HOME     ARTICLES     GALLERIES     ABOUT US     FORUM     LINKS     CONTACT     JOYLAND BOOKS

ARTICLES
10 Years of Joyland Books
Article
/Interview: Nick Laister, Gary Radice

In April 2000, a small online bookstore appeared on the world wide web, selling amusement park books. Ten years later that bookstore is the world's biggest specialist supplier of amusement park, roller coaster, fairground, circus and seaside books, DVDs and CDs. This is the full behind-the-scenes story. Read on...

   
ARKive: the Rick Davis Interview
Interview: Gary Radice

At the end  2001 Rick Davis - Chairman of the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts (DAFE) - made a trip to Kennywood to peruse their archives in search of material for future articles. Read on... 

   
Adrian Fisher: The Maze Maker
Interview: Gary Radice

In 2003 themagiceye caught up with Adrian Fisher, the world's leading maze designer. Adrian, who built Blackpool's Chinese Puzzle Maze, kindly gave an interview and spoke about his wonderful creations. Read on... 

   
Battersea Festival Gardens 1951
Article
: Phil Gould

The Second World War may have been over but a few years on and the country was still in the grip of austerity, there was a housing shortage and drabness seemed to surround people who could only buy utility clothes and furnishings. Battersea Fun Fair was born. Read on...

   
The Beast of Barry: The Legendary Scenic Railway at Barry Island
Article: Nick Laister

Nick Laister takes a trip back in time to look at the park's biggest ever attraction: the much missed Scenic Railway. Read on...

   
Bekonscot: The Tim Dunn Interview
Interview
: Gary Radice

The sound of a heavenly choir resonating from a church on a hill. A game of cricket on the village green. A model railway enthusiast's dream and a piece of 1930s rural England where time stands perfectly still. Welcome to Bekonscot in Beaconsfield - home to the world's oldest model village. Read on...

   
Blackpool's Other Amusement Parks
Article
: Phil Gould

When most people think of amusements at Blackpool they immediately think of the Pleasure Beach. Famous throughout the world for the thrills and spills it provides on the Big Dipper, Grand National, Big One and Wild Mouse the park is not the only amusement park to have graced the shores of the Lancastrian resort.  Read on...

   
Bobs: George Drew Remembers
Interview
: Gary Radice

To this day, 35 years after its demolition, Manchester's Belle Vue Bobs remains one of the most highly rated, important and revered roller coasters ever to be built in the UK. The greatest ride themagiceye never rode is brought alive on the next few pages courtesy of George Drew's memories. Read on...

   
Burke's Blackpool: The John Burke Interview
Interview
: Gary Radice

Almost anyone who has trawled the Internet looking for information or photos of Blackpool must have come across the name John Burke at some point.  For years his 'John Burke's Blackpool' website was a landmark site, pages grouped from topic indexes such as the Pleasure Beach or Golden Mile. Now comes the news that he has written a book on Blackpool. Gary Radice caught up with him to talk about it. Read on...

   
Bye Bye Beaver Creek
Article
: Phil Gould

Nickelodeon Land has just opened its gates to welcome the next generation of thrill seekers to Pleasure Beach Blackpool. The £10 million development is a mixture of adult and children’s attractions featuring new and re-themed rides. Here Phil Gould takes a look back at its forerunners and an area of the Pleasure Beach that is often overlooked by historians - the children’s amusement park. Read on...

   
By the Dome it's Known: A potted history of Southend's Amusement Park
Article
: Ken Crowe

The Kursaal at Southend-on-Sea was the largest amusement park in the south throughout much of the twentieth century. Historian KEN CROWE tells us a little about this great place. Read on...

   
Dark Rides of the North West
Article
: Tony O'Keeffe

Liverpool born Tony O'Keeffe writes about the ghost trains, river caves and other dark rides of the north west of England. Some you may know well, others have been long forgotten. Read on...

   
Day of the Knights
Article
: Gary Radice

themagiceye had one of those 'stop in its tracks and reflect on the fact that its daughter is growing up' moments on Tuesday 2nd August 2005. Mr and Mrs magiceye had suggested Gulliver's World to said eight year old daughter on that precise day but she turned around and said: "No...I want to go to Camelot instead." Read on...

   
Day Trip to Battersea Funfair
Article
: Phil Gould

The funfair at the Festival Gardens in Battersea opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain. Aimed at helping to celebrate what was great about Britain it followed the end of the Second World War and was also intended to help take people’s minds off austerity measures still in place.  Read on...

