This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 July and 31 December 2005.
For the latest news, click here.

All Change at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool [5/12/05]

Big changes are planned at Britain's most-visited tourist attraction, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The excellent 235 Club website reports that Vikingar, The Whip and Turtle Chase are now in the process of being removed and placed in storage. Spin Doctor is for sale, so may not operate next year. Main Street (in North Park) is being repaved, with a new landscaped garden area in front of Trauma Towers as its centrepiece. New rides for 2006 include a UK-first thrill ride and a family attraction in the Black Hole building. The Rollercoaster and Big Dipper - two of the park's classic 'woodies' - will receive seatbelts. Looking to the future, 2007 will bring significant investment when the Log Flume Lake will be transformed with a water based ‘family thrill’ ride. And Project 2010 is described as "a new dimension in thrill ride technology" which will "change forever" the North section of the park and "break the boundaries" of the park.


And don't forget - the perfect Christmas present for Pleasure Beach enthusiasts is Julia Midgley's book, A Palette of Life. Buy it using the button to the right.

Exclusive Limited Offer: Theme Park Music CD Available Now [1/12/05]

Themed Music is the CD of original theme park music, as heard on famous rides and attractions at Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures. You can hear the fantastic music from Colossus, AIR, Ugland, Professor Burp's Bubbleworks and much more all in high quality sound.

Released in 2002, the CD was deleted in 2003. However, Joyland Books has exclusively secured 20 copies of the disc from the producers as a special Christmas offer. These are available at the original 2002 price and are on a first come, first served basis. They are sure to go quickly. Click here for more details, or click the 'Buy' link to the right.

Themed Music and The Story of Alton Towers - also now available - both make perfect Christmas gifts.


The Story of Alton Towers DVD Out Now! [1/12/05]

After much waiting, we are pleased to announce that the new DVD, The Story of Alton Towers, will be available from Monday 5 December 2005 and you can order your copy now from Joyland Books. This is the first DVD to tell the story of the theme park, and is produced in association with Alton Towers. With full access to the Alton Towers archives, this DVD takes a privileged journey through images dating back to the 1870s - through film dating back to the 1920s and through the eyes of the present - to those who know and love Alton Towers today. Includes archive film of the Brian Collins fairground of the 1950s, BBC archive footage of the construction of the Corkscrew, as well as extensive cine shots of the amusement park as it developed through the years. It also takes a ride on some of the park's most famous rides, and includes fascinating insights from those such as roller coaster guru John Wardley. Click here for more details.


Marvels Redevelopment: Planning Application Submitted [1/12/05]

The redevelopment of the former Marvels Amusement Park at Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has moved a step closer this week, with the submission of a planning application. The amusement park closed in 2000 and has been left derelict since then (see picture on the right - the amusement park site is at the centre of the photograph). The development is to be called 'The Sands', and will include a covered waterpark; a 147-bedroom hotel; a health and fitness club; bars; shops and restaurants; 100 apartments; 38 holiday homes; and new beachside facilities. The Kinderland site is also included in the development.

Banbury Fair 2005 Captured on New Video [1/12/05]

For anyone with a passion for the excitement and atmosphere of the ancient Banbury Michaelmas Fair will want to place an order for this new video and DVD: Banbury Fair 2005. See the rides pulling on, the opening ceremony and the rides in action.

This is the latest in the BCM Video Productions range, which already includes two Banbury Fair videos and DVDs: Banbury Fair 2001 and Banbury Fair 2002.

Click here for our full range of fairground videos and DVDs.

Discuss the wonderful world of the travelling fair on our special Fairground Forum, part of Joyland's lively online Forum. Click here to sign up to the Forum.

Remembering a Seaside of the Past [30/11/05]

Remember seaside holidays long gone in this new book from English Heritage. Heritage Postcards: Seaside Holidays is a high quality booklet containg 24 full-size postcards of British seaside resorts, including Blackpool, Margate and Bridlington. This is a perfect companion to the other recent releases, Seaside Holidays in the Past and The English Seaside. Click here for more details.

Click here for more books on the British seaside.

Alton Towers, Fairground History and Slot Machines in Secondhand Shop [27/11/05]

We have added 11 secondhand books to our Secondhand Shop today. Those interested in the history of Alton Towers will want to buy this 1960s Alton Towers Souvenir Guide, which features the old amusement park, miniature railway, model railway, cable cars and much more. This guide shows that Alton Towers was a major leisure park even in the 1960s. International Fairs tells the history of fairs from the earliest times and Whilst I Live I'll Crow tells the story of the Tuby fairground family. Slot Machines celebrates the classic one-arm bandits.

