This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 January and 30 June 2009.
For the latest news, click here.

Speedway: The Paul Grimshaw Interviews
27 June 2009

In the very early days of themagiceye website, Paul Grimshaw was interviewed about his attempts to restore a Speedway Ark. themagiceye is proud to present the original interviews from 2002 and 2003 and we catch up up on his progress to date. Read on...

themagiceye is the world's best loved amusement park nostalgia website, bringing you new articles and galleries from this most amazing of worlds every single month. themagiceye is also the home of the offbeat BITSoftheBEACH: Blackpool Pleasure Beach in a time capsule.

Blackpool Junior Whip rescued for Dreamland project
27 June 2009

Griffin's Magic Dragons - Pleasure Beach Blackpool's Junior Whip ride - which has operated in the park since the late 1920s has been acquired by The Dreamland Trust for use in the proposed amusement park of historic rides in Margate. The ride was removed from the park on Monday 22 June and is now in storage in the resort. This follows last years acquisition of the full-size Whip from the park. The two whip rides are the last surviving examples of their kind in the country.

Insider guide to Alton Towers
24 June 2009

A new guide to Alton Towers Theme Park has been released, packed full of information and tips about "the UK's number one theme park".

The Alton Towers Resort is one of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions. But without forward planning, your day out could turn into endless queuing! Do you know about single rider queues? the best times of the year to visit? the best way to get the cheapest tickets? If not, this guide is for you!

The Theme Park Insider Guide to Alton Towers by Rory Sweeney will share some useful advice and tips to help you make full use of your time on park! Click here for more information about this book.

"UK's largest of its kind" play zone to open at Notts theme park
24 June 2009

Nottinghamshire's Wheelgate Park has announced a new "largest of its kind" indoor play centre called Pharaohs Funderdome. The Egyptian themed play facility will offer an expanse of play equipment for all ages, including adults. Brothers Mike, Chris and Phil Bendall - owners of Devon's Woodlands Family Theme Park and Leicestershire's Twinlakes Family Theme Park - acquired the former Wonderland Pleasure Park near Mansfield in 2007 and have invested in numerous new rides and attractions. The new Funderdome opens on 18 July 2009.

Alton Towers expansion plans on display
24 June 2009

On Friday and Saturday 25 and 26 June 2009, Alton Towers will be hosting an exhibition of its long term development plans for the resort. The blueprint will include multi-million pound investment in new rides, infrastructure and heritage as well as more accommodation in the form of a third hotel.

The exhibition, which is open to all, commences at 12 noon until 9pm on Friday and 10am until 4pm on Saturday in the Emperor's Suite of Alton Towers Hotel.

The Story of Alton Towers

Once Upon a Time in America
30 April 2009

In 1991/92, themagiceye crossed the Pond to the USA to sample the delights of what Florida and California had to offer. Time moves on and inevitably classic attractions either change beyond recognition or disappear forever. Now, in 2009, Joyland Books brings memories of these classic attractions back to life with Once Upon a Time in America.

Visit themagiceye, the world's leading amusement park nostalgia website, for many more trips down memory lane...

Southport River Caves destroyed
22 April 2009

Southport's historic River Caves ride at Pleasureland Amusement Park was destroyed by fire yesterday evening. The ride, which was built in 1923 and still follows the original layout, has been disused since Pleasureland closed in 2006. The boats and most of the mechanical parts were removed in 2007 for use in the proposed heritage amusement park at Dreamland in Margate. The River Caves was the oldest attraction at Pleasureland. Find out more about its history here. The full history of Pleasureland can be found in the book Pleasureland Memories.

The disused River Caves in 2007. Photo: Amusement Park Photographic Library

Extra Alton Towers discounts
18 April 2009

If you plan to visit Alton Towers between 20 April and 22 May 2009, we have found extra discounts at You can get adult entry during this period for only 22, instead of the usual 36. Visit our Discount Theme Park Tickets page to view this and other discounts.

If you are aware of any other discounts or vouchers for cheap theme park tickets, please contact us so that we can put it on the Discount Theme Park Tickets page and let everybody know.