   
The Dome of Memories
Article
: Mick Sharp

In September 2010, North Tyneside Council opened up the legendary Whitley Bay Dome as part of Heritage Open Day weekend. This would give members of the public an opportunity to see inside the building for the first time in ten years.  Read on... 

   
The End of the Reel
Article
: Gary Radice

Who better to share their memories of the Virginia Reel at Blackpool Pleasure Beach than someone who actually worked on the ride during its final years? Ian Beech's 2003 interview and archive photographs here on themagiceye provide a fascinating insight into the last days of this classic coaster! Read on...

   
From Bond to Barry: Creating Uncle Frankenstein's Scream Machine
Article
: John Wardley

Theme park designer John Wardley remembers how a dark ride refurbishment at Barry Island Pleasure Park started his long and successful career. Read on...

   
Going, Going, Gone: The Original Southport Pleasureland
Article
: Gary Radice

You didn't have to be an expert to know something was wrong at Pleasureland Southport. It was just the immediacy of the closure that shocked and saddened many. The park closed on 5th September 2006. themagiceye started scratching its head when a new ride promised on the site of the old zoo materialised into a 'Paintball Kombat Zone' and the Old Helter Skelter was removed. Read on...

   
Graeme Cassidy's Great Yarmouth Chronicles
Article
: Graeme Cassidy

Graeme Cassidy has been fascinated with roller coasters and amusement parks ever since he sampled the delights of Great Yarmouth and, in particular, the Super Snails, Tyrolean Tubs and Roller Coaster attractions. themagiceye invited Graeme to write an article based upon his observations and memories of Great Yarmouth following a trip report he wrote on Eric Gieszle's 'Ultimate Rollercoaster' forum. Read on...

   
Griff: Memories of a New Brighton Ride Op
Article
: Gary Radice

Griff (real name Neal) was born in 1961 and has lived in Wallasey (Wirral, UK) all his life. He has four daughters with ages ranging from 6 to 25 and has three grandchildren. He is a heavy goods driver. From the age of 12 he worked on the outdoor fair situated next to the boating lake in New Brighton, then moved to The Palace indoor fairground. Read on...

   
Hands on at Hollycombe
Article
: Dave Page

It's times like these that make websites like this worth doing. A whole day spent watching the Gallopers at permanent vintage fairground Hollycombe being stripped from steps to centre truck! DAVE PAGE took his camera, everyone else did the work. Read on...

   
Happiland: Memories of a Children's Funfair in Southport
Article
: Gary Radice

When in 2004 themagiceye recalled its childhood memories of daytrips to Peter Pan's Playground - a children's fairground in Southport - Nick Ousey recalled his experiences of working there as a teenager. Nick, who was born in 1960, had spent almost every summer of his childhood at Peter Pan's Playground, later to become Happiland. Almost three years on from the original interview themagiceye presents an updated article. Read on...

   
Horizontal Heaven!
Article: Dave Page

In newspapers, magazines and travel brochures these days it has become trendy to talk about "things to do before your die" like swimming with dolphins, skydiving, walking the Inca trail, climbing Everest, or walking on the moon. DAVE PAGE went in search of an elusive showland adrenalin rush at Pinkneys Green. Read on...

   
In Dreamland
Article
: Gary Radice

themagiceye is proud to present an interview with Nick Laister dating back to 2002, before he set up the Save Dreamland Campaign, and an interview with Sarah Vickery, the local Save Dreamland coordinator dating from March 2003. Together these two short interviews provide a snapshot of the fighting spirit, dedication and total professionalism of these people that has been a hallmark of the campaign since day one. Read on...

   
Inland Parks: Before They Were Famous
Article
: Phil Gould

A day out at the seaside was always something to look forward to when I was a youngster. Sometimes it wasn’t possible for my dad to take a whole day off work. So the delights of Blackpool, Southport and North Wales were just a little too far away for us. But, if the weather was fine, there were plenty of places that we could visit and spend a few hours amusing ourselves. Invariably if I had any say in the matter there would be an amusement park involved.   Read on...

   
Lincolnshire Amusement Parks in the 1970s
Article
: Phil Gould

My childhood holidays were spent either on the North Wales coast or in Blackpool. Both of these places were only a couple of hours drive from home. But when I reached my teenage years my parents set their sights on further afield - Lincolnshire to be precise.  Read on...

   
Once Upon a Time in America
Article
: Gary Radice

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. Read on...

   
One Week at UM
Article
: Gary Radice

In October 2004, themagiceye took a trip to Spain's magnificent PortAventura (or Universal Mediterranea as it was known back then). Halloween would never be the same again. Read on...

