What’s in a name?
Some people have asked us – why did you call this festival Zooquarium?! It’s an unusual word and makes you think of a zoo mixed with an aquarium! The name came about because the festival is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and we wanted to celebrate the heritage of the pier’s music and entertainments – and there actually used to be a real Zooquarium on Hastings Pier – back in the 60s!
The Pier ‘Zooquarium’ from White Rock Gardens, c.1969. Donated by Jim Breeds.
In 1966 the Hastings Corporation (that was the name for the council then) built a structure that looked like a space ship on the pier. It was called the Triodome. It was built to house The Hastings Embroidery, which commemorated the 900th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. After the embroidery exhibition ended there were amusements in the Triodome, followed by the Zooquarium. The Zooquarium contained a petting zoo with small animals, birds, and reptiles. The Zoo closed in 1974 to be replaced with an amusement arcade. The structure that the Zooquarium was housed in (the Triodome) was sold to Brighton Pier – and it is still there!