Words and photos: Heather Spierling
: September 2014

Barry J was given the Twist (aka 'The People Mover') to manage; he was still a college student so only worked the fair during the holidays. One weekend there was a shortage of staff and I was told to cover ‘second man’ position on the Twist. I was given a very brief instruction on how to run the machine, a microphone was shoved in my hand and that was it – away we go!

This ride had music, what a change from the noise I was used to. It didn’t take me very long to get into the swing of things, talking to the punters, and then running the ride in time with the music. The louder the music the more fun I had. Because I had started to attract crowds I was moved permanently to the Twist, also managing the ride in Barry’s absence. This was my introduction to the Twist, and it’s hard to explain - but this machine became my baby. The following years I had an absolute ball.

In the beginning the Twist was a little like the ‘poor relation’ of the fairground rides at Barry Island. She had no decoration, no paint and only a few lights. It was easy to pass her by, as she was not in a very prominent position. (In an alcove in front of the Scream Machine - see From Bond to Barry). I had two young money takers working the ride (Barry and Glen) who had boundless energy and very cheeky chat-up lines with the girls. I loved music and would push the volume to max when running the ride. It became a fun area to be in, crowds of people just surrounding the ride enjoying the atmosphere and music.

I remember one lovely retired couple who got on the ride one afternoon. As the ride picked up speed the old lady started to laugh, she could not stop herself sliding across the seat squashing her husband. She laughed so much her false teeth flew out of her mouth and hit the fence. Collecting her teeth after the ride stopped – she got back on for another go! Every afternoon for the rest of their holiday week they returned to the fair to ride the Twist.

The Verbal Blog

“Okay then, here we go, don’t forget to keep your arms and legs inside the car - right inside. Y’re riding the ‘People Mover’ on Barry Island – hold tight, hold tight – just a little faster now. W’re really going to start shifting this ride now, hold tight, hold tight...”

“Please wait for the ride to stop before getting out of the cars. Please do not come into the ride area until the cars have completely stopped”.



Top: Collins' Galloper pull down September 1975, Barry Island. Photo taken from the Twist. Bottom: Cole's Paratrooper, 1975 Barry Island – Photo taken from Vampire Jets platform.

Me in the Twist paybox 1975.

Glen & Barry P monkeying around on Twist.

Pete H (galloper manager) and me by Twist fence, 1975.



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