Photo: Amusement Park Photographic Library

Alton Towers tops UK gated theme parks in 2008
17 April 2009

Themed Entertainment Association has published its visitor statistics for international theme parks with gated (paid for) entry in 2008. Topping the list for the UK is Alton Towers, up 5% to 2.5m visitors. Second is Legoland Windsor (up 10% to 1.8m) followed by Thorpe Park (flat at 1.7m), giving Merlin Entertainments the top three theme parks in the UK. Based on 2008 visits, Merlin is now the second largest operator in the world, with 35.2m visits, behind Walt Disney Attractions, with an astonishing 118m visits. Parques Reunidos (owners of several UK attractions, including Blackpool Zoo) are fifth with 24.9m visits. Discount Alton Towers tickets...

Funland for sale
16 April 2009

The huge Funland amusement centre on Blackpool's Golden Mile is being advertised for sale. The 30,000 sq ft family entertainment centre, spread across two floors, is located adjacent to the Doctor Who Exhibition and has been a prominent feature on the Golden Mile for many years. It has recently had a new facade, replacing the much-photographed Vegas-style frontage that had been in place since the 1970s. The asking price for the premises, one of the largest in the UK, is 3m and it comes complete with planning permission for use as an indoor market.

Photo: Amusement Park Photographic Library

Rare amusement park books added to secondhand shop
9 April 2009

We have just added a large number of rare amusement park books to our Secondhand Shop. For roller coaster enthusiasts, we have a very rare copy of Robert Preedy's Roller Coasters: their Amazing History and David Bennett's definitive Roller Coaster. We have added an extremely rare and very detailed 1987 book called The Alton Towers Experience about the Staffordshire theme park, providing a detailed look at the Alton Towers of the late 1980s, with ride specifications, a tour of the different lands within the park and behind the scenes information. Click here to go to our secondhand amusement park books; look for the books marked NEW.

Showmen's engines at war
5 April 2009

Sad but true. At the declaration of war in 1939, some showmen's engines were standing idle in the showmen's yards, with only about 80 still in service on the fairgrounds. Scrap dealers were eagerly targeting showmen, so the end for many engines was to be cut, then melted down to provide recycled metals for the War effort. When the 'Phoney War' ended in 1940 and the real hostilities began, the showmen's engines were suddenly in the spotlight as Government requests went out for them to help with war work. Showmen's Engines at War by Kay Townsend records those families who parted with their engines to aid the work of 'National Importance' and help Britain in its hour of need. From giving pleasure for pennies on the fairground, they went on to help preserve something that is priceless: our freedom. More...

More tales of a fairground showman
4 April 2009

At last the long-awaited sequel to They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There is available. This is part two of the autobiography of the life of fairground showman Keith Nichols.

Keith boasts that the book is "nearly as thick as the Yellow Pages", and he is right. I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts by Keith Nichols is packed with tales of all sorts of people - from the good and the bad, to the downright barmy: "I am a fairground showman – I meet all sorts, and I’ve got plenty of stories to tell, and lots of unique and treasured photos to show you." More...

We have a huge range of fairground books in stock, probably the biggest selection in the world. Almost all of our titles are held continuously in stock in our warehouse just outside Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. More titles...

Clacton Pier sold
3 April 2009

Clacton Pier has been acquired by a newly created company called the Clacton Pier Company after the Harrison family, which has operated the pier for 15 years, decided to put it up for sale. The new owners have publicly stated that they intend to continue to invest in and develop the Pier.

The recent history of Clacton Pier has been explored over the past few weeks in the Joyland Forums. The thread Clacton Pier During the 70s and 80s looks back at some of the big changes in the range of attractions at the Pier, with several people, including employees, sharing information and potographs. Click here to view the thread.

Above: The Whirlwind roller coaster on Clacton Pier in the 1980s, one of several rare Clacton Pier photographs viewable on the Joyland forums (Photo: Paul Chandler)

New rides approved at Weston-super-Mare
2 April 2009

North Somerset Council has granted planning permission for two major new attractions as part of the redevelopment of Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier, which was partly destroyed by fire last year. Planners have given the green light to a new three-storey pavilion on the seaward end of the pier to incorporate a family entertainment centre with indoor fairground rides, shops, restaurants and a new central shelter along the pier. They have also granted permission for a 299ft high observation tower with moveable viewing deck. In addition to development at Grand Pier, the Council has also give the go-ahead to World Tourist Attractions' proposed 131ft high observation wheel on the beach lawn.

Above: Angus Meek Architects' new pier pavilion at Weston-super-Mare.

