Bar. The animals were house in 10,000 gallon tank which weighed 65 tones. The two dolphins were called "Pixie" and "Penny" and they remain at the theatre for the 12 week run of the show from April to June in 1974. The animals were trained for the show over-winter at the Porthcawl Dolphinarium. They were relocated first to the dolphinarium at Woburn and then to the dolphinarium at Flamingo Park Zoo in Yorkshire. The show closed due to financial loss and not due to adverse criticism cited below in A Review of Dolphinaria.

Paul Raymond's life was portrayed in a 2013 drama 'The Look of Love' and features the 'Royalty Folies' and mentions the dolphins inclusions in the show.

There is an urban myth that the theatre - which is now named the Peacock Theatre - is haunted by the ghost of a dead dolphin. However, only two dolphins where ever held at the theatre and neither died during their time there. When the show closed, the animals were in fact sold by a company
Jervale Ltd that had leased the dolphin pool at Flamingo Park (now Flamingoland) in Yorkshire from 1975 until early 1977. They were then sent on a misguide tour of the Far East to Taipei, Taiwan and returned to Flamingo Park after 9 months. Unfortunately both animals died in 1977 from a viral skin disease that vets believe they acquired in the Far East.

A Review of Dolphinaria states:

The dolphin act was part of a Paul Raymond nude review and is said to have had a short run due to adverse criticism. The famous 'dolphin strip tease' appears to have been accomplished by training the ;animals to press quick-release fasteners and the swimmers to position themselves appropriately; not by soaking the bikinis in fish meal or by hiding pieces of fish in the costumes. Trainers: Mr D. Garcia and Mr J. Dineley.


Show poster; publistiy stills; show program cover (see below for contents)

Featured article from Paul Raymond's Club International magazine.

The Evening Standard


The Royalty Folies Programme



A seasonal temporary show ran for only one summer at Blackpool in 1969 with two dolphins name "Simbad" (pictured)and "Pronto". "Simbad" was later transferred (along with a number of animals) from Marine Mammals International to the company who owned Margate Dolphinarium and other seasonal dolphinaria.

The comments in a Review of Dolphinaria reproduced below are incorrect and may confuse animals owned by Don Robinson (Flamingoland, Scarborough) which did spend sometime in South Africa.

A Review of Dolphinaria states:

Three bottlenose dolphins were brought from South Africa for a summer show in 1969, for one season. One animal died and the other two were exported to Malta. These animals visited other dolphinaria and were seen again in South Africa in the 1970's. One may have been the animal Maria (Speedy) which later visited Clacton and Sandown.

Photo taken from 100 Years of The Seaside: Twentieth Century in Pictures published by Ammonite Press/Press Associationcopyright.