Residents are encouraged to share their memories of Southsea dinosaur Luna Park for anniversary project

Memories are being collected to commemorate 10 years since the extraordinary Luna Park statue stood on Southsea Common. Here Joanne Bushnell, director of Aspex Gallery, urges people to share their thoughts and recollections.
Mark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common. Pictured: A screen grab of the videoMark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common. Pictured: A screen grab of the video
Mark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common. Pictured: A screen grab of the video

PORTSMOUTH is a friendly and welcoming city, so when an extraordinary stranger like Luna Park turns up for the summer they are greeted and embraced, and asked to join in. They start to become part of the fabric of the city, to be a piece of our everyday but also to share the big stuff of our lives, the key events and celebrations.

In 2010 the enormous Ultrasaurus became part of every celebration taking place on Southsea Common that August/September, a welcomed guest visitor at a busy time in the city’s calendar of events. As part of Luna Park 10 Years - Celebrating the Southsea Dinosaur we are collecting people’s photographs and memories of that time to create a public archive.

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Aspex Gallery director shares happy memories of Southsea dinosaur Luna Park 10 y...
Southsea dinosaur Luna Park enjoying the annual VW Beach Dubbin'. Photo by John DanielsSouthsea dinosaur Luna Park enjoying the annual VW Beach Dubbin'. Photo by John Daniels
Southsea dinosaur Luna Park enjoying the annual VW Beach Dubbin'. Photo by John Daniels
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We have a stunning image of Luna Park at the very centre of the annual VW Beach Dubbin’, and such fantastic photographs of incredibly skilled kite flyers playfully interacting with the sculpture at the Portsmouth International Kite Festival.

Some of my favourites are the very personal photographs that have been shared, particularly wedding photographs, when the Ultrasaurus became such an important part of the happy couple’s big day. Mark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common.

Do you have memories or photographs of a special event? A birthday party, naming or other type of family celebration? Why don’t you call Luna to share your story? We have a dedicated phone line where you can leave a message. Just call 07488 266872 and Luna will answer.

Mark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common. Pictured: A screen grab of the videoMark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common. Pictured: A screen grab of the video
Mark Rose has shared the video he made for his wedding, Find Aby, in which he is chased by Luna Park across the common. Pictured: A screen grab of the video

You can also share your pictures by sending them directly to [email protected] and you might just get to see them reproduced in this column in the coming weeks! We are also taking a selection of images to include in Heather & Ivan Morison’s digital work Luna Park 10 Years, please visit lunapark.land to see the virtual reality version of the Ultrasaurus back on Southsea Common, and from the website you can access the chat bot to share your thoughts about the past and future.

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Your images and memories will form a key part of the new work we are developing for next year. Please visit crowdfunder.co.uk/southsea-dinosaur to help us commission a lasting tribute to our long gone and much missed visitor.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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Southsea dinosaur Luna Park watching over the kites on Southsea Common. Photo by Bob FranklinSouthsea dinosaur Luna Park watching over the kites on Southsea Common. Photo by Bob Franklin
Southsea dinosaur Luna Park watching over the kites on Southsea Common. Photo by Bob Franklin

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