Gulliver's Theme Parks invest 7m
1 April 2009

Gulliver's Theme Parks has announced a 7m investment in new rides and attractions at its Warrington theme park. The investment, the funding for which is all internally generated, will create a 'Splashzone' water play area for youngsters which will stay open all year round and will be separate from the Gulliver's World Theme Park. Gully Town, a mini-town for children has been developed within the current theme park, and a 90-bed hotel is planned immediately adjacent. Construction of the 3.2m hotel is expected to start later this year with completion in 2010. A new Dinosaur and Farm Park and a Gully Town will be based at Gulliver’s Land, in Milton Keynes, and Gulliver’s Kingdom, in Matlock Bath, will get a dinosaur discovery attraction, the Lost Kingdom.

Above: The Wild Mine ride at Gulliver's World at Warrington. The theme park is investing in new attractions as part of a Group-wide expansion, which includes its other parks at Milton Keynes and Matlock Bath.

Camelot Theme Park acquired by the Story Group
31 March 2009

Camelot Theme Park was sold yesterday by the receivers, Grant Thornton, to the Cumbria-based Story Group, owner of Story Homes and Story Construction. Story has reached agreement to lease the park back to former Prime Resorts Chief Executive Roy Page, who will operate under the new banner of Knights Leisure. Story Group will continue discussions with Chorley Borough Council on the long-term future of the site, which is likely to involve a mixed-use redevelopment. The park is expected to reopen on 23 May 2009.

Camelot Theme Park: Under new ownership

Paultons Park opens UK first-of-its-kind ride
31 March 2009

Paultons Park has opened its brand new ride, EDGE. The UK's first Zamperla Mega Disk’O Coaster reaches speeds of up to 43 miles per hour as the huge rotating disc travels on a along a 92-metre track with a ‘camelback’ hill. Costing over 1 million to construct it holds 40 riders. Also new this year, and especially for smaller kids, is Water Kingdom, a fantastic 8,500ft2 splash park including water jets, giant tipping buckets, sprays, fountains, and super soakers. Click on the image to the right for a high resolution picture of EDGE.

Discount Adventure Island tickets available
30 March 2009 has introduced discount tickets to Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea. Located on both side of Southend's famous pier, Adventure Island is an outstanding tourist attraction. There are four roller coasters, including Rage: the biggest rollercoaster to be built in the UK in 2007, with its 23 metre more-than-vertical lift, drop and loop. Similar to Saw at Thorpe Park, but with smaller queues! They have also opened a chilling new dark ride called 'Over the Hill'. You will find links to these tickets, and many more besides, on our Discount Theme Park Tickets page. Or to go straight to the discounted Adventure Island tickets, click the logo to the right.

Above: Discount tickets to Adventure Island available

The Old New Brighton
28 March 2009

Amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye presents a series of photographs and information about the various amusement parks at New Brighton. From the Boating Lake to the Palace indoor amusement park to the famous Tower Pleasure Grounds.

The Old New Brighton is a photo gallery of wonderfully evocative images of the long-lost Tower amusement park through the years. Griff: Memories of a New Brighton Ride Op is a brand new interview with a ride operator who worked in the Boating Lake outdoor fairground and the Palace indoor funfair, a story that ends in disaster.

Camelot to reopen?
27 March 2009

The Camelot Theme Park website is currently stating that the park will now reopen for the 2009 season. The website states: "We are now pleased to announce that we will re-open on Saturday 23rd May. Further details on opening times will be posted shortly."

The future of the park became uncertain when its owner, Prime Resorts Ltd, went into receivership in February with the loss of most jobs. The receivers,

Grant Thornton have been marketing the theme park site over the past few months. The new owner will be announced shortly. The adjoining Park Hall Hotel, which was also owned by Prime Resorts, was sold last week to independent hotel operator Lavender Hotels and will operate separately from the theme park.

The history of Camelot is told in the book From a Saint to a King, available now.

First look at new 12m Margate theme park
14 March 2009

In the build-up to Sunday's unveiling of the Dreamland Trust's plans for a heritage amusement park at Dreamland, the Save Dreamland Campaign website has an exclusive first look at one of the artist's impressions of the park, giving a tantalising glimpse at what the 12m theme park could look like when it opens in 2012. The drawing on the right is by Paris-based theme park designer Jean-Marc Toussaint and shows the rebuilt River Caves and Water Chute. The plans are being developed by the Dreamland Trust with the Council and Dreamland's owner, MTCRC. See several more drawings of the park, the new masterplan and much more at an unveiling event on Sunday 15 March. 7.30pm, West Coast Bar, King Street, Margate. Admission free.

