This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 August 2001 and 31 December 2001.
For the latest news, click here.

All the Fun of the Fair at Loughborough [23/12/01]

A brand new funfair video is available from Joyland Books. Loughborough Fair 2001 features a fine array of rides and attractions in action at this premier street fair. Rides such as Top Buzz, the Magic Mouse Roller Coaster and James Cox's Jump & Smile are featured, along with the transport pull-on.

Details of this video can be found by clicking here. This is just the latest in a series of fairground videos from BCM Video Productions. To find out more about this series, and other fairground videos available from Joyland Books, click here.

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Two Volume Video of Coney Island: Available Now [16/12/01]

A collection of documentaries and other films about Coney Island, spread across two video volumes, is now available from Joyland Books. The first volume presents films that were made between 1917 and 1936, when the amusement park was in its heyday. The second volume covers the period 1936 to 1954, when Coney Island had commenced its long, slow decline, and includes some fantastic colour footage of the amusement park and its rides in the 1950s. Rides featured include the Cyclone roller coaster, the Virginia Reel and the Wonder Wheel. The videos include newsreel footage, documentaries and other films, which bring to life the world's most famous amusement park.

Click here for more information on Volume 1 and click here for more information on Volume 2.

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Texas Tornado Heads Up British Amusement Parks Video [14/12/01]

New to Joyland Books is a fascinating documentary which takes viewers to no less than nine of Britain's greatest amusement parks. Running for 1 hr 15 mins, this US-produced video looks at the parks from a unique American perspective. Parks visited include Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Alton Towers and Southport's Pleasureland. The video allows you to experience over 30 rides from the comfort of your own armchair. Hop on board modern steel coasters such as Nemesis and the Pepsi Max Big One. Ride no less than nine wooden coasters. Enter some of the most fantastic dark rides ever built. Have a wonder around the much-missed Frontierland Western Theme Park at Morecambe, and jump on board several of its rides, including on-board footage of the now sadly lost Texas Tornado.

For more information on this fabulous video, click here.

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December on TheGalloper.com [13/12/01]

The December edition of TheGalloper.com, the Internet magazine devoted to the old-time fairground, is online now. World's Fair reporter Andrew McKinley ends the 2001 season in style at the Victorian extravaganza at Higham Ferrers.TheGalloper.com takes to the road with the Harris brothers at one of England's most ancient street fairs. And there is a look back over the 2001 season. Despite the Foot & Mouth epidemic that decimated the calender there was plenty to see. All this and more at www.thegalloper.com.

New Release: Fairground Art Step-by-Step [8/12/01]

The latest in the series of Fairground Art CD-ROMs produced by top fairground artist Paul Wright has been released, and it is very different from the previous CDs in the series. This is a series of step-by-step photos of various jobs in progress, and contains over 300 photos. The CD-ROM covers all aspects of fairground decoration; see Paul Wright work on rides such as waltzers, miamis and tagadas, and watch the artwork progress from start to finish. As a bonus, the CD-ROM includes an article on fairground art written by Paul Wright himself and two PowerPoint presentations. All you need to view this fantastic collection of fairground photographs and text is Microsoft Internet Explorer. Click here for more information. wipcover.jpg (7870 bytes)

Innovative New Thrill Ride Announced [8/12/01]

Interactive Rides, the recently-launched Utah-based rides manufacturer, has announced a major new thrill ride which simulates the effects of skateboarding. The SkySkater Extreme uses a skateboard look-alike vehicle on a pivoting driven track to simulate the motion of "skateboarding in a half-pipe." The press release states: "With 65 feet of track raising its passengers to 45 feet in the air at a 30 angle, the SkySkater Extreme dives at 30mph. The passengers see the end of the track disappear underneath them before stopping and reversing direction. Imagine the track extended over a cliff or over water, which is where the passengers sense they are going. The SkySkater Extreme is sure to thrill riders of all levels." A junior version of the ride, called simply the Sky Skater, has also been launched. Interactive Rides was formed by former staff of rival manufacturer S&S Power. More information on the SkySkater and SkySkater Extreme can be found here.

