Comments for Ridemad.com Theme parks, rides and tourist attractions. Mon, 01 Feb 2016 07:39:21 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Comment on Ghost Hunting at Alton Towers by Admin /ghost-hunting-at-alton-towers/comment-page-1#comment-96428 Mon, 01 Feb 2016 07:39:21 +0000 /?p=522#comment-96428 No it was nothing like that, it was just an investigation that was conducted over night. We didn’t see any ghosts a few noises that were unexplained during the event though. You should try it, its a good experience.

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Comment on Southport Lakeside Miniature Railway by Admin /southport-lakeside-miniature-railway/comment-page-1#comment-96427 Mon, 01 Feb 2016 07:37:28 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=295#comment-96427 Thank you for sharing your comments sandgrounder, excellent response.

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Comment on Southport Lakeside Miniature Railway by Sandgrounder /southport-lakeside-miniature-railway/comment-page-1#comment-96410 Sat, 30 Jan 2016 17:28:50 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=295#comment-96410 The railway has undoubtedly suffered with the gradual decline of the area and attractions around it but the situation today is very different and arguably it’s the Lakeside Miniature Railway that stands out as a barely operational eyesore.

I’m not going to pretend that Southport is as popular a tourist destination as it was in decades past but unlike a local of seaside towns across England the damage has not been permanent and there has been a fair amount of investment.

There a lot of fond memories around for the railway but it’s been in such a state and limited operation over the last few years that many can only assume that the owners are waiting for someone to buy them out for big money if and when a major development occurs on the Pleasureland site. The local press have repeatedly run stories of financial ruin and other local businessmen have publicly expressed interest in running the railway but the follow-up from the owners, despite it being a rarity to see it open even in the height of the summer holidays, is always that everything is business as usual. At the moment, given the level of redevelopment and investment around it, it’s a missed opportunity with hundreds of thousands of visitors seeing the ghostly presence of the Marine Parade Station from the park, pier and Ocean Plaza and wondering if any trains ever arrive (or depart) from its weed and graffiti infested platforms.

I also feel I need to correct/add opinion to Frank Hope’s comments made in 2010.

First the matter of Pleasureland. Blackpool Pleasure Beach did indeed take exclusive control of ride operations in the late 90s and then all concessions by the early 2000s but I think it’s unfair to put this in a totally negative light. If anything the railway benefited from a continual upsurge in visitors that occurred as millions were invested in the site, not only in major attractions but in a gradual transformation of the facilities from that of a rickety funfair to a modern themepark.

In the years prior to closure Sefton Council had signed a long-term lease with the Pleasure Beach company to expand Pleasureland over the now closed Southport Zoo site (which also closed in the early 2000s) and through part of Princess Park to Ocean Plaza, increasing the total size of Pleasureland by over a third. This was to be part of an investment totalling several million.

Unfortunately, as has happened a few times with major developments in the town, bad luck struck with the death of Geoffrey Thompson the chairman of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. While Southport’s fortunes were on the rise as a day-trip destination Blackpool’s were nosediving and it was no secret that visitors to the Pleasure Beach were in steady decline. Geoffrey saw greater potential in the Southport site as a self-contained themepark compared with the sprawling running costs of the Pleasure Beach, which he was rumoured to be looking for foreign investment to keep afloat. Sadly his death saw a complete reverse in direction by the company who under the leadership of Geoffrey’s daughter took a strategic decision at the end of the 2006 summer season to close Pleasureland. Business as a whole for the Pleasure Beach company was on the wane, albeit largely caused by the albatross of the Blackpool operation, but the Southport site was effectively sacrificed to save the homeland.

No effort was made to try to sell Pleasureland, either to another investor or back to the council, for the very simple reason of not wanting a ready-made competitor in close proximity. The closure itself was therefore tantamount to scuttling the ship with a scorched earth policy of damage intentionally and permanently waged against the site in the following weeks by the Pleasure Beach company before Sefton Council could act, legally or otherwise. It wasn’t just the fixed rides such as The Cyclone that had axes taken to them. Cranes were put through the roofs of any buildings. Toilets were smashed. Anything of worth was ripped unceremoniously away. Even the electrical substations were destroyed to prevent proper power to the site. Eventually Sefton Council won a settlement following a multi-million-pound claim against Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the damage they waged.