Fairgrounds on Film now out on DVD
14 March 2009

Now out on DVD for the first time, this archive film presentation gives fairground enthusiasts and fans alike the opportunity to look back at fairground life between the years 1915 and 1970. Fairground rides and attractions shown include steam driven rides such as the Gondola, Whale Switchback, and Harry Lee’s famous Steam Yachts. The Moonrocket, Chairoplanes, Cakewalk, Chaser, Ferris Wheels, Skid, juvenile rides and freak shows are also featured with many more too numerous to mention here. Fairground build-up is shown in 1935 and the late 40’s, along with some stunning colour film of VE Day celebrations. Fairgrounds on Film was shot in several towns and cities by local film makers and this video presentation shows the material much as it was shot - silent and with no attempt to re-edit it. More...

Alton Towers coaster gets go-ahead
12 March 2009

Staffordshire Moorlands Council has voted unanimously to grant planning permission for Alton Towers' new roller coaster, codenamed 'SW6'. The 12m ride could open next year in the park's 'Ugland' area, replacing the Corkscrew, which has been scrapped. The ride will have a height of 66 feet, which is slightly smaller than the Corkscrew, but it will cover a larger footprint, including running through a nearby woodland area. Part of the ride will also be taken in reverse. Councillors supported the new ride on the basis of the park's importance to the local economy, as one of the area's biggest employers.

Silver sands and golden memories
7 March 2009

Silver Sands and Golden Memories: The History of Silver Beach Amusement Park in St. Joseph, Michigan is a definitive publication of information derived from interviews, public records, and newspaper articles with over 300 rare and exceptional pictures. Anyone who witnessed the mystical magic of Silver Beach will recall memories that take them back to a simpler more innocent time of their life. For those who did not have the opportunity to experience the joy and excitement of the amusement park, this new book by Daryl T Schlender is the next best thing to having been there. More...

This is the latest of several releases setting out the history of the world's great amusement parks. Click here for our full list of amusement park books.

Dreamland amusement park plans to be unveiled
7 March 2009

More information has been released on a special public event in Margate on Sunday 15 March. The Save Dreamland Campaign will be formally unveiling its plans for the world's first Heritage Amusement Park at a special public event at the West Coast Bar, King Street, Margate. The layout plans and images have been assembled over the past few months by a team led by The Dreamland Trust/Save Dreamland Campaign, site owners the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and the Margate Renewal Partnership. Sunday will be the first time these plans have been seen in public. In addition to unveiling the plans, the Campaign will be presenting old footage of Dreamland and the Scenic Railway through the years, and there will be a chance to meet the Dreamland team. The Dreamland of tomorrow will echo the thrilling theme parks of the past, and this is your chance to climb on board, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride! More...

Sunny Vale book back in stock!
7 March 2009

Out of print for many months and much in demand, we are pleased to announce that Chris Helme's book on well-remembered Yorkshire amusement park Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens is back in stock and we are dispatching orders now.

Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens, near Brighouse, was the Belle Vue or Alton Towers of West Yorkshire. It opened as a garden in 1880 but with the inclusion of amusements in 1883 it became a hugely popular venue. With boating lakes, train and fairground rides, fireworks, a helter-skelter and, of course, beautiful gardens, in its heyday it attracted over 100,000 visitors a year. The author, an expert on Sunny Vale, has collected images and memories of the attraction over many years. More...

The lost rides of Blackpool
1 March 2009

Amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye has dug deep into the archives for March and presents a fascinating look at the lost rides of Blackpool. Look back misty-eyed at rides that have long disappeared from the Pleasure Beach - many of them you probably never even knew existed! Read on...

And don't miss our other recently-added Pleasure Beach articles and photo galleries, including Isabel's Bit and Bits of the Beach.

Dreamland public event announced
1 March 2009

The Dreamland Trust has announced a public event to be held in Margate on Sunday 15 March. Called 'I Dream of Dreamland', the event will look at the past and future of Dreamland. Nick Laister, Sarah Vickery and Susan Marsh of the Trust/Save Dreamland Campaign will be in attendance to explain their vision of a Heritage Amusement Park at Dreamland, which is currently being brought forward by the Trust along with the local council and landowner. Full details of the event are not yet available, but is understood that it will involve films of Dreamland, music and a presentation of the proposals for what is being called "a thrilling theme park from the past". There will be an opportunity to ask the Heritage Amusement Park team questions. More here...


In other Dreamland news, the Dreamland Trust has announced that the extensive animal cages, which were discovered at Dreamland in 2008, have been listed Grade II. These are the only surviving relics of Lord George Sanger's menagerie, which predated the Dreamland Amusement Park. Click here for more Dreamland news.

A historical roller coaster ride through theme park history
21 February 2009

Scott A Lukas's compelling new book - Theme Park - takes us on a historical roller-coaster ride through the history of theme parks. Taking the primitive amusements of pleasure gardens as its starting point, it launches from there into a rich, in-depth investigation of the evolution of the theme park over the twentieth century. Lukas examines theme parks in countries around the world - including the United States, UK, Europe, Japan, China, South Africa and Australia - and how themed fairs and parks developed through diverse means and in a variety of settings. The book examines world-famous and lesser-known parks, including the early parks of Coney Island, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Madrid's Movieworld, Six Flags parks and virtual theme parks today, and, of course, the unparalleled achievements of Disneyland and Disney World. To buy it at 1.00 off the recommended retail price, click here.

16.95  15.95  

The English pleasure garden remembered
21 February 2009

Before the arrival of amusement parks, people spent their days out at popular pleasure gardens. Pleasure Gardens were central to English social life for 200 years. Vauxhall, Ranelagh and others showcased music by the newest talents and offered intimate access to art long before public galleries were established. Their elegant, verdant walks were the perfect place to take a stroll, providing a catwalk for the finest fashions and an opportunity to spot the celebrities of the day. But by the height of the Victorian era this fairyland of tinkling fountains and glittering coloured light had gone into decline, becoming little more than a den for thieves and prostitutes. The English Pleasure Garden 1660-1860 by Sarah Jane Downing will transport you back to the most glorious days of the Pleasure Gardens of Britain. More...

Amusement park goes into administration
21 February 2009

Ffrith Beach Fun Park is the latest victim of the current recession in the United Kingdom. Only a matter of weeks after Camelot Theme Park went into receivership, the relatively recently opened North Wales amusement park was placed in administration by its owners, Ffrith Beach Leisure Ltd. The tourist attraction opened in 2007 and the amusement park was operated by Harold Robinson, who transferred many of the rides from his Ocean Beach Fun Fair in Rhyl when it closed for redevelopment in 2007. Ffrith Beach also has a bowling centre and play areas and is still being operated as a going concern in the hope that a buyer can be found.

"Astounding" circus book released
21 February 2009

It is not every time that a book is described as "astounding". When you add to that the words "unique" and "fascinating", you have a very special book.

Stewart Waghorn - Circus Illustrations is devoted to the precise and detailed circus pictures drawn and painted by Stewart Waghorn, a member of the Circus Friends Association for over 50 years and an Associate of the Royal College of Art. Stewart's portfolio now contains over 100 pictures of acts, big tops, transport, propos and equipment.

Click here for more details or here for our full list of circus books.

The creation of a roller coaster
20 February 2009

The Business of Fun is the first in a series of television programs that looks inside some of the most exciting and interesting industries. Created and produced by Atlanta-based Forrester Media, Inc, this high-definition program is sure to entertain and enlighten. The Business of Fun looks at how a new roller coaster is created – from concept, through purchase, construction and grand opening. The Business of Fun takes the viewer on a rare, inside look at the theme park industry and how the Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee researched, designed and built their new $17.5 million “Mystery Mine” roller coaster. The DVD is written in an informative and entertaining format, shot entirely in digital high definition video and edited on our state-of-the-art system. More...

Beach huts and bathing machines
20 February 2009

Kathryn Ferry paints a picture postcard view of the classic British seaside holiday through the history of beach huts and bathing machines, revealing how changing fashions in society shaped their design and development. Beach Huts and Bathing Machines celebrates their fascinating (yes, really!) history.