Alton Towers Angers Local B&Bs [29/11/01]

Alton Towers has been criticised by local Staffordshire businesses for its plans to build a new 35 million hotel at the theme park. Local hoteliers believe that it will be difficult to compete against the new hotel, and that trade will ultimately be lost as visitors choose to stay at the Tussaud's-owned park in favour of local hotels and guest houses. Members of the Alton and District Accommodation Providers for Tourism (ADAPT) are worried that many local B&Bs could be put out of business by the new hotel. The Alton Towers hotel, which was permitted earlier this year, will include 200 bedrooms, a swimming pool and conference centre and is set to open for the 2003 season. Other theme parks also planning new accommodation include Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which has received planning permission for a 150-bedroom hotel, and Camelot Theme Park at Chorley, which has received permission for a 75-unit holiday village.

Flamingo Land Faces Legal Battle [29/11/01]

Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire has been threatened with legal action over the siting of caravans at the theme park without planning permission. Planners from Ryedale District Council had noticed the 36 caravans on a routine visit to the site and had advised the park to submit a retrospective planning application or face enforcement action. Officers have, however, recommended that councillors refuse the application stating that the poorly screened caravans are a significant intrusion into the open countryside. If planning permission is refused, Rydale District Council can issue an enforcement notice requiring the caravans to be removed within a set time period. If the caravans are not removed, Flamingo Land will face legal action. The caravans are used to accommodate the park's seasonal workers.

Major Operator Quits Southport Pleasureland [29/11/01]

Silcock's, the major funfair operator, has relinquished all of its interests in the Pleasureland amusement park at Southport. The Company, which also operates the Funland amusement arcade at Southport Pier, has sold all of its rides at the park. The Pleasureland rides sold by Silcock's include the swirl and the dodgems. Silcock's has instead announced a 2m investment in Blackpool, with the purchase of the Carousel Amusement Centre, next door to the Company's existing Fun Palace. This creates the largest single frontage on the Golden Mile, and is believed to be a move to cash in on the forthcoming regeneration of Blackpool as a major Vegas-style casino and gambling destination.

Subscriptions to Antique Amusements Magazine Available Now [10/11/01]

Subscriptions to a glossy, full colour magazine about vintage slot machines, juke boxes, pinball, fairgrounds, circuses and other collectables is available on-line from Joyland Books now. There is a full-colour feature-packed magazine published once every two months and a black & white newsletter published twice a month containing all the classified adverts for which the AAM has become famous, as well as latest news items and what's on listings.

For more information about the magazine, and to subscribe on-line, click here.

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Loudoun Castle Theme Park Secures Planning Permission [10/11/01]

Scotland's Loudoun Castle has successfully appealed against the decision of East Ayrshire District to refuse planning permission for a development of holiday lodges at the theme park. The park had received planning permission in 1997 for the lodges, but the permission lapsed after five years. When the theme park applied to have the permission renewed to allow them to develop the holiday village over the next five years, East Ayrshire Council refused permission, stating that it would harm the openness and visual amenity of the area. The Secretary of State overruled the Council's decision, stating that he considered that the development would result in minimal visual impact. A number of other theme parks plan to introduce on-site accommodation, including Camelot Theme Park, Chorley, and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Amusement Park Jobs to Go [10/11/01]

Up to 875 jobs in the UK amusement parks and arcades industry are expected to be shed next year according to a report by Plimsoll (www.plimsoll.co.uk). The Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis looked at the financial performance of 298 companies, and revealed that 85 per cent of the industry will need to shed jobs in the next 12 months due to the rising cost of wages. The industry, which has been badly hit by foot and mouth and by the terrorist attacks of 11 September, has seen sales fall by nine per cent over the last three years. Over the same period the wage bill has risen by 21 per cent.

New Funfair Videos Released [7/11/01]

Three new funfair videos have been added to the Joyland Books Video Shop, two of which feature Europe's largest funfair, Hull Fair. Hull Fair 2001 shows all the rides in action at the fair, and the companion volume, Hull Fair Pull Off 2001, shows the vast collection of showmen's transport and living vans leaving the fairground. Also released this week: Banbury Fair 2001 captures on video all the colour and excitement of this leading Oxfordshire fair.