   
Pennsylvania's Picnic Groves and Trolley Parks
Article
: Phil Gould

During the past two years I have a made a couple of US road trips through Pennsylvania and New York State. The main reason for the jaunts has been to look at the amusement parks that still survive in this region. While I did stop off at a few of the large corporate theme parks my primary interest lay in finding the old trolley parks and picnic groves that had survived into the 21st century. Read on...

   
Reeltime Memories
Article
: Gary Radice

Rosemary Riehl and Marjolane Ball are the daughters of the Virginia Reel's inventor Henry Elmer Riehl. Both Marjolane and Rosemary contacted me via email having read the original article The End of The Reel in 2006. As a result of the fascinating correspondence that ensued themagiceye at Joyland is proud to present a world exclusive interview with the daughters of HE Riehl that helps lift the lid on the ride and the wonderful people behind it. Read on...

   
Ride Op Camelot: The Will Tilston Interview
Article
: Gary Radice

Whatever the park, wherever the park, it goes without saying that the Ride Operator's job is not an easy one. The following few pages are the result of an interview carried out by themagiceye in December 2006. Thanks to Will Tilston for taking time out and sharing with themagiceye his account of a "Life in the Day of" a Ride Op and for providing great 'behind the scenes' photos. Read on...

   
Rites of Pasaje
Article
: Gary Radice

In 2000, Ed Marzola kindly provided themagiceye with pictures and information regarding the now sadly defunct walk through attraction 'Terror on Church Street' in Orlando, Florida USA and about his role in attempting to bring The Pasaje del Terror concept to Blackpool UK. Enjoy a newly updated version of themagiceye's most popular article. Read on...

   
Speedway: The Paul Grimshaw Interviews
Article
: Gary Radice

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 with Paul from 2002 and 2003 and, in addition, catches up on his progress to date. Thanks to Paul Grimshaw, Stephen Smith and Nick Laister for permission to reproduce the photographs. Read on...

   
Spooks!: The History of Ghost Trains and Other Dark Rides
Article
: Nick Laister

Ghost trains, haunted gold mines and fantasy boat rides have been a mainstay at amusement parks and travelling fairs for as long as any living person can remember. But very little has ever been written about their history and how they have evolved over the years. Read on...

   
Stories from the South Park
Article
: Brian McCormick

Here on themagiceye, Brian McCormick (Pleasure Beach Blackpool's Park Office Administration Manager) shares some of the more light-hearted moments from his time at the UK's most popular seaside amusement park. Brian's endearing stories are complemented by snippets of information from themagiceye's sister site BITSoftheBEACH. Read on...

   
A Tale of a Twist: Barry Island Pleasure Park
Article
: Heather Spierling

Barry Island Pleasure Park ride operator Heather Spierling tells the story of 1975's new arrival at the popular South Wales amusement park - the Twist. At first treated with suspicion, the ride would become her 'baby'. Read on...

   
A Tale of Shipley Glen: The Mike Short Interview
Interview: Gary Radice

The Aerial Glide at Shipley Glen (Yorkshire, UK) was reportedly the oldest surviving static amusement park ride in the UK and the only surviving ride of its type anywhere. This important historical fact had become integral in the campaign to save the ride and the Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds. Read on...

   
Vikingar's Last Stand
Article: Various

Time is up for this classic Blackpool Pleasure Beach side friction coaster. In late 2004 themagiceye invited people to remember this classic side friction coaster and the memories came 'flooding' back. Your memories of Vikingar will be kept alive upon these pages of themagiceye. Read on...

   
Welsh Wonders
Article: Phil Gould

Phil Gould revisits the North Wales of his childhood summer holidays from the '60s and '70s and shares his memories and photographs of some of the North Wales seaside amusement parks that, sadly, are no more. Read on...

   
Welsh Wonders Part Two: More Welsh Wonders
Article: Phil Gould

In this article, the second part of his 'Welsh Travelogue' written especially for themagiceye (click here for the first part), Phil Gould revisits the Welsh summer holidays of his youth. Phil kindly shares his memories and photographs of a bygone time. Read on...

   
The Winds of Change: Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the 1960s
Article: Nick Laister

A trip to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach of the late 1960s. Read on...

   
Worlds Apart in Wales
Article: Dave Page

Barry Island Pleasure Park closed as a permanent amusement park at the end of 2009, but temporary rides still operate on the site. This article from thegalloper.com in 2001 paints a bleak picture of a park in decline. Read on...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THEMAGICEYE  |  Terms and Conditions |  Privacy Policy |  Contact Us