We now stock many books on the institution that is the British seaside resort, including the following recent releases:

Alton Towers coaster application deferred
13 February 2009

A planning application for a new 12 million roller coaster to replace the Corkscrew at Alton Towers has been deferred following a hearing at Staffordshire Moorlands Council's planning committee. Officers recommended approval despite objections from residents and Alton and Farley parish councils. Councillors voted to defer the application to allow them to consider the objections further before making a final decision. It is understood that the application will be brought back to the same committee next month for a decision.

Half term theme park discounts
7 February 2009

With school half term holidays just around the corner, Joyland Books has started looking for discounts tickets to theme parks. We have found some great offers at Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland and others. Visit our Discount Theme Park Tickets page, and check back regularly as offers are updated as we find them.

Above: is one website that is offering discount theme park tickets. Visit our Discount Theme Park Tickets page for all the latest offers.

Camelot Theme Park closes
3 February 2009

Lancashire's Camelot Theme Park has been placed in receivership and looks unlikely to reopen, with the immediate loss of 29 jobs. The park has been open about its troubles, with Chief Executive Roy Page and theme park planning consultant Nick Laister announcing plans for the phased closure of the site in 2006, although it was hoped that the park could reopen for the 2009 season. The hotel will continue to operate in the hope that it can be sold as a going concern and work on a masterplan for the site's redevelopment will continue.

Camelot Theme Park: the latest victim of the economic downturn

From a Saint to a King: The History of Camelot theme Park and Park Hall Hotel

Isabel's Bit: The rides at Pleasure Beach Blackpool
31 January 2009

Last month the amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye brought you BITSoftheBEACH, a time capsule of Pleasure Beach Blackpool and an offbeat photo gallery showing views of the park that you may not have seen before.

We follow that up with another perspective on this great British amusement park, with Isabel's Bit: the Blackpool rides through the eyes of a child. Words and pictures are from themagiceye supremo Gary Radice's (then) eight-year-old daughter Isabel. Read On...

Flamingo Land announces new coaster
30 January 2009

Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire has revealed its new rollercoaster for the 2009 season. 'Mumbo Jumbo' (pictured, right) is billed as featuring the most extreme drop in history, plunging thrill seekers 112 from a high point of 30 metres, generating in excess of 4Gs on its passengers. Owner Gordon Gibb said: "It is exciting for a relatively small family business like Flamingo Land to be punching well above its weight. The manufacturer (S&S) are legendary within the industry and Mumbo Jumbo looks set to become a National icon, we are all very excited!". Mumbo Jumbo will be Flamingo Land's eighth rollercoaster.

Leisure Park wins top award
18 January 2009

Old MacDonald's Farm Leisure Park in Brentwood has won the 'Excellence in Sustainable Tourism' award from East of England Tourism. The award was presented to owner Joseph Manning at a black tie dinner towards the end of last year. The 'Enjoy England' awards are recognised as the premier awards for the tourism industry. Old MacDonald's Farm is rapidly growing into the premier tourist attraction of this part of Essex following its acquisition by the Manning family four years ago.

Economic downturn hits parks
14 January 2009

On a day when business minister Baroness Vadera claimed she could see "a few green shoots" of recovery in the economic crisis, the current spate of job losses has finally hit the amusement park industry with the announcement that jobs are to go at Pleasure Beach Blackpool. A Pleasure Beach spokesperson told the Blackpool Gazette today: "In the present economic climate, it is essential the business operates in the most efficient way to meet the needs of our customers. Sadly there may be some job losses, but the consultation process will hopefully identify opportunities for some staff to transfer to other positions within the business."

In related news, analysts GIA forecast global growth in the theme park industry moderating until 2010 in line with the global downturn.

Lose yourself in maze book
10 January 2009

New to Joyland is a book that traces the history of mazes and provides a pictorial guide to mazes of all types in Britain. Mazes and Labyrinths is written by Adrian Fisher, who is internationally recognised as the world's leading maze designer and has created more than four hundred mazes worldwide. This book features hedge mazes, maize mazes, mirror mazes, panel mazes, path and grass mazes, pavement mazes, water mazes, mosaic mazes and other innovative types of maze.

Our Seaside Books Department now features a book by Lynn F Pearson on the history of Lighthouses. This book tells the story of their construction, looks at the lives of their keepers and considers how automation has changed the modern lighthouse.