Other items of interest include Blackpool Pleasure Beach: Through the Camera of Lichfield, Lincoln Park Remembered, the ultra-rare Fairground Snaps and The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion (US Edition). Click here for the Secondhand Shop.

New Range of Seaside DVDs Now in Stock [26/11/05]

We have added a new range of DVDs about some of the most famous south west seaside resorts. Return to Severn Beach tells the history of what was known as 'the Blackpool of the West', complete with its own amusement park. Weston-super-Mare: The History of Somerset's Seaside Gem is the full history of this great resort, including rare footage of its two amusement park piers, the Grand and Birnbeck. Famous Dorset seaside resort, Weymouth, is featured in Weymouth Through the Ages. Finally, Portishead - Past and Present is the fascinating story of this small resort, based on a series of books by local historian Ken Crowhurst.

Click here for our full range of seaside DVDs and videos.

Electric Scenic Railways Remembered in New Book [20/11/05]

Authors Kevin Scrivens and Stephen Smith have released another major work on the history of British fairground. Published by New Era, The Electric Scenic Railway tells the full story of this most magnificent travelling ride, which was a centrepiece of the fairground in the early part of the Twentieth Century. As with other books by these two authors, detail and historical accuracy are paramount, and the book tells the amazing story of each Scenic Railway that has travelled the UK fair circuit. By the time of the Second World War, these rides were old news, and would all but disappear by the middle of the last century. Click here for more information. Other books by the same authors include The Travelling Cinematograph Show, The Circular Steam Switchback and Hull Fair.

'Dreamland Must Remain an Amusement Park' says Government Inspector [19/11/05]

The Save Dreamland Campaign is celebrating an important victory in the fight to retain Margate’s historic amusement park. An independent Government inspector has stated that Dreamland should remain an amusement park and the listed Scenic Railway roller coaster at its centre should be protected.
Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, said: “This is fantastic news, and shows that the position we took against the Council was a robust one. The Inspector has accepted every single one of the points we made at last year’s Public Inquiry and has rejected virtually every point made by the Council and the site’s owner. The Council had maintained that Dreamland was no longer viable and were happy to allow the site to be redeveloped for other uses. The Inspector found the evidence of the Save Dreamland Campaign to be compelling and has asked the Council to change the Local Plan to ensure the protection of the amusement park.”

“I am also delighted that the Inspector asked for the Scenic Railway to be retained. He described the Scenic Railway as an ‘extraordinary building’ and was satisfied that it would be viable, even as a stand-alone attraction. Importantly, however, he stated that the setting of the Scenic Railway must also be conserved. He said that this will prevent the site from being used for anything other than an amusement park. We are absolutely delighted about this verdict.”

Nick Laister, who gave evidence at the Inquiry on behalf of the Campaign, added: “We will be watching the Council very closely now, to ensure that it makes the appropriate modifications to its Local Plan.”

This recommendation is contained in the long-awaited Inspector’s Report on the Thanet Local Plan Public Inquiry. The Inquiry, held in June 2004, heard evidence from the Save Dreamland Campaign, which had objected to the Council’s U-turn on protecting Dreamland.

Until January 2003, Thanet District Council was committed to retaining Dreamland but, following representations made by the site’s owner in early 2003 (after the statutory deadline for representations to the Local Plan had expired), they changed the Local Plan Policy so that it would allow Dreamland to be completely redeveloped. The Save Dreamland Campaign vigorously objected to this U-turn.

For more details on the Inspector's Report (including a link to the Report itself) visit the Save Dreamland Campaign's special Local Plan Page.

For more about the Save Dreamland Campaign, visit

Alton Towers DVD Pre-Orders Suspended [14/11/05]

Joyland Books has temporarily stopped taking pre-orders for The Story of Alton Towers. We have just been informed by the producers of the DVD that there has been a problem with the duplication. This means they will only be able to supply a small amount of copies initially. We should be able to fulfil all orders that have already been placed by credit card; however, as we cannot guarantee supply, we have temporarily suspended pre-orders. Please check back here regularly as we hope to make them available again shortly. Alternatively, sign up to our Mailing List and we will inform you the moment the item is available.