Click here to browse our full selection of funfair videos.

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Excellent New Book Features Spanish City Amusement Park [7/11/01]

A fascinating collection of photographs and background information about popular seaside resort Whitley Bay and its amusement park, the Spanish City, is now available from Joyland Books. The amusement park sadly closed in 2000, but this history book gives over an entire chapter to the park and its history. There are numerous photographs of the amusement park, including several of the Figure Eight Railway (an early wooden roller coaster), the Virginia Reel and the Water Chute. Click here for more information about this excellent book. whitleycover.jpg (9860 bytes)

Thorpe Park Fined [6/11/01]

Thorpe Park has been fined 2600 after school children were found to be working illegally at the Surrey theme park. The fine was for more than 40 breaches in employment law relating to eight children. The breaches included children working without a permit and children working longer than the permitted number of hours. A statement for Thorpe Park said that the breaches were due to an administrative error. The park was also ordered to pay 60 costs.

Man Killed on Camelot Roller Coaster [22/10/01]

A man was killed at 2pm this afternoon on a roller coaster at the Camelot Theme Park, Chorley. The man, an employee, died when he was struck by a car on the Gauntlet roller coaster. The Gauntlet, a Pinfari looping coaster, was a new addition to the park for 2001, having moved from Dreamland amusement park at Margate, Kent. A full investigation has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive, and the park was immediately closed after the incident.

History of Southend Kursaal: New Book Announced [15/10/01]

Joyland Books is delighted to announce the forthcoming release of a book telling the history of the Kursaal Amusement Park, Southend-on-Sea. Written by Ken Crowe, in association with the Southend Museum, the book follows on from the very successful exhibition on the history of the Kursaal which is currently on show at Southend Museum. The Kursaal was the South's biggest amusement park, and included rides such as the huge Cyclone wooden roller coaster and Caterpillar. The story of the Kursaal has already been covered in the popular video By Its Dome It's Known, still available from Joyland Books, but this will be the first time the famous amusement park's history will have been the subject of a book. The publication will be fully illustrated (Southend Museum was given the Kursaal photographic archive by Kursaal Estates Ltd when the Kursaal closed in 1986), and will therefore be an important addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in the history of British amusement parks, roller coasters and fairgrounds. The release date of the book is November 2001 [Update 23/12/01: Release of this book is expected mid-2002]. As soon as the book is released we will post a further News item on this page.

New Release: The Third Video History of Belle Vue [13/10/01]

Following on from the success of its predecessors, Volume 3 of the video history of Manchester's Belle Vue amusement park and zoo is out now. This new volume presents the final chapter in the history of one of Britain's greatest amusement parks. The video includes famous attractions such the Bobs roller coaster, but it also looks at other less well-known rides, such as the later Jet Stream roller coaster. The video even takes you for a ride on the Belle Vue Ghost Train. Finally, the video shows the beginning of the end for Belle Vue, as the 'Showground of the World' declined towards its sad demise. Click here for more information and to find out how to buy this new release.

Volumes One and Two are also available from Joyland Books.

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Now Available: The Story of New York's Coney Island [13/10/01]

Anyone with an interest in amusement park history should read Coney Island - Past and Present, a fantastic new book which is now available from Joyland Books. The book approaches its legendary subject in an interesting way, starting by tracing the history of the world's most celebrated amusement centre, then fast-forwarding to the present day to see what remains. Coney Island is where amusement parks, and the modern day roller coaster, began. This book brings the place to life like no other book. Click here for more information and to find out how to buy the book.

Right: Coney Island, where modern day amusement parks began.

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Nottingham Goose Fair 2001 Now Available on Video [13/10/01]

This year's Nottingham Goose Fair is now available on two brand new videos. The first video, Goose Fair Pull On 2001, focuses on the transport pull-on, as the numerous rides and attractions arrive at the fairground. The second video, Goose Fair 2001, shows the fair in action. Both videos are professionally recorded on high-grade video tape. To view our full range of fairground videos, click here.

