This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 January and 30 June 2013.
For the latest news, click here.

Special Offer: Black Country cinemas and theatres
5 June 2013

Now available on Joyland books are two companion books describing every cinema and theatre in the Black Country and South Staffordshire, written by Ned Williams. Both books are large, hardback A4 titles, and Joyland already sells them at 20, instead of the recommended retail price of 25. But if you but both books together, we are offering them at only 35, a saving of 15 off the cover price! More...
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A thrilling photographic ride
28 April 2013

American Coasters by Thomas Crymes is one coaster enthusiast's photographic journey across the USA in search of the next great thrill. From Massachusetts to Florida, from New Jersey to California, this book contains adrenaline-inducing images of more than 100 different roller coasters from 21 different parks in 12 states. And for the adrenaline junky searching for that perfect ride, this thrilling look at American coasters also covers nearly 40 featured coaster profiles complete with all the vitals and a brief commentary. More...

John Wardley autobiography released
22 April 2013

The autobiography of the man who brought the theme park concept to Britain, and created some of the world's most thrilling rides and attractions, has been released. In Creating my own Nemesis: The autobiography of the man who designed Alton Towers big rides, and brought the Theme Park to Britain, John Wardley talks about his early beginnings in the theatre, circus and magical cabaret, his time working on some of the most incredible special effects in the James Bond films (including the famous bus crash scene in Live and Let Die), and how he became associated with Madame Tussauds, the world's most famous wax museum. This led to the development of Chessington World of Adventures, then Alton Towers. The book answers many questions about how enormous theme park rides are conceived and developed, and the fascinating stories behind them, including his most famous ride "NEMESIS" at Alton Towers. More...

New book amusement park book released
14 April 2013

It isn't every day that a brand new book on the subject of amusement parks is released. Jim Hillman's new book, simply called Amusement Parks, captures the sights, smells and continuing vitality of a grand American tradition.

From Jones’s Woods, America’s first amusement resort, to Coney Island during the golden age of the mid-1900s, and well beyond into the twenty-first century, the thrills of the amusement park have been a treasured part of childhood for Americans from coast to coast. Though many of the country’s grand amusement treasures have now vanished, and many other parks are struggling for survival, their memory and legacy are very much alive: there will be a fascination with these American classics as long as the clatter of the old coaster cars and the thumping of the carousel band organ remains. More...

Discount theme park tickets
24 March 2013

As Easter approaches, we have updated our Discount Theme Park Tickets page with some of the best deals we can find. If visitors to the page know of any deals we have missed, please contact us and let us know so that we can share them.

The voice of travelling fair people
18 March 2013

Despite a tide of interest in travelling communities, there hasn't been a mainstream work about showmen for 40 years.

For over 800 years, showpeople  have brought their rides and stalls to towns and villages across the country: travelling fairs are as much part of England's cultural history as steam trains and cricket on the village green. Showmen: The Voice of Travelling Fair People by Sally Festing brings the scene up to date with a book that explores the place in modern Britain of a close-knit 17,000-strong band battling to combine tradition with novelty. In an independent personal exploration that enquires rather than romanticises, these people speak for themselves about their values and pride in their way of life. About the prejudice they encounter from the larger society they both belong to, and are distinct from, struggle with, and humour. More...

The English Seaside
14 March 2013

One of the best books published on the seaside is Peter Williams's colourful 2005 book The English Seaside. Well after years of being out of print English Heritage has produced an updated second edition of the book, and it is out now.

There is a powerful sense of place at the seaside. Certain seaside towns have just about everything: Weymouth, for example, has a grand parade of hotels, a wide esplanade and a small fishing village. Blackpool has more of everything - three piers, miles of hotels, the Tower, Winter Gardens, trams, illuminations, pleasure beach - but no fishing and no castle!

Peter Williams's evocative photographs in this fully revised edition of his acclaimed book will make you want to rediscover what a fantastic place the seaside is - full of character, charm and 'Englishness'. More...


"Colourful": The English Seaside by Peter Williams

John Wardley: From Bond to Barry
24 February 2013

Well known theme park concept designer John Wardley has written an article for themagiceye at Joyland, the website that celebrates all that is great about amusement park history. In From Bond to Barry: Creating Uncle Frankenstein's Scream Machine, John tells of how Barry Island Pleasure Park owner John Collins asked a budding young special effects designer if he would be interested in completely refurbishing an old Supercar double-decker ghost train at the famous Welsh seaside park. John remembers how the creation of a new spin on the dark ride formula started his long and successful career in theme park design. Read on...

Above: Where it all started. John Wardley's Scream Machine dark ride at Barry Island. Photo: Michael Smith

Pennsylvania's Picnic Groves and Trolley Parks
5 February 2013

During the past two years, prolific writer for amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye, Phil Gould, made a couple of US road trips through Pennsylvania and New York State. The main reason for the jaunts was to look at the amusement parks that still survive in this region. While he did stop off at a few of the large corporate theme parks his primary interest lay in finding the old trolley parks and picnic groves that had survived into the 21st century. Phil takes a look at the amazing attractions on offer at the parks in Pennsylvania. Read on...

Quintessential British piers
20 January 2013

In 2007, author and broadcaster Chris Foote Wood achieved a lifelong ambition - to visit every seaside pier in England, Wales and the Isle of Man - all 56 of them! This odyssey, plus copious research, has provided the raw material for his new book, Walking over the Waves.

From the longest pier to the shortest, the oldest to the youngest, the finest to the most mundane, they are listed. "Each pier is different, with its own individual personality," Chris enthuses, "some piers are still much as they were when they were built in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, while others are wholly given over to entertainment and modern amusements. Most are a mixture of the two". More...

Proctors Fairs through two world wars
12 January 2013

A new book has just been published about Proctors Fairs. Written by Albert Proctor, father of current proprietor of Proctors Fun Fairs John Proctor, Proctors Fairs Through Two World Wars tells the story of his life and the fairground through the two World Wars and beyond.

The Proctor family has been providing fun fairs, predominantly in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, for over 100 years. The founder of the business was John Albert Proctor, whose family were circus entertainers. His son was Albert Proctor who, in the 1970s, wrote a book about his life on the fairgrounds through the two world wars and some of the hardships and tragedies that befell the family during this time. This book is his story, as he wrote it. More...

Contrasting old and new Blackpool
5 January 2013

Rising from obscurity just over 150 years ago, Blackpool - Britain's best-known seaside resort - nonetheless has an impressive record of innovation, worlds firsts, development and progress. The first British electric street tramway opened here in 1885, whilst the first electric street lamps were switched on here, starting a tradition of lighting displays that came to be the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations. Opened in 1895, Blackpool Tower was an instant success, whilst the Pleasure Beach has passed its centenary yet is still drawing visitors today.

Blackpool Then & Now by John Burke is a delightful and nostalgic tour, containing a wonderful collection of old Blackpool postcards compared and contrasted with modern day photographs. Click here for more information or here for an exclusive interview with the author.

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