Pre-Order The Story of Alton Towers [12/11/05]

The new DVD, The Story of Alton Towers, is released next week and you can pre-order your copy now from Joyland Books. This is the first DVD to tell the story of the theme park, and is produced in association with Alton Towers. With full access to the Alton Towers archives, this DVD takes a privileged journey through images dating back to the 1870s - through film dating back to the 1920s and through the eyes of the present - to those who know and love Alton Towers today. Includes archive film of the John Collins fairground of the 1950s, BBC archive footage of the construction of the Corkscrew, as well as extensive cine shots of the amusement park as it developed through the years. It also takes a ride on some of the park's most famous rides, and includes fascinating insights from those such as roller coaster guru John Wardley. Click here for more details.

New Fairground-Related Books Added [6/11/05]

Three new books have been added to Joyland Books, each making a perfect Christmas gift. Heading up the list is a beautiful, full-colour hardback book telling the full story of the restoration of a vintage American carousel. Restoring the Glen Echo Park Carousel by Deborah Lange explains how a much-loved but abused ride was restored to become once again the magnificent functional art it was when it arrived at the Glen Echo Amusement Park in 1921. This book is an excellent gift for anyone who loves carousels. We have also added The Fairs of Dundee by Ian McGraw, and Live Like a Lord by Robert Preedy, which is the story of Yorkshire showman James Corrigan and his most famous business venture, the Batley Variety Club. Click here for a full list of our books.

Britain's Biggest Fairs On DVD [6/11/05]

Britain's two biggest travelling fairs have been released on two new DVDs. Hull Fair 2005 takes you on a tour of what is billed as 'Europe's Largest Travelling Fair', showing both the rides in action and the transport pulling off at the end of the fair. Fun Fairs On The Move 2005 Vol 11 is a special edition of this popular series showing the pull on for the massive Nottingham Goose Fair, possibly Britain's best known fair.

Also still available in this series are Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Click here for a full list of our fairground DVDs and videos.

Rare Books Added to Secondhand Shop [6/11/05]

We have added several second-hand books (from the 1960s to the 1990s) to our ever-expanding Secondhand Shop, several of which we have never sold on the website before. Come to the Fair by FC Roope is the story of British Fairgrounds and the showmen who attended them, published by The World's Fair. Discovering English Fairs by Margaret Baker is a pocket guide to charter fairs and their origins, with some fascinating county lists and 1960s fair calendar. The Great Nottingham Goose Fair by Peter Wilkes is the story of this famous event. Hull Fair by Stephen Smith and Kevin Scrivens tells the story of Europe's largest fair. Amongst our other additions is a really special little book, How the Circus Works by Joan Selby-Lowndes, a 1962 trip behind the scenes in this fascinating world.

For these and many more new additions, click here.

Celebrate the Seaside this Christmas [29/10/05]

Celebrate the seaside this Christmas with two brand new books about this fantastic part of our country's heritage and culture. In The English Seaside, Peter Williams's evocative photographs will make you want to rediscover the seaside - full of character, charm and 'Englishness'. From the facades of ice cream parlours to colourful amusement parks - it is all here. In Seaside Holidays in the Past you can travel back in time to see how we used to take our summer holidays before cheap flights and package deals led to the decline of the English seaside resort. This book also features several unusual photographs of amusement parks, including Morecambe, Southport, Blackpool and Great Yarmouth. Click here to see all of our seaside books.

Second Edition of Dreamland Remembered Released [14/10/05]

A fully updated second edition of Dreamland Remembered, the hugely successful book telling the full story of Margate's Dreamland Amusement Park, has been released. Written by local author, Nick Evans, the new edition brings the story up-to-date with recent events at the park, including the story of the Save Dreamland Campaign. Dreamland Remembered contains a nostalgic collection of more than 200 illustrations - many not seen publicly in living memory - charting the park's attractions over the years, from the renowned Scenic Railway to the Big Wheel, along with Beanfeast outings and the birth of the Osuper cinema in the 1930s. Click here for more information on the new Second Edition. Secondhand copies of the increasingly rare First Edition are currently available in very limited numbers from our Secondhand Shop.

Secrets of Fairground Shows Revealed [9/10/05]

Two new books featuring fairground sideshows and specialist entertainment have been added. While the sideshow performers have now all but vanished, they leave a fascinating legacy of romance and mystery. Secrets of the Sideshows, by Joe Nickell, takes you deep inside this lost fairground world and reveals the specific methods and tricks behind the performances, the showmen's tactics for recruiting performers and attracting crowds, and more. Nickell also examines the behind-the-scenes secrets of sideshow life, including details of the remarkable personal lives of those men and women billed as 'freaks'. And in our second new release, The Incomparable Testot, we take a trip into the 1820s music halls and theatres of Britain, which were visited by French magician Felix Testot, with his Magical Illusions and Optical Delights. His act variously included the Irish Giant, and Monsieur Louis: the French Hercules. Later he was joined by his son, a proficient violinist and juggler. Click here for more on this book.