Right: Spectacular rides at Nottingham Goose Fair 2001

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No Dollywood Theme Park for the UK [8/10/01]

Joyland Books can exclusively confirm that there will be no Dollywood Theme Park for the UK. We reported on our News page on 23 September 2001 that Dollywood, the Tennessee theme park owned by Islands in the Stream singer Dolly Parton, was searching for potential theme park sites in the United Kingdom. A spokesperson for Dollywood has issued this statement: "We did check into this and while
Dollywood in the UK sounds wonderful, none of us here at The Dollywood Company are aware of any such plans. I'm afraid this is just another rumor."

Special Offer: Save 9.36 Off the Price of Fairground Art CD-ROMs [7/10/01]

As a special offer, Joyland Books is offering all five Paul Wright Fairground Art CD-ROMs for only 50. Plus, we will only charge you the postage and packing for a single item. That is a total saving of 9.36 from the normal price! Click here to find out more about this amazing offer. machinescover.jpg (9164 bytes)

More Fantasy Island News [6/10/01]

Joyland Books has now received further news on the major new tourist attraction to be opened at Skegness by Blue Anchor Leisure, the Company which owns The Magical World of Fantasy Island, Ingoldmells. The new attraction will be a 5 million investment by John Woodward, the millionaire owner of Fantasy Island, and will be a leisure and retail development. The complex will be Victorian themed, and will include a children's amusement park. This investment is in addition to the recently announced 35 million investment into the Fantasy Island amusement park, which will include the installation of a Hammerhead Stall roller coaster. Woodward now awaits the decision on the Skegness planning application, which is expected to be announced on 31 October. Watch this space!

Fantasy Island Gets Planning Permission for Huge New Coaster [5/10/01]

Fantasy Island at Ingoldmells has received planning permission for two massive new rides. The rides are to be added to the park following this year's installation of Jubilee Odyssey, the 233 feet high custom-designed multi-looping roller coaster which will open at the park in 2002. The new ride will be a 205 foot high Vekoma Hammerhead Stall coaster. The massive hyper coaster will launch riders in up the first 205 foot high tower, after which the car will then spin around, drop back down the tower and race up a 205-foot tower on the opposite side. The ride has received approval from the planners partly because it will be a full 8.5 metres lower than the Jubilee Odyssey coaster, which is also built by Vekoma. The new ride will take up 80 car parking spaces, but Fantasy Island plans to open a further area of car parking to compensate for this loss. To date there has been no installation of a Hammerhead Stall coaster at any park, although a prototype has been operating at Vekoma's testing ground. The second ride will be a Booster ride, similar to the one currently travelling the UK's fairgrounds. The ride resembles a giant propeller, with each of the two 25 metre arms (which both carries four passengers) suspended on a central spindle. This ride will be located in a completely new area of the park, to the north of the existing amusement park area. Whether the coaster installation will be affected by the collapse of coaster builder Vekoma is not known at the present time.

In a separate development, Fantasy Island owner John Woodward has been revealed as the developer behind a multi-million pound leisure scheme for a prime Skegness seafront site. Woodward's company, Blue Anchor Leisure, fought off opposing plans by three other developers. The details of the planned attraction have not yet been revealed, but Joyland Books will report the news as soon as it breaks. (With thanks to Steve Tipton)

New Range of Fairground Videos Available From Today [24/9/01]

A new range of fairground videos has been added to Joyland Books offering something for every fairground fan. Those interested in fairground history will enjoy Fairgrounds on Film, a look at fairgrounds in archive footage from 1915 to 1970, and A Fairground Heritage, a documentary on the history of the famous Boston Fair. Transport enthusiasts will want to order a new release for 2001: Fairground Pull-On, a behind-the-scenes look at the transport used by today's travelling showmen. Nottingham's Goose Fair and Boston's May Day Fair are covered in Fairground Magic and Boston May Fair 1994 respectively, and anyone who has visited Stamford's Mid-Lent fair will enjoy a special video of the 1996 Fair. Anyone with an interest in seaside amusement parks will be fascinated by Skegness Then and Now, a combination of archive film footage and modern video showing how things have changed at one of Britain's top seaside towns, including footage of Butlin's, Skegness Pier and the Figure Eight Roller Coaster.

