Tales from the Towers: The Unofficial Story Behind Alton Towers, Britain's Most Popular Theme Park
by
John Sim
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ISBN Number: 978-1492377160
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 348
Publication Date: October 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

A two hundred-year-old mansion, decaying and largely abandoned. A deep, foreboding valley hosting pretty gardens and dozens of bizarre and unusual structures. A terrifying plunge into Oblivion, and a mysterious alien beast known as Nemesis.

All of these things can be found in one truly unique place: Alton Towers. But how on earth did they get there? The story behind the UK’s most popular theme park is just as thrilling and full of twists and turns as the rollercoasters that attract millions to the park every year.

Prepare to be sucked into a tale of daring invention, personal tragedy, wanton destruction and brilliant creative minds…

Two hundred years ago, a wealthy earl began the transformation of a barren patch of land in rural Staffordshire into the site of a stunning gothic mansion surrounded by eye-wateringly beautiful gardens. Mocked and ridiculed by his peers for his strange tastes and outlandish ideas, he nevertheless succeeded in attracting people from far and wide to come and marvel at his creations.

Less than 50 years later, the house stood desolate and empty. The genius architect who had helped the earl’s successor complete his vision lay dead at 40, having spent many of his final months incarcerated in London’s brutal Bedlam mental asylum. How had the mighty fallen so far, so fast?

It didn’t end there. The earl’s descendants fought bitterly over Alton Towers – and with each other – until finally the near-ruined property was sold into private hands in the 1920s. In Tales from the Towers, you can experience what it was like to visit the estate in its early years as a tourist attraction, when spectacular fetes, fairground rides and exotic animals were all part of the appeal.

Finally, you’ll find out how an eccentric property developer was able to gain control over the Towers and convert them into Britain’s first theme park. You’ll learn about the astounding successes that followed, such as the day that riders queued for nine hours to ride the park’s first major rollercoaster. And your eyes will widen with amazement as you uncover how the owner’s empire came crashing down when he tried to convert one of London's architectural icons into a truly astonishing second theme park.

As well as documenting – for the first time – the full and fascinating history of Alton Towers, Tales from the Towers also explains exactly how the park’s most popular rides – such as Nemesis, Oblivion and The Smiler – were created. It even takes an in-depth look at rides that were designed for the park but never built, enabling you to take a voyage of discovery and imagine what might have been.

Add a new dimension to your Alton Towers experience

  • What happens if I get trapped on the Skyride when it breaks down?
  • Is it true that people have DIED on Alton Towers' rides?
  • What is it like to dress up as a costumed character?
  • How do I become a ride operator?

Whatever questions you may have about Alton Towers, Tales from the Towers has the answers!

Not only that, but the book is peppered with unusual and interesting facts about the park. You can keep your eyes peeled for the many "hidden secrets" that it highlights during your next trip, adding a fun new dimension to your visit.

If you like this, you will love...

Alton Towers: Past & Present by Michael J Fisher
Creating my own Nemesis by John Wardley
Smoke and Mirrors: The Haunted House of Alton Towers by Michael P Eley
Theme Park Insider Guide to Alton Towers 2009 by Rory Sweeney

 

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