Secrets of the Sideshows: Out Now

More Fairground Videos and DVDs [9/10/05]

Two vintage funfairs and a massive modern fair are the subject of three new fairground DVDs. Carters Royal Berkshire Steam Fair can be seen in all its glory at Croxley Green earlier this year. See the fair in action and the superb line-up of restored vintage fairground transport and living vans. More vintage fairground fun can be seen at The Fair at Great Dorset Steam 2005, with the traditional vintage rides standing alongside modern thrill rides. This DVD and video feature the fair in action by both day and night, and it includes inside views of the last surviving travelling Wall of Death ride. The Northampton Balloon Festival Fair 2005 completes the new line-up. This is the largest funfair ever to be held in the town, and this 130 minute DVD and video features the pull-on and the fair in action.

Click here for more fairground DVDs and videos.

Joyland Refreshed! [2/10/5]

Joyland Books has implemented Phase One of a site relaunch. The basic layout remains the same, and will be familiar to our visitors, but it now has a fresh new look. The main listings and help pages have already moved over to the new look. Other pages will follow over the coming days and weeks. Please let us know what you think of the new look.

Park Hall/Camelot History Released [1/10/05]

Camelot Theme Park is one of Britain's best known and longest established theme parks. But the history of its site, Park Hall, goes back much further. With the park's future now in the balance, Alec Price tells the full story of the Park Hall site in his new book, From a Saint to a King: The History of Park Hall, Charnock Richard. This book is well illustrated with many specially commissioned photographs and is a fascinating read for anyone interested n the colourful past of Park Hall/Camelot Theme Park.

Click here for more details. Joyland also features books about other amusement parks, including Pleasureland, Southport, the Kursaal, Southend, Belle Vue, Manchester and much more. Click here for more titles.

Join Our Mailing List! [29/9/05]

Do you want to be informed about major new book and DVD releases? You can now join our brand new mailing list and we will inform you of exciting new products. Click here for more details.

Steam Switchbacks Head List of Secondhand Books [18/9/05]

More books have been added to our Secondhand Shop. Leading the new list is The Circular Steam Switchback, the now rare history of these ornate rides. Compiled by Kevin Scrivens and Stephen Smith, this is a fine book in good condition. We have also added second-hand copies of Fairground Heritage Volume 2: The Steam Age, Seventy Years a Showman, Travelling Fairs, English Fairs and The Butlin Story. For those who love the British seaside, we have Secondhand copies of British Piers, Pavilions on the Sea and The World of Donald McGill, the king of saucy seaside postcards.

Click here for the Secondhand Shop. And don't forget, if you are looking for a rare out-of-print fairground-related book, email us and we might be able to source a copy for you.

Amusement Park Closes its Gates [4/9/05]

One of Britain's oldest amusement parks, Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds, finally closed its gates today after more than 100 years of fun and entertainment. The site was home to one of the world's oldest permanent amusement park rides, the Aerial Glide, and local residents fought a long battle to save the park and its most famous ride. The Aerial Glide was briefly listed in 2003, following a submission by local campaigners, but a successful appeal by the owner resulted in the ride being de-listed a year later. Demolition followed immediately after in July 2004, although the rest of the park continued to operate until this weekend.

The pleasure grounds will be replaced by a housing development. Click here for photos of the park's final weekend, taken by local campaigner, Mike Short. Click here for Joyland's own Shipley Glen micro-site.

British Fairgrounds in Old Photos [2/9/05]

Joyland Books has been selling second-hand copies of the classic 1970s book Historic Fairground Scenes for a number of years. We are pleased to announce that this book has now been re-released and can be purchased new from Joyland Books. The book celebrates the heyday of the British fair from 1860 to 1940 in photographs, featuring 121 rare and fascinating photographs of rides, shows, the power on the road and for the rides and living waggons. It also looks at permanent fairground sites around the UK. This book is a unique record of this social phenomenon.

Click here for more details.