Following this Sefton Council did put the site up for development but alas this was just as the financial crisis of 2008 was kicking in and so unsurprisingly the site has remained as it is after the proposed tenant, some unspecified eco-attraction, never got off the drawing board.

The current ‘New’ Pleasureland is a shadow of what it once in terms of rides but the Norman Wallis, the operator, has made great efforts to tidy what started as a derelict husk with travelling rides to something that is closer to the original funfair. It’s nowhere near as busy as Pleasureland used to be but it’s still bringing in the punters during the holidays. The King’s Gardens and Marine Lake area has recently been subject to a £5m restoration project that restored some of the former Victorian glory. Southport’s Swimming Baths saw a multi-million-pound investment to became Splashworld.

The Marine Parade Station side was surrounded by dereliction and decay for most of the 90s. Peter Pan’s Playground closed in the early 90s (irrespective of Wikipedia claiming it was the late 80s!) and hadn’t seen so much as a lick of paint let alone new attractions in decades. Southport Pier was literally falling apart and was in a very sorry state until finally being closed for renovation at the turn of the millennium. The nearby Marine Bridge had been condemned for years but was left to rot as an eyesore. The former public Outdoor Swimming Baths, Model Boating Lake, Aquarium and a few Cafes had long closed or in little more than vandalised ruin.

Now the station is within the Ocean Plaza entertainment, hotel and shopping complex which is highly popular throughout the year. Southport Pier was completely refurbished and again carries reasonable foot traffic throughout the year. The old Marine Bridge has been replaced and there have been major developments to the nearby Southport Theatre including the addition of a Ramada Plaza. We have a sea wall that prevents the frequent flooding that used to occur!

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Comment on Inside Alton Towers Black Hole Tent by steve /inside-alton-towers-black-hole-tent/comment-page-2#comment-96363 Sat, 23 Jan 2016 10:31:29 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=130#comment-96363 The black hole closed due to health and safety getting tighter as rides have to places to get off in fires etc and it would cost too much and was too small inside for all the stairs and platforms needed to make it safe so they had to close it for good.but it was a brill ride in its day rip black hole

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Comment on End of an era for Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Fun Fair by Jim Nuttall /end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair/comment-page-2#comment-95533 Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:16:42 +0000 http://ridemad.com/end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair#comment-95533 Good evening, I am looking for a photo of Marine lake pleasure beach Rhyll in the 1950’s can you help? Many of the Churches and Chapel from my area to the west of Wrexham used to visit the sea side on annual trips and I want to find a photo to go with the short article I am writing. Best regards Jim The Chairman

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Comment on Behind the scenes – Hex at Alton Towers by Andrew Mitchell /behind-the-scenes-hex-at-alton-towers/comment-page-1#comment-92177 Tue, 05 May 2015 12:12:27 +0000 http://ridemad.com/behind-the-scenes-hex-at-alton-towers#comment-92177 This was my first ride at Alton Towers in 25 years since visiting as a teenager.

Rode it twice, with very different experiences:

First time round, it was full to capacity, I was sat in the rear row near the middle and only had a clear view ahead – found it totally convincing that the seats were swinging to at least 90°, only at the final 360° rotation did I suspect that it was not all it seemed.

The second time round at the end of the day, it was nearly empty, could see the whole chamber and was in the front row. Together with the knowledge that the room itself was moving as well as the seats, there just wasn’t the same sensation at all. Nevertheless, what does still surprise me is that the seats only swing +/- 15° yet achieves a much greater sense of movement.

