: Added April 2010
Here are some of the most memorable moments - good and bad - in the 10 years of Joyland Books.
July 2000: Demolition of the Texas Tornado Roller Coaster, Frontierland, Morecambe

Joyland Books news page reported the closure of Frontierland, Morecambe, and the demolition of its 60 year old wooden roller coaster, but not before visiting and photographing the ride operating in its final week:

"Morecambe's Texas Tornado wooden roller coaster has been demolished. This follows the removal of most of the rides from the Frontierland Theme Park, which is owned by Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Previously known as the Cyclone, the ride was opened on Friday 7th April 1939. It was designed and constructed by Charles Paige, Harry G. Traver and Leonard Thompson, and was shipped into Morecambe from Paris, where it had opened two years earlier at the Paris Exhibition. Since 1987, Morecambe Pleasure Park had been known as Frontierland, and it was in this year that the ride was renamed Texas Tornado."

The closure of Frontierland turned out to be the first of numerous amusement park closures in the 10 years since Joyland Books opened its doors. These closures include:

  • Marvel's Amusement Park, Scarborough (2000)
  • Spanish City, Whitley Bay (2000)
  • Dizzyland, Southend-on-Sea (2001)
  • Merlin's Magic Land, St Ives (2001)
  • Lowther Leisure Park, Penrith (2001)
  • Dreamland, Margate (2003)
  • Rotunda Amusement Park, Folkestone (2004)
  • Once Upon a Time, Woolacombe (2004)
  • Shipley Glen Amusement Park, Saltaire (2005)
  • Grove Land Leisure Park, Carmarthenshire (2005)
  • Pleasureland, Southport (2006)
  • The American Adventure Theme Park, Derbyshire (2006)
  • Ocean Beach Fun Fair, Rhyl (2006)
  • Metroland, Gateshead (2007)
  • Killarney Springs Family Park, Cornwall (2007)
  • Pleasure Island, St Annes (2007)
  • Seaburn Fun Park, Sunderland (2007)
  • Ffrith Beach Fun Park, North Wales (2008)
  • Barry Island Pleasure Park, South Wales (2009)

Texas Tornado (1999). Photo: Nick Laister
"Congratulations to Nick and all the team at Joyland on your tenth anniversary and thank you for filling such a valuable niche in the field of coverage of our wonderful fairground history. Long may you continue to do so."

Colin Tyson, Editor, Old Glory Magazine


Pleasureland Southport in June 2007. Photo: Nick Laister

March 2002: Listing of the Scenic Railway at Dreamland Amusement Park, Margate

A report submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport by Joyland Books resulted in a Margate roller coaster becoming a listed building, the first time a UK amusement park ride had been listed. The ride in question is the Scenic Railway roller coaster, which has stood at Dreamland Amusement Park, Margate, since 1920.

The campaign was led by Nick Laister, editor of the Joyland Books website. Nick Laister said at the time: “Well over a hundred wooden roller coasters were built in this country between 1885 and 1960. Only nine of those rides now remain.

"The Scenic Railway at Margate is the oldest operating roller coaster in the United Kingdom, and is nothing short of a remarkable survival. It is the only remaining ride of its type in original condition.”

Joyland Books would launch the Save Dreamland Campaign in January 2003.

Other memorable Dreamland moments:

The Scenic Railway roller coaster station at Dreamland, Margate in 2002, the year it was listed. In 2008, the station and the trains were destroyed in a major fire.

The return of amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye as part of Joyland Books
In October 2007, something very exciting happened at Joyland Books. The world's best loved amusement park history website, Gary Radice's themagiceye, returned, but now as part of Joyland Books. themagiceye started in 2000 as a small website celebrating Pleasure Beach Blackpool and dark rides but eventually it expanded to encompass all aspects of amusement parks past, present and future. 

Website founder, Gary Radice, said: "What had become evident to me was that there were many readers who were willing to share their knowledge and wonderful memories of rides and parks with thousands of others. These rides and parks are equally as important to the world's heritage as they are to peoples' lives, particularly now as I write with parks and rides disappearing at an alarming rate."

The website closed early in 2007, but returned to the web at its new permanent home, with a brand new look in October of the same year. Over the following months, Joyland Books dipped into themagiceye's extensive archives and dusted down long lost articles. And when the archives were exhausted, Joyland has started adding new articles and the pick of other amusement park-related articles that have disappeared from defunct websites, such as thegalloper.com and Joyland Books' own Exhibition Hall.


Nick Laister gives talk on the history of amusement arcades as part of 2006 Bridlington Arts Festival
An evening of amusement arcade memories as part of the Bridlington Arts Festival 2006 saw an unprecedented number of people visiting Bridlington Reference Library.
Nick Laister, author of the book Pennies by the Sea, gave a talk on the history of amusement arcades in the town, and displayed numerous photographs from his collection, many of which appear in the book.
The event was reported in the Bridlington Free Press newspaper:
"An event about the town's amusements at Bridlington Central library certainly brought back memories...Nick Laister, author of Bridlington's Amusement Arcades, entertained his audience with tales of Joyland, Pleasureland, Fun City and many more which have now disappeared. To accompany the talk there was a display of photographs to jog people's memories...The event was held at the central library in King Street as part of the Bridlington Arts Festival and one amusing story was about an arcade proprietor who ordered a dark ride after seeing a ghost train at another resort. When he took the first ride he found it was exactly that, a dark ride - not realising the ghostly effects were an added extra."

A 1960s image of the Promenade entrance of Joyland Amusements, Bridlington. Britain's largest amusement arcade, which also featured an amusement park, was discussed at an event on amusement history at Bridlington Library.

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