Pleasureland History Book Launched at Amusement Park [27/8/05]

Pleasureland Memories: A History of Southport's Amusement Park by Stephen Copnall was launched last Saturday at an event at the popular Southport amusement park. Before the launch, author Stephen Copnall had been signing copies of the book at Broadhursts Bookshop in Southport town centre. At 2pm, the author was at Pleasureland itself, where the staff launched the book in style on a beautiful, sunny day. Park Manager, Phil Pickett introduced the event and John K Walton, author of numerous books on the British seaside, gave an informative talk on Pleasureland's place in the history of this famous north west seaside resort. Pleasureland laid on drinks and hot muffins for launch guests, who included Southport MP John Pugh. Click here for a full report of the launch with photos.

The book is already shaping up to be the big hit of the year and can be bought online by clicking here.

Rhyl's Ocean Beach Amusement Park to Close [21/8/05]

One of Britain's great amusement parks, Ocean Beach at the North Wales seaside resort of Rhyl, is to close. The site is to be redeveloped with 200 apartments, a foodstore and new restaurants by Manchester-based Modus Properties. It is expected that 2005 will be the park's final season, with work on the new development starting in early 2006 and completion planned for late 2007. The park is home to the UK's last operating 'circular' Water Chute ride, along with Britain's first steel roller coaster, the Jet Stream. Click here for a history of the park and here for more details on the development. No planning application has been submitted to date.

Above: The massive Water Chute at Ocean Beach.

More Fun Fairs on the Move on DVD and Video [21/8/05]

The latest in the popular DVD/video series of fairground transport has been released. Fun fairs on the Move 2004-2005 Vol 10 is a must for the fairground transport enthusiast and features a large number of superb showmen's loads pulling on and off at several different locations. Starting with John Wall's transport pulling off in August 2004 at Aldershot in Hampshire. This is followed by the pull-on at Heath Common, Wakefield, for the large Easter Fair. Next in the same county, at Northallerton, is the pull-on into the town centre for the May Fair. Finally the hectic pull-on into Pinner town centre is seen, ready for the largest one-day street fair in London. Click here for more details.

Click here for the biggest selection of fairground DVDs and videos on the World Wide Web!

Amusement Rides 4 and 5 Out Now ! [21/8/05]

The latest DVDs in the Amusement Rides series have now been released. Amusement Rides 4 features old and modern rides from across the country at fairs, including Leicester Easter and Spring Fairs, Leeds New Year Fair, Sheffield Scream, Grantham Mid Lent Fair and Nottingham Valentines Fair. Amusement Rides 5 features some of England and Scotland's top rides by day and night, including the first time opening in England of Joey Silcock's Speed Flip. The DVD also features no less than three waltzers plus M&D Taylor's Eclipse - the only Fabbri Contact in the country - and Parrish's Extreme Remix from Tivoli\KMG. Extra features include a 30 minute video feature of Carters at Pinkneys Green, filmed both day and night, including film of Cook's Skid, which proved very popular. Plus an on ride night time video of Parrish's Extreme and the usual motion background videos.

Pleasureland Memories Launched With Amusement Park Event [15/8/05]

The launch of the new book, Pleasureland Memories: A History of Southport's Amusement Park by Stephen Copnall will be celebrated by what is being described as "the book event of the summer". The event is to be held on Saturday August 20th, 2pm at the Casablanca Entertainment Centre, Southport Pleasureland.

Pleasureland Memories tells the story of Southport's most famous attraction for the first time. This book follows the hugely successful release of Kursaal Memories in 2003. This event is your chance to meet Stephen and have your copy of the book signed. The event also includes an appearance by renowned historian and author, Prof. John K Walton who will be giving a talk on Pleasureland and its place in the history of the British seaside. 

Pleasureland Memories: Out Now!

The book tells how Pleasureland began in the 1870s as a ramshackle collection of shies, stalls and simple rides on Southport's Foreshore. Following two changes in location, the Pleasureland as it is known today opened in 1922, with famous rides such as the River Caves and Scenic Railway roller coaster.

This book tells the full story of the park, from its early beginnings, its temporary wartime closures, its heyday in the 1950s and its revitalisation in recent years under the ownership of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This fascinating history is accompanied by over 160 photographs, many in print for the first time.

The event has free entry, everyone is welcome. Click here for more information about the book.

Famous West Country Fairground Firm Covered by New Book [15/8/05]

The name Whitelegg is almost unknown outside the north-west of England, most commonly being found in Lancashire and Cheshire. This book tells the story of a travelling fairground family of Whiteleggs whose fairs took them around the beautiful countryside of the West Country. In T. Whitelegg & Sons' Cavalcade of Shows, author Guy Belshaw explores the history of this much-loved fairground firm, told through the surviving members of the family. From travelling around the Plymouth area in a horse drawn living wagon that doubled as a shooting gallery, Tom and Rose Whitelegg amassed a vast amount of show tackle, and also ran the most successful indoor amusement emporium in the west: the Plymouth Olympia. This is a fascinating story of a true family business. Click here for more information.

