This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 July and 31 December 2009.
For the latest news, click here.

More Welsh Wonders
29 December 2009

One of the most popular articles at amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye was Welsh Wonders, a travelogue of North Wales amusement parks written by OK! Magazine editor Phil Gould.

Now we have dug into the archives and brought you his follow-up article, More Welsh Wonders, in which this time Phil travels the amusement parks of the South Wales coast in the early 1980s. Visit Barry Island Pleasure Park, Coney Beach at Rhyl and (OK, it isn't on the south Wales coast) Alldays Amusement Park at Barmouth. Read Phil's memories and photographs of a bygone time...

Colourful photo album of fairground firm
26 December 2009

Following the success of Anderton & Rowland's Illusion & Reality, a new book called The Anderton and Rowland Photo Album by Guy Belshaw brings together a wide selection of images showing the firm in more recent years. This big, glossy book, illustrated predominantly in colour, draws not just from the author's collection, but also makes extensive use of the DeVey family archives as well as drawing from a wide variety of other sources. Click here for more information...

No...not another pier book!
25 December 2009

Oh yes! Joyland Books finishes its recent run of books about that great British institution the seaside pier, with a book about one of the most famous and high profile piers of them all, The Grand Pier Weston-super-Mare by Sharon Poole.

For over sixty years, the Grand Pier was owned and run by successive generations of one family, the Brenners. This book is also the story of how they constantly updated and improved the pier, ensuring its popularity with tourists continued into the twenty-first century. It also covers the major fires of 1930 and 2008. More...

Happy Christmas!

Britain's seaside piers from the air
20 December 2009

Joyland's seaside department is getting bigger with yet another book about Britain's seaside piers, this time with a new twist in a spectacular glossy hardback. British Seaside Piers by Chris Mawson and Richard Golding uses rare aerial photographs from Aerofilms Archive to provide a memorable look at the changing face of coastal resorts over the years, plus views from the ground. Supported by extended captions and additional text, this is a remarkable source of information and a nostalgic glance back to when these structures were an important part of the holiday scene. More...

A journey around 66 seaside piers in 21 days!
16 December 2009

Chief Pier Crawler Chris Foote Wood has written a book about his experiences visiting every seaside pier in the country. In 2007, author & broadcaster Chris (Victoria Wood's brother) fulfilled a lifetime ambition by walking on all the remaining seaside pleasure piers in England, Wales & the Isle of Man, keeping an amusing and entertaining blog which he has now produced in book form, along with a host of colour photographs he took along the way. As well as the UK's 56 recognised seaside piers, My Great British Pier Trip includes several other interesting seaside piers.

Paultons Park roller coaster to remain
16 December 2009

The New Forest National Park Authority has voted unanimously to grant planning permission for the retention of the Cobra roller coaster ride at Paultons Park. The ride was previously refused by the Authority in October this year, along with the Edge ride. Paultons recently secured a lawful development certificate for the remainder of the amusement park and permission for an indoor play centre. Nick Laister of RPS submitted the planning applications. More on BBC News.

Rare fairground and circus books added to Secondhand Shop
7 December 2009

Joyland Books has added absolutely loads of fairground, circus and amusement park books to its Secondhand Shop. Some of these books are extremely rare and Joyland Books is the only place on the internet that is currently offering some of these titles for sale.

We have something for every price range. Ultra rare are Midland Fairground Families by Ned Williams, Mannings Amusements by HJ Haines, A Dream Came True by John Hutchinson and Chipperfield's Circus by David Jamieson. At the opposite end of the scale, All the Fun of the Fair by Graham Downie and Showmans Road Locomotives by W Pickle won't break the bank.

We also have an auction on behalf of The Dreamland Trust, which is a stunning copy of the very rare hardback amusement park book, Blackpool Pleasure Beach: A Century of Fun by Peter Bennett.

We have a huge range of out of print books. Click here for more...(New items marked as NEW).

Midland Fairground Families by Ned Williams: "ultra rare"!

Explore Lancashire's piers
6 December 2009

New release Lancashire's Seaside Piers by Marin Easdown is a companion volume to his definitive history of Yorkshire’s pleasure piers. His highly illustrated survey of the piers constructed at famous resorts like Blackpool, Morecambe, