This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 July 2008 to 31 December 2008.
For the latest news, click here.

Pleasure Beach Blackpool time capsule opened [28/12/08]

Pleasure Beach Blackpool has announced that its long-running Hot Ice Show will not be staged in 2009. Rumours are also rife that several rides will not open next year, including the Roller Coaster, Space Invader and Noah's Ark. At this time of change for the park, Joyland Books has dusted down Gary Radice's wonderfully quirky time capsule of the park, BITSoftheBEACH, and opened it for all to see on the amusement park nostalgia website, themagiceye.
BITSoftheBEACH is a personal and offbeat photographic reminder of Pleasure Beach Blackpool caught in time during a pivotal period in its glorious history. This was the sad time when both Mr G Thompson and his mother, Mrs LD Thompson - mother and son stalwarts of the dynasty that built Britain's most popular seaside attraction - died within 11 days of each other. This feature has not been touched since 2004, and will remain as a time capsule of the park in that period. See it...

And don't miss the offbeat BITSoftheBEACH Gallery, a series of sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking and sometimes downright bizzare photographs of the park that show why Pleasure Beach Blackpool is a truly special place. See it...

Popular Belle Vue book back for Christmas [13/12/08]

A popular book on the history of the famous Belle Vue Zoo and Amusement Park in Manchester has been reprinted in time for Christmas. Belle Vue by Jill Cronin has been out of stock on Joyland for several years, but is now available again, reprinted and with a brand new cover.

This book tells the fascinating story of Belle Vue in pictures, including numerous photographs of the zoo, entertainment buildings, gardens, and amusement park. The book also features several superb photographs of the legendary Belle Vue Bobs roller coaster. If you went to Belle Vue in its heyday this book will evoke happy memories and if you didn't, you'll find this book a revelation. More...

A coastal tour from Lyme Regis to Swanage [12/12/08]

New out is a perfect Christmas present. Discovering Dorset Volume 1 is a coastal tour from Lyme Regis to Swanage.

Your tour will take you along the southernmost part of the county, beginning at Lyme Regis, the town at Dorset's western boundary, following the famous Jurassic shoreline but making detours off-route to explore some of the lesser-known places along the way. You'll discover old industries and visit towns which were small coastal ports until they reinvented themselves as seaside resorts in the 18th and 19th centuries, including Weymouth, the quintessential seaside town. Click here for more...

Some more seaside DVD Christmas present ideas...

Now delivering for Christmas [8/12/08]

Joyland Books has now moved into its new premises at Southcombe Farm, Chipping Norton, and we are taking orders for Christmas. Our service is now back to normal - we would like to thank all of our customers for their patience during the move.

Pleasure Beach presents casino plans [20/11/08]

Great Yarmouth's Development Control Committee has decided to delay a decision on a planning application for a major new indoor leisure complex at the town's Pleasure Beach Amusement Park. The development will be located next to the 1930s Scenic Railway and will include a large casino, multiplex cinema, bowling, hotel and restaurants. It is hoped that the development will result in an extended opening season for the park and new investment. Read more at Eastern Daily Press and Great Yarmouth Mercury.

Lightwater Valley resort refused [20/11/08]

Plans for a major resort development at North Yorkshire's Lightwater Valley Theme Park are now on hold after planning permission was refused by a Planning Inspector following a public inquiry in September. Proposals included the provision of 136 new lodges and 204 caravans. Director and general manager of the park, Mark Bainbridge, said: "We worked tirelessly at putting these plans together, taking everyone's concerns and comments into consideration. We needed this decision to go in our favour."

We are moving - please bear with us! [15/10/08]

Joyland Books is moving to new premises, with a modern, air-conditioned storage facility. We even plan to open a shop that you can actually visit in 2009! However, during the move - which starts on 16 October - our response time for orders will be slower than usual. We estimate that most orders will be dispatched in 10 days, rather than the usual 3 to 5 days. We apologise for the inconvenience. We will let you know when our service gets back to normal.

Seaside classic re-released [26/9/08]

It's back...and it's about time. The classic 2002 publication Piers and other Seaside Architecture by Lynn F Pearson has been rereleased by Shire Publications in a glossy new format, complete with striking new cover.

Architecture at the seaside is colourful, inventive and fun. Early piers were landing stages for trippers arriving by boat but later became attractions in themselves. The author outlines the fascinating history of pier and pavilion construction, using many delightful colour illustrations. Entertainment buildings boomed in the resorts of late Victorian Britain: pleasure domes such as the Queen Palace at Rhyl catered for huge crowds seeking inspiration and enjoyment beside the sea. More...