That is only a small selection of our growing range of videos. For a full list of videos, visit Joyland Books' Video Shop.

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Above: Just one of the new range of fairground videos available from Joyland Books.

Possible Dollywood Theme Park for UK [23/9/01]

British newspaper the Sunday Times reports today that Dolly Parton, the international country and western recording artist and owner of the Dollywood Theme Park, is searching for a site for a Dollywood park in the United Kingdom. A site in the Midlands is currently favourite for the first Dollywood theme park outside of the United States. Dollywood, which opened 15 years ago at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, covers 100 acres and has a selection of music, crafts, attractions, and rides. The biggest attraction at the US park is the Tennessee Tornado, a 163 foot high, double inversion steel coaster built by Arrow Dynamics in 1999 at a cost of $8 million.

Limited Support for Reopening of Spanish City Amusement Park [23/9/01]

The results of last year's consultation on the future of the Spanish City Amusement Park site (see Joyland Books News 2000 Archive) has resulted in only limited support for the retention of an amusement park on the site. When asked what they wanted to see on the site, 378 of the 769 interviewed (each of which could pick up to three potential uses) said they would like to see the site become a car park, with 345 wanting to see a library. Only 200 respondents wanted a replacement fairground. North Tyneside Council will consider the results of the consultation before deciding on the future of the site. It is thought unlikely that the Council will recommend the continuation of an amusement park. spanish1.jpg (14233 bytes)

Fantastic New Funfair Videos Available Now [19/9/01]

A new range of funfair videos is now available from Joyland Books. Shot at major fairs throughout 2000 and 2001, and duplicated on high-grade tape to maximise picture quality, this series of videos is available only on VHS PAL-UK format. All tapes feature a hi-fi stereo soundtrack with no commentary. There are eleven tapes to the range initially, but more are to be added over the coming months. Featured fairs include Boston Fair 2001, Nottingham Goose Fair 2000, Hull Fair 2000 and Cambridge Mid Summer Fair 2001. All videos feature the rides in action, and some also feature the transport pull-on, the build-up, and the transport pull-off.

Buy one of our range of fairground videos today and soak up the atmosphere of a major UK fair. Click here to browse our full range. Check back to the news page regularly as more videos will be added soon!

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Kursaal Amusement Park: Special Offer [19/9/01]

Joyland Books is able to bring you a special offer on the audio history of Southend's famous Kursaal, the South of England's biggest amusement park. Produced as a radio series back in 1993 for Eastern Counties Radio, Let's all go to the Kursaal and We've all been to the Kursaal tell the full story of the amusement park from its early days when simple fairground rides were operated on the site by showmen, through its days as London's favourite playground, to its sad decline and eventual closure in the 1980s. These radio programmes have been released on two audio cassettes, and are available from Joyland Books as a special offer. Click here for details.

South Coast Amusement Park to Remove Roller Coaster [16/9/01]

Funland Amusement Park at Hayling Island is to remove its Pinfari Z40 Roller Coaster. The removal of this ride, which is currently being advertised in trade paper the World's Fair, is believed to be the latest phase of an extensive refurbishment programme for the Hampshire park, a programme which has seen the recent creation of an entirely covered area for children's rides. Other rides at the park include a Log Flume, Skymaster and Pirate Ship. It is not known what ride is to replace the roller coaster. funland1.jpg (7254 bytes)

300m Film Studio Theme Park Planned for South Wales [11/9/01]

Joyland Books can confirm that Britain's first film studio theme park is planned for an ex-quarry site at Llanilid near Cardiff, close to the M4 motorway. The proposal has been announced by developers JV Partnership (a joint venture between Westair and Fairfield Properties) and would include an international film academy and studio, a film tour, restaurants, bars, hotel and conference centre. The attraction is predicted to attract up to 1.2 million visitors a year and would create up to 2000 jobs. Theme park expert Nicholas James, editor of the eDreams UK Theme Parks site, said today: "This is exciting news for the UK theme park industry. There has been no shortage of proposals for studio-based theme parks, most notably the 1990s proposal for a Warner Brothers Movie World at Hillingdon, but sadly none have come to fruition. Following the closure of the Granada Studios Tour, the UK would really benefit from an attraction like this. But it is probably a case of 'first come, first served'. I don't see that there is a market for more than one such attraction." More news as it breaks.

The Story of Southend's Kursaal Amusement Park Available on Video [10/9/01]

A documentary telling the story of the South of England's biggest amusement park is now available from Joyland Books. Called By Its Dome It's Known, this VHS video uses archive footage, photographs and interviews. From the smallest stall to the huge Cyclone roller coaster, this video chronicles the park's history from 1894 to 1994, when the derelict site was purchased by Southend Council.

This is the fascinating story of the Kursaal Amusement Park and Gardens. Click here for more information.

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach Boss Seeks Information on Old Rides [5/9/01]

Geoffrey Thompson, the Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, is seeking information on two of the vintage rides currently operating at his Pleasureland Amusement Park in Southport. In a letter printed in trade newspaper World's Fair, Thompson asks anyone who has information about the Caterpillar and Lighthouse Bowl Slide to write to him at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Thompson states that the Caterpillar was "previously operated at Southport by Sunnysands Amusements. We think it was manufactured some time in the early '20s." If you do have information on the history of these rides, contact details for the Pleasure Beach can be found on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website, which is included in the Joyland Books Directory.

UK-First Water Ride Announced for Oakwood [2/9/01]

Oakwood Leisure Park in South West Wales has announced a major new water ride for 2002, which will be a UK first. The ride will be a Chute Ride, similar to the Perilous Plunge ride, which opened last year at Knotts Berry Farm, California. The ride will feature a near vertical drop of 75 degrees and a state-of-the-art magnetic braking system allowing operators to control the splash. It will use large boats capable of carrying 24 passengers and will feature an drop of around 100 feet.

Major New Rides Open at Welsh Amusement Park [23/8/01]

Two major new rides have opened at Tir Prince Raceway Amusement Park in Wales. This large permanent park at Towyn, near Rhyl, has now opened a Reverchon Log Flume and a Eurostar Giant Wheel. Both of the rides have been purchased from C&G Attractions and were previously travelled. Existing rides at the park include a Top Spin, Miami and Go-Karts. The park has also had general improvements to the layout and infrastructure. Details of how to get to this rapidly growing amusement park can be found at the park's official website, which is listed in the Joyland Books Directory.

New Fairground Art CD-ROMs Released [22/8/01]

Joyland Books has added a new range of CD-ROMs featuring the fairground artwork of Paul Wright. Paul began decorating fairground rides in 1979 and all his early work was brush-painted. Over the years he gradually introduced spray painting, primarily to add shading to flat colours. Since the early 90's, airbrushing gradually took over to the point where Paul now uses this technique to the exclusion of anything else. All Paul's work is large scale, usually painted on aluminium with one-pack polyurethane paints, using an Olympos spray gun. This new range of CDs shows his artwork on rides such as waltzers, speedways, gallopers and ghost trains. Choose from the following: Miamis, Machines, Shows, Early Machines and Early Shows. miamiscover.jpg (8821 bytes)machinescover.jpg (9164 bytes)

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Belle Vue Videos Now Available from Joyland Books [21/8/01]

Joyland Books already stocks a wide range of books about the world's first theme park, Belle Vue. Now we have made available a range of VHS videos telling the story of Belle Vue: its rides, its zoo, its people and the wide range of other famous attractions at the park. The History of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens Volumes One and Two bring the history of one of the country's greatest amusement parks to life. Both include archive film and interviews with people from Belle Vue's past, and both feature footage of the park's classic rides, such as the Bobs and Scenic Railway roller coasters. A third volume in the series will be released later in the year. Keep checking this page for news of its release. Click here for details of Volume One. Click here for our new video shop: loads of new titles are to be added over the coming weeks, so keep checking back!

Also available from Joyland Books are the following books about Belle Vue:

Belle Vue by Jill Cronin
The Belle Vue Story by Robert Nicholls
Looking Back at Belle Vue by Robert Nicholls

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Fun Fair History Book Now Available from Joyland Books [15/8/01]

Joyland Books has added a further funfair title to its expanding range of fairground books. The Story of Harris's Fun Fairs is the amazing tale of one of the great showland families who have travelled the Eastern Counties since the late 1700s. Written by Ken Page, the book has been acclaimed by World's Fair newspaper, and features well over 400 photographs, many in colour. This fantastic publication is available now. Click here for more information and how to buy.

Right: The colourful cover of The Story of Harris's Fun Fairs, available now from Joyland Books.

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Tussauds Group to Close Attraction [15/8/01]

Theme park giant, the Tussauds Group, has announced that it is to close one of its most famous attractions. The company, which includes Alton Towers and Thorpe Park in its portfolio of tourist destinations, is to close Rock Circus in London due to dwindling visitor numbers. The attraction has been a dominant feature of Piccadilly Circus since it opened in 1989, but in recent years has failed to pull in the crowds, despite a multi-million pound make-over in 2000. Tussauds has decided that it will close Rock Circus to allow it to focus more on its core attraction, Madame Tussauds. Tussauds has opened new Madame Tussauds museums in Las Vegas, Hong Kong and New York in the last two years. Rock Circus has attracted more than six million visitors since it opened, and will close in a matter of weeks.

Flamingo Land to Remove Roller Coaster [12/8/01]

Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo at Malton, North Yorkshire, has revealed that it is to remove its Flying Trapeze roller coaster. The ride, pictured to the right, is a Zierer Four Man Bob coaster, and has been at the park since the late 1990s. Common with all of the park's other roller coasters, the Flying Trapeze was not new when it opened at Flamingo Land; it is believed to date from the early 1970s. With a track length of 390 metres, the ride is identical to the Space Invader at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The Flying Trapeze is expected to close for the last time in November 2001. flamingoland2.jpg (8958 bytes)

New CD-ROM Available Exclusively From Joyland Books [11/8/01]

Gallopers at The Amusement Park was the first exhibition presented in Joyland Books' Virtual Exhibition Hall, way back in September 2000. The highly acclaimed exhibition was seen by thousands of visitors to the Joyland Books.com site and was covered by World’s Fair and TheGalloper.com magazine. This exhibition is now available to buy on CD-ROM in a specially extended format. The CD features 90 photographs of gallopers at amusement parks around Britain, and many of these photographs have never been seen before. Joyland Books spokesperson Nicola Laister says that this is just the first of a series of new CD-ROMS: "The CD-ROM version of Gallopers at the Amusement Park is able to show what the on-line exhibition couldn’t: with higher resolution photographs and much faster loading, it will make a unique piece of merchandising." gallopercoverright.jpg (13408 bytes)

Nicola explains that further releases are just around the corner: "We have already commissioned series of CD-ROMs, which will be released over the next few months, covering a whole plethora of rides and amusement park attractions. Gallopers at the Amusement Park is a very strong first release, featuring these beautiful machines at no less than 41 British amusement parks." Click here for details on this first release.

Fairground Heritage Series Comes Exclusively to Joyland Books [5/8/01]

Fairground enthusiasts are in for a treat as Joyland Books adds the entire Fairground Heritage Series to its line-up. This series of quality, colour publications are brought to you by the family behind Carter's Royal Berkshire Steam Fair, the most famous vintage fairground in the United Kingdom, and Joyland Books is the only place on the Internet you will find them! Pick from books about Steam Gallopers, Swings, Arcades and Slot Machines and the fantastic history of showman's living wagons, A Palace on Wheels. Also on the subject of fairground history, our bumper new line-up of books includes Heart of England Fairs by Vanessa Toulmin, Fairground Strollers and Showfolk by Frances Brown and The Billy Butlin Story. This adds to our already impressive list of fairground books; click here to browse our fairground titles.

Belle Vue History Book Available Now [5/8/01]

Following the success of The Belle Vue Story and Looking Back at Belle Vue, Joyland Books is now pleased to add a further book on the history of Manchester's famous amusement park and zoo. Called simply Belle Vue, the book tells the history of this legendary park in photographs. "Those interested in vintage roller coasters will be particularly impressed by the stunning pictures of the Figure Eight, Scenic Railway and, most notably of all, the legendary Belle Vue Bobs roller coasters", said Joyland Books spokesperson Nicola Laister. "We expect this book to be a big seller." Click here for details.