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Comment on Blackpool’s log Flume the final days by Kieran Fennelly /blackpools-log-flume-the-final-days/comment-page-1#comment-91742 Thu, 09 Apr 2015 19:23:29 +0000 http://ridemad.com/blackpools-log-flume-the-final-days#comment-91742 I agree with the previous posts, I remember my dad taking me on this in the 70’s and I loved it. It was nice to float along waiting to get soaked, they’ve replaced it with another white knuckle ride which wasn’t needed and lost the charm and history in the process.

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Comment on Blackpool’s log Flume the final days by Mark /blackpools-log-flume-the-final-days/comment-page-1#comment-91348 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:17:58 +0000 http://ridemad.com/blackpools-log-flume-the-final-days#comment-91348 This was one hell of a ride and there were always cues for it.
We went on it every time we visited Blackpool.
I was lucky enough to win one of these Log Flu,me Cars off Ebay last week for £252.
I am so proud to own a bit of Blackpool Pleasure Beach history.
PS I will never sell it ether as it is great.

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Comment on End of an era for Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Fun Fair by Andy /end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair/comment-page-2#comment-91110 Sun, 15 Feb 2015 17:24:11 +0000 http://ridemad.com/end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair#comment-91110 Hi there and thanks to everyone who has posted on here, I live in Chester , started holidaying in golden sands caravan park with my mate johnny snell and my grandparents ,my grandad used to drive us and there was no a55 them days we used to go thru connahs quay and bagillt etc, we used to walk up to town in the day ,he would put a bet on and maybe buy us fish and chips we would sit outside the pub either the wendover or the seagull, we would walk into Rhyl with my aunties and uncles, when we were a bit older we used to go with a few mates start the night off at the fairground ,into the Dixieland fun pub ,and end up in either the bierkeller or the orange peel disco, what times , I ended up working with a great lad called Steve jones (tiger) he was a manager at the Dixieland ( fun pub) he lived in Rhyl used to drink in pub at the back of the fairground called the Sun, his mate Earl used to work on the markets along the front, best times of our lives,

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Comment on Behind the scenes – Hex at Alton Towers by Jessica /behind-the-scenes-hex-at-alton-towers/comment-page-1#comment-89022 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:11:45 +0000 http://ridemad.com/behind-the-scenes-hex-at-alton-towers#comment-89022 Fab ride I do it every time
I go to the towers xx

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Comment on Oakwood sold to the Aspro Group by Claire /oakwood-sold-to-the-aspro-group/comment-page-1#comment-88753 Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:26:36 +0000 http://ridemad.com/oakwood-sold-to-the-aspro-group#comment-88753 Oakwood was dreadful on my visit. Food was awful, staff were rude and there were no main rides in operation. Having made a complaint, the manager has failed to take it seriously. Does anyone know who I can contact to take this further?

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Comment on End of an era for Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Fun Fair by Nikki /end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair/comment-page-2#comment-88490 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:06:42 +0000 http://ridemad.com/end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair#comment-88490 Glad it’s gone… It was a pile if shit and looks better now than it ever did…
The whole of north wales is a pile of shit…

Do us a favour and knock down the entire town not just the fair.

If you don’t like the comment..I couldn’t give a shit

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Comment on End of an era for Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Fun Fair by Helen waters /end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair/comment-page-2#comment-88444 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:50:39 +0000 http://ridemad.com/end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair#comment-88444 Rhyl is not rhyl anymore without the fantastic ocean beach funfair what are they thinking of!they have taken the heart life and soul out of rhyl.This was the most famous tourist attraction of the whole area and the most loved place to go in rhyl,WHO wants to go to ASDA ?