New Circus Books: Buy Them Now [7/8/05]

We have added several new circus books to our listings. Heading the list is a new release on the history of the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus by Bob Goldstack. We have also added I Never Went to Clown College, the ramblings, recollections and reflections of Frank Cain, the famous circus producing clown. Remembering Benson's Wild Animal Farm is the story of this New Hampshire fun park, which featured circus animal shows. The park later became Playworld Amusement Park.

We have loads more circus books at Joyland. Click here to browse all of our circus titles. But keep checking back, because we will be adding more new circus titles soon.

American Carnival Books: New to Joyland Books [7/8/05]

We have just added a big pile of books about the American travelling fairground industry, otherwise known as 'carnivals'. A Portfolio of American Carnival Vintage Photos is a book packed full of old black and white photographs of these amazing travelling events. Rubin & Cherry by Chris Audibert is the story of this American travelling 'exposition', featuring 20 tent theatres, 22 exciting rides and 50 steel railway cars! The James E Strates Shows: A Pictorial History is the story of America's only remaining railroad carnival. World of Mirth Shows: A Remembrance is a chronology of what was called "the largest midway on Earth". A History of the Johnny J Jones Exposition is full of fantastic photos from this much-loved carnival and Endangered Species is the biography of a kid who was born and raised in the American carnival business from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Above: The James E Strates Shows

Amusement Park History Book: New to Joyland [7/8/05]

New to Joyland is the history of Quassy Amusement Park by Ron Gustafon. Gustafon has been an amusement park historian for more than 20 years, and now presents this trip down memory lane. Subjects covered in the book include early views of Lake Quassapaug, Quassy's carousels, Alan Herschell rides and a detailed chronology of the park's timeline. Click here for more details.

This is just one of many books on amusement park history at Joyland Books. Click here to browse our Amusement Park Books.

And don't forget to visit our lively Forum.

Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds to Close [20/7/05]

One of Britain's oldest amusement parks is to close at the end of the 2005 season. Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds, which was home to the vintage Aerial Glide ride (demolished last year), has been open since Edwardian times and has remained a very popular tourist attraction.

The operators, Alan and Wendy Breeze, who have operated the park for 20 years, have made the difficult decision to close the park's doors due to a large increase in the rent. The park's owner - the Teale Brothers - have applied for planning permission to redevelop the historic park as a housing estate. More details on Shipley Glen, including a photo gallery, can be found here.

Legoland Sold [20/7/05]

As reported on Joyland last month, American investment company Blackstone Group has acquired the Legoland Theme Parks chain from Danish toy manufacturer, Lego, creating Europe's second biggest tourist attractions operator. Blackstone has been quick to merge Legoland theme parks with the Merlin Entertainments chain it acquired last month. Joyland understands that the enlarged theme parks and attractions group will be named 'Merlin Entertainment Group' and will be managed by the current Merlin team, headed by CEO Nick Varney.

New DVD on Amusement Park History Released [6/7/05]

An award-winning film on the history of US amusement park Whalom Park has now been released on DVD. A Time to Reflect: The History of Whalom Park is a documentary that chronicles over 100 years of Whalom Park's history, from its inception in 1893 to its closure in 2000. The DVD includes footage of the park through the years, including a ride on the Flying Comet roller coaster, the antique Carousel, the Tumble Bug and other classic rides. Travel through the park's various upgrades and expansions to its eventual demise at the very end of the 20th Century. Then take a walk through the remains of the park today. This fantastic film was co-winner of the LaCoy Documentary Award 2005. Click here for more information and/or to buy now or here for more DVDs on amusement parks.

Pre-Order Pleasureland Memories Now [5/7/05]

Joyland Books is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Pleasureland Memories: A History of Southport's Amusement Park. This is the latest in Skelter Publishing's Amusement Park Memories series, and follows the successful 2003 book, Kursaal Memories: A History of Southend's Amusement Park. Stephen Copnall's fascinating book, which is released on 20 August, tells the story of how the park rose from the Southport foreshore sands to become one of the most important amusement parks in the country. The book is packed full of photographs of the park from its early beginnings right through to the present day, most of which have never before been published. This is set to be the biggest amusement park book release of 2005. Click here for more information and to pre-order your copy now. Click here for an extract from the book.

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