Joyland Books Now Accepts Credit Cards [28/7/01]

Joyland Books is delighted to announce that as of today you can buy books on-line using your credit card. The system is very easy to use, explains Joyland Books spokesperson Nicola Laister: "We are very pleased to be able to introduce our new-look website. To buy a book, simply click the 'Buy Now' link next to any book and you will be taken to your Shopping Basket. You can either proceed to the secure server to checkout, or you can browse around the site further. Your book will still be there when you go back to your Shopping Basket. A 'View Shopping Basket' button is visible towards the top right-hand corner of most pages." According to Nicola Laister, security has been a major consideration in the site's upgrade. "I firmly believe that the Internet is the safest way to shop. And Joyland Books uses the most advanced encryption technology available. Shopping at Joyland Books really is totally secure." For more information about paying by credit card, visit our How to use your Shopping Basket Guide. Joyland Books accepts VISA, Mastercard, Delta, JCB and Switch. Any customer still wishing to pay back cheque can print out an order form by clicking the link adjacent to each of the books, which can be found against each book's details.

New BBC Drama Set at Welsh Amusement Park [28/7/01]

A new three-part drama series from the BBC is to be set at Coney Beach Amusement Park in Wales. Tales from the Pleasure Beach, as the new series will be called, will feature a self-contained story each episode, and charts the relationships of a different trio of people each week set against the backdrop of the funfair. The series begins at 9.50pm on Thursday 2 August and will air on BBC2. Each episode will run for 40 minutes.

Merlin's Magic Land Puts All Its Rides Up For Sale [21/7/01]

Merlin's Magic Land at St Ives, Cornwall, has has put all its rides up for sale, sparking fears over  its future. The children's theme park, which features attractions such as the The Dragon roller coaster and Merlin's Magic Castle ghost train is one of St Ives most popular tourist attractions, but has suffered from its location away from the main seafront area. Billed as "Cornwall's mystical theme park for all the family", Merlin's is Cornwall's only traditional free entry amusement park. merlins1.jpg (14911 bytes)

Twin-Track Racing Coaster Permitted at Chessington [19/7/01]

Chessington World of Adventures has been granted planning permission for a twin-track racing roller coaster. First announced in July 1998, the ride will be part of the further development of the new Beano Land, on the site of the former Circus World area. The planning permission allows for the "redevelopment of circusworld to provide twin track coaster ride, dodgems ride, round ride, show venue building with ancillary catering, retail and games buildings, landscaping and water features." The park now has five years in which to install the ride before the permission lapses.

New Ride Opens at Luna Park [19/7/01]

An Italian Big Wheel is the latest attraction at Scarborough's Luna Park. The ride was constructed in June and is now open to the public. It replaces the park's previous Big Wheel, which once resided at the nearby Butlin's Holiday Camp at Filey. The new wheel is expected to become a major landmark for the town, and is visible right across the South Bay. Meanwhile, delays in the Zenith development have meant that the town's other park, Marvel's, which was expected to close at the end of last year, remains open. Although the park's biggest attraction, its roller coaster, was moved to Knowsley Safari Park, most other rides remain open, including the park's state-of-the-art dark ride. luna2.jpg (13571 bytes)

Above: A crane delivers part of Luna Park's new ride.

Funeral for Roller Coaster Victim [8/7/01]

A date has been announced for the funeral of Gemma Louise Savage, the student who suffered fatal injuries following the crash on Lightwater Valley's new Treetop Twister roller coaster ride two weeks ago. Her funeral will take place at Swinton's St Margaret's Church, near Rotherham, on 10 July at 12.45pm. The cause of the accident has still not been established and Police are now anxious to speak to two men who were in the car in front of Miss Savage at the time of the crash. Meanwhile, the inquest into Miss Savage's death has suffered a setback after coroner Jeremy Cave, who was to have opened the investigation in Harrogate last week, has been suspended on charges of fraud.

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