The Ken Fox Wall of Death - spectacular new DVD [23/9/08]

A spectacular DVD has been released on the history of what is billed 'The World's Greatest Show', The Ken Fox Wall of Death. The story of the Ken Fox Troupe begins in Skegness back in 1975 where Ken started his long career with the Wall of Death. In this programme Ken gives his own account of his life so far, we show how the wall is set up and moved from show to show, the riders and those death defying stunts performed in the worlds greatest show. More...

Fans of the Wall of Death should also check out the book, Riding the Wall of Death by Allan Ford & Nick Corble, also available from Joyland Books.

More on the Wall of Death show at Joyland Books...


New DVD!

First ever history of steam roundabout builder [18/9/08]

Thomas Walker was one of three principal roundabout builders in Britain. In addition to gallopers, this company manufactured chairoplanes, fairground switchbacks and scenic railways, helter skelters and even a wooden roller coaster (pictured in this book)! Thomas Walker: Builder of Steam Roundabouts by Graham Downie & Dr John Middlemiss is the first comprehensive history of Thomas Walker and his firm to have been written. Despite the almost total absence of any company records, the two authors have been able to assemble a vivid and detailed account of this remarkable engineer and the business he created. This book is published by the Fairground Association of Great Britain to mark the 30th anniversary of its foundation. More...

Long-awaited history of Anderton & Rowland's [15/9/08]

The long awaited history of the famous West Country fairground family is now available. Anderton & Rowland's: Illusion & Reality by Kevin Scrivens & Stephen Smith tells the story of 150 years of entertainment. When Albert Haslam's daughter married George Devey the mould was set. From humble beginnings their families built up the most successful firm of travelling showmen in the West Country today. This book sets out to uncover the true history of the family, the amusements and the equipment owned by them over the years. More...

More books by authors Kevin Scrivens & Stephen Smith.

Pleasure Beach Blackpool Whip saved [14/9/08]

The Save Dreamland Campaign has today announced that it has rescued Pleasure Beach Blackpool's Whip ride from being scrapped. The ride has been standing but not operating at the park since 2005, and was to have been removed to make way for a new ride this month. The rescue bid came after several months of negotiation between Save Dreamland Campaign leader Nick Laister and the Pleasure Beach. The ride was carefully dismantled last week and has now been transported to Margate where it is in storage. The move was funded by Dreamland owners, the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company. Click here for more details...

Above: The Whip in its last year of operation at the Pleasure Beach, 2004. The ride is believed to have opened in Blackpool between 1914 and 1921. Photograph: Nick Laister.

West Midland Safari Park announces new ride [14/9/08]

West Midland Safari Park is planning to build a 330-foot high observation tower for the fire-damaged Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare. This is part of the expansion of the Company's portfolio, which already includes their 200-acre safari and amusement park in Bewdley and two SeaQuariums in Rhyl and Weston. There is a twist to the proposed Weston tower, however, as it will also feature a freefall drop ride from the top of the tower to its base, the largest of its kind in the UK.

Lightwater Valley public inquiry closes [6/9/08]

The public inquiry into plans for a 340-unit holiday village at Lightwater Valley adjourned yesterday evening, following an intensive week of evidence from the park and council. Lightwater Valley was represented by London-based barrister Stephen Whale and planning consultant Nick Laister, who explained that the holiday resort development was essential to secure the long-term future of the theme park. Increased investment in new rides and attractions would follow a positive decision, Laister said.

Bridlington amusement pioneer dies [6/9/08]

Albert Corrigan, the man who set up Bridlington's seafront amusement park, has died aged 69. Born in Leeds and from a travelling fairground family, he grew up in nearby Scarborough. He moved to Bridlington in 1963 and redeveloped the Trocadero Restaurant in Esplanade as an amusement arcade and prize bingo. He later opened the seafront amusement park Kiddies Corner, still operating to this day as Bayside Fun Park. His seafront amusement arcade is pictured to the right in 1999. Click here for details of a book about Bridlington's amusement arcade history.

In Dreamland: the Nick Laister/Sarah Vickery interviews [30/8/08]

themagiceye is proud to present an interview with Nick Laister dating back to 2002, before he set up the Save Dreamland Campaign, and an interview with Sarah Vickery, the Save Dreamland Campaign coordinator dating from March 2003. Together these two short interviews provide a snapshot of the early days of the campaign to save Margate's famous amusement park and its Grade II listed Scenic Railway roller coaster. Read on...

World's fastest theme park ride for UK? [24/8/08]

A ride that travels "hundreds of miles per hour" could soon be seen at the Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare, according to its owners. A 'dragster' could be installed above the shelters that run down the centre of the Pier if structural engineers give the proposals the go-ahead. Designers hope the ride would be the fastest theme park attraction in the world, travelling up to 200mph. It would consist of two carriages, holding one person each, and would run along a 600ft-long electric track and back again. The owners hope the ride's station can eventually be incorporated into the rebuilt Pavilion, which was destroyed by fire last month.

Above: Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier - future home of the world's fastest theme park ride?

Illustrated history of famous load movers [9/8/08]

Now available from Joyland Books is the definitive history of the famous transport marque, Scammell, much favoured by fairground operators. Scammell: the Load Movers from Watford by Nick Georgano is an illustrated history of the company, commencing in 1837 at 46 Fashion Street in London's East End to the closure of the Tolpits Lane Works.

The book is is widely recognised as being the most authoritative title produced on the marque to date. All the innovative models are chronicled - from the Mechanical Horse; the 100-tonner; the tractors, artics & rigid eights; the Pioneer, Explorer & Commander; the Mountaineer, Constructor, Contractor & Crusader; to the latter day S24 & S26 models. More...

St Annes fun park redevelopment moves a step closer [7/8/08]

The redevelopment of The Island (formerly Pleasure Island) at St Annes, near Blackpool in Lancashire, moved a step closer last week when Fylde Borough Council voted to approve the seafront masterplan and go out to consultation. The 30m plans will sea the site - home to a cinema, casino and seasonal amusement park - redeveloped with a major hotel, restaurants, heritage visitor attraction and indoor leisure facilities. The plans also include a new purpose-built, landscaped children's amusement park. The proposals are being promoted by the Council in consultation with the operators of the Island. A full report can be found Blackpool Gazette.


Above: Twist ride at The Island in 2007, with the closed casino behind.

Happiland: Memories of a Children's Funfair in Southport [1/8/08]

When in 2004 themagiceye recalled its childhood memories of daytrips to Peter Pan's Playground - a children's fairground in Southport - Nick Ousey recalled his experiences of working there as a teenager. Nick, who was born in 1960, had spent almost every summer of his childhood at Peter Pan's Playground, later to become Happiland.

Almost three years on from the original interview themagiceye presents it here in its original form albeit with a 2007 'revamp'. Click here to read the article on the internet's number one amusement park nostalgia website.

Massive fire destroys 'amusement park over the sea' [28/7/08]

A huge fire has completely destroyed the covered amusement park (pictured, right) on Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier. The park featured numerous rides, including Ghost Train, Dodgems and Drop Tower. As reported on 19 April (below), the Pier had recently been acquired by brother and sister Kerry and Michelle Michael who had recently completed a multi-million pound revamp, including new go-kart track, climbing wall and bar. The entire pavilion building has been lost, but the Michaels have vowed to rebuild.

**Up to 50% off theme parks**

Sensational memoir of Circus legend [20/7/08]

Now the owner of leading West Country tourist attraction Wookey Hole, Gerry Cottle is Britain's greatest circus impresario. His autobiography, Confessions of a Showman: My Life in the Circus, tells his full life story. Gerry Cottle, a stockbroker's son, ran away to join the circus when he was just fifteen. He started learning his trade by cleaning up after the elephants in small family-run shows and, when he wasn't chasing girls, he progressed to erecting tents and being a very bad clown. Within a few years he had married into one of the oldest circus dynasties and started his very own circus, moving towards his ambition of owning Britain's biggest circus.

Packed with irrepressible stories of circus acts gone wrong, girls chased and family feuds, Confessions of a Showman tells the extraordinary life story of the ultimate showman. More...

Inviting look at historic amusement park [7/7/08]

Playland by Kathryn W Burke offers an inviting look at the historic amusement park on the shore of the Long Island Sound in Rye. This book recalls the early days and the later years of Playland, a national historic landmark and America’s only publicly owned amusement park. Opened in 1928 as part of the newly developed Westchester County Park System, Playland originally drew crowds that arrived via automobile, bus, and steamship for the circus acts, sideshows, and rides, such as the Swooper, an oval roller coaster, and the Derby Racer, one of only two left in the United States. An all-purpose resort, the park included a beach, bathhouse, pool, and casino with restaurants and games. Today the park draws even larger crowds—nearly a million people each season—that come for the Dragon Coaster and other rides, Kiddyland, the indoor ice rink, the pool, the beach, and the boardwalk. More...

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