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Comment on End of an era for Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Fun Fair by clare /end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair/comment-page-2#comment-88433 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:28:58 +0000 http://ridemad.com/end-of-an-era-for-rhyls-ocean-beach-fun-fair#comment-88433 Rhyl fun fair was a great part of my childhood. Living in Wales there wasn’t a lot to do in the early 90s so spending the day at the fair, the sun centre was fantastic, but now all that’s left of a great memory is a grey dull car park. What happened to the AMAZING plans to build hotels etc on? Now the Sun centre is closed…In my opinion they would have been better to spend money on refurbishing the fair, bringing tourism back, creating more jobs thus improving the economy of Rhyl, But no another Town that’s gone down the pan. Rhyl will never be the bustling seaside down it oust to be. Such a shame :(

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Comment on The American Adventure Theme Park – Its final year. by Natalie B /the-american-adventure-theme-park-its-final-year/comment-page-1#comment-88294 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:58:53 +0000 http://ridemad.com/the-american-adventure-theme-park-its-final-year#comment-88294 Just showing my little boy photos of me and my brother at American Adventure when we were little, knew it had closed down but didn’t realize to what state it had been left in. So so sad and cannot believe all my childhood memories have been completely ruined watching videos of the wreck and ruin on YouTube how sad!
Thank you for sharing these photos of happier times, just wish they had kept it together and we could all be taking our children there today
Xxx

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Comment on Queue Jumping – The worst enemy of theme parks by stuart /queue-jumping-the-worst-enemy-of-theme-parks/comment-page-1#comment-88211 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:05:00 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=126#comment-88211 This spoils a day out. Thorpe park for 2 days I reckon 30 people walked past in the queue – we got 7 or 8 kicked off collosos when they got to the front of the queue. and on the Saw Ride (the 2.5 hour queue) 2 people were described over the tannoy and told to leave the queue after being seen on CCTV short cutting a fence. why do I bother trying to teach my kids morals and etiquette when these people just push through. The funniest is when a gang of muscles is trying to impress his dim girlfriend by pushing in – surely he can spend some of his money buying her a fast-track instead. maybe they are locals and think they own their park.

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Comment on Southport Pleasureland. The Fun house – Its final laughs. by Penelope /southport-pleasureland-the-fun-house-its-final-laughs/comment-page-1#comment-88206 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 08:41:48 +0000 http://ridemad.com/southport-pleasureland-the-fun-house-its-final-laughs#comment-88206 Makes me so sad seeing this, so nostalgic though. Was talking about the fun house the other day, can remember having great parties when I was a kid, shame on it being shut down, I personally feel that was the best place there, a little slice of history but like everything else in southport it all gets replaced with something new. I hate the new pleasure land:(

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Comment on Gullivers Kingdom, Matlock Bath by Tim /gullivers-kingdom-matlock-bath/comment-page-1#comment-88042 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:47:26 +0000 http://ridemad.com/gullivers-kingdom-matlock-bath#comment-88042 If you have a young child and hate queuing, this is a great park to visit. My 2.7 year old have a fantastic day along with her 10 year old sister. The day was full and we just managed to get round everything in time. Pushing the pram up the hill isn’t a big problem as you don’t have far to go to get to the next level of activity. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Parking is free. We will be visiting again…love it.

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Comment on Early dark ride history in a nutshell by Francis Higgins /early-dark-ride-history-in-a-nutshell/comment-page-1#comment-87829 Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:42:35 +0000 http://ridemad.com/early-dark-ride-history-in-a-nutshell#comment-87829 Re admin comment 14th of oct 2009:- The Blackpool ride is DEFINITELY NOT in the same position as during the 1940’s. We are told it was built in the year 1930 and rebuilt in another location in 1936 by Joseph Emberton. However, I remember it being moved again in the early 1950’s and this time it incorporated a DIP visible in the front facade. Before this all those of my age confirm, as I also remember, it was only a single level ride. I note that historically the Pretzel ride was upgraded to a two level ride in the U.S in 1950 also. The Ghost story is just publicity nonsense, unless ghosts like a change of scenery now and again !

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Comment on American Adventure Theme Park in 1990 by L.I.am /american-adventure-theme-park-in-1990/comment-page-1#comment-87764 Fri, 04 Jul 2014 21:20:45 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=209#comment-87764 I sneaked in this place at the weekend with the Mrs and the dog’s. Was really strange being there, it was massively overgrown with bushes and trees. Nothing remained other than old footings of the buildings. There was a family playing on a quad bike and quite a few people fishing in the lake geared up for the night so there must be some decent fish in there?

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