Words and photos: Heather Spierling
: September 2014


At one time I had to call for assistance; the crowds were 3-4 deep at the fence and pushing their way onto the ride before it had stopped. Utter chaos!

People were grabbing the cars as they paused on the perimeter not realising that the car would drag them across the ride if they didn’t let go. It was the first time I had to block the entrances to the ride for crowd safety. I remember one Easter Monday Bank Holiday when we took over £1000 - 16th April 1979. An unbelievable amount for a ride like the Twist, then on a 20p ticket - 5000 people or 200 rides.

Unknown to management we (ride managers) started competing against each other - who would take the most money each day? Obviously we had different ‘ride prices’ and different ‘head counts’ in the cars. We overcame this by using percentages, doing this we could work out who had been the best ride operator that day and who had taken the most money. Only once I beat the Waltzer and that was the day we took £1000.

Top earner –

1st. Galaxi
2nd. Waltzer
3rd. Twist
4th. Dodgems
5th. Telecombat

Rhoose Barry, RAF Air Show, Sunday 7th May 1979

Every year RAF St Athan held an air show, with the Red Arrows, etc. This year Pat Collins decided to take the Twist to the show.

We were all excited and couldn’t wait to get down there. We had a good day - the air show was fantastic. It was very late by the time we pulled down the Twist and took her back home that night. We decided that I would go home and return early next morning to open the ride and the boys would stay behind to build up the Twist and take a late morning to catch up on sleep. This sounded like a good idea – but I think that somewhere along the way the boys had been distracted with a little tipple. The following morning I came into work, I opened the Twist, did a safety check, oiled and greased the ride and returned to the pay box to run a test ride before opening. I start her up and just looked at the ride in general – listening to sound and watching the ride in motion. Something is wrong, I keep looking – she’s not running right – no unusual noises, but something is wrong. I stop the ride and get out to check her over again. Back in the pay box I start her up again very slowly and watch the movement. Then It dawns on me – the ride is not level. I know build up was late last night, it was dark and the boys were tired but I think they had enjoyed a few too many tipples. The Twist had been built up with a definite lean to the left! She looked as drunk as they probably were.

Rode her carefully that day but by evening she gave up the ghost and her chain snapped. The next day the whole ride had to be ‘jacked up’, re-levelled and realigned with the paybox.

Click the above log book to view it in detail.

Twist with snapped chain!

Click the above log book to view it in detail.


THEMAGICEYE  |  Terms and Conditions |  Privacy Policy |  Contact Us