Fun Fairs On The Move
2 January 2009

Volume 16 of Fun Fairs on the Move is out now. The DVD includes the pull-on at Warwick, Spalding, Boston, Corby, Cambridge and Peterborough. Previous volumes are still available:

Vol 1: Knutsford, Wakefield, Hertford
Vol 2: Knutsford, Spalding
Vol 3: Nottingham
Vol 4: Wakefield, Spalding, Boston, Corby
Vol 5: St Albans, Paignton
Vol 6: Barntaple, Banbury, Rushden
Vol 7: Stamford, Wakefield, Spalding
Vol 8: Knutsford, Cambridge
Vol 9: Wellingborough, Peebles, Newcastle, Galashiels
Vol 10: Aldershot, Wakefield, Northallerton
Vol 11: Nottingham
Vol 12: Cambridge, Scarborough, Stamford, Ripley, Leeds
Vol 13: Wanstead Flats, Falkirk, Kirkcaldy, Beaconsfield, Rothwell
Vol 14: Abingdon, Banbury, Rothwell, Cambridge
Vol 15: Northampton, Nottingham


Happy New Year from Joyland Books
1 January 2009

A Happy New Year from all at Joyland Books. There were many great reasons to visit us in 2008. Top new releases included the new amusement park DVD You Must Be This Tall; a photo album of John Carter's Steam Fair, Photographs of a Season; the history of Manchester's famous amusement park, Pocket Belle Vue; and vintage footage of Blackpool's Pleasure Beach in Fun on the Sands. As the year progressed, other new releases included Amusement Parks of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware; Fall of the Big Top; The Legend of Salt and Sauce; Circus Transport Photographs Volume 3; Playland; Scammell: The Load Movers from Watford; Anderton & Rowland's: Illusion & Reality; Thomas Walker: Builder of Steam Roundabouts and The Ken Fox Wall of Death.


Joyland also launched several new departments in its ever-expanding Secondhand Shop, including a massive selection of rare and out of print circus books. We also launched a new section of the website which searches the net for the best theme park discounts and offers.
In 2008, Joyland was not only a place to buy amusement park books and DVDs. We also continued to rebuild the web's best amusement park nostalgia website, themagiceye. Top features in 2008 included Bobs: George Drew Remembers, which looked back at the iconic Belle Vue roller coaster; End of the Reel, which told the story of the fondly-remembered Virginia Reel at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; and Happiland: memories of the Southport children's fun park. We also brought back BITSoftheBEACH, a tribute to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, including a special, offbeat photo gallery. And over on the Pennies by the Sea website, we launched a brand new feature on the history of Bridlington's Walkers Tussauds Waxworks.
BITSoftheBEACH Gallery

In the wider amusement park world, visitor numbers were generally down in 2008, but the spate of park closures of previous year seemed to slow, with the only casualty being Metroland in Gateshead. Oakwood Theme Park in Wales was sold to Spanish tourist attractions operator Aspro Group and Wonderland Pleasure Park in Nottinghamshire was sold to the Bendall family, owners and operators of Woodlands Leisure Park in Devon and Twinlakes Park in Leicestershire.

Although the Save Dreamland Campaign celebrated the acquisition of the Whip from Blackpool Pleasure Beach, 2008 was marked by the devastating fire which broke out on the listed Scenic Railway roller coaster, destroying about 20% of the structure.

The workshops, most of the station and, perhaps worst of all, all the original 1920s trains, were also destroyed. The owners have pledged that the ride will be rebuilt. Britain's biggest indoor amusement park over the sea - the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare - was also destroyed by fire.

Our visitor numbers for the period October to December 2008 were down by 22% on the same period last year, due to the fact that Joyland Books was closed in October and November due to our move to new premises, although we were able to keep orders flowing (albeit slower than usual). We thank all of our customers for their patience during this period. We are now fully back in action in our new Cotswolds location and hoping for a record-breaking 2009. Join our mailing list.

Amusement park owner receives MBE
1 January 2009

The Managing Director of Greenwood Forest Park, Stephen Bristow, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list for services to the Tourist Industry in North Wales. Bristow came to prominence in 2004 when the Snowdonia fun park opened the Green Dragon roller coaster, the world's first eco roller coaster. RCDB describes the concept: "Riders climb a hill to get to the loading station while a separate exit station exists at a lower elevation. Then when the cars roll down the hill, they pull empty cars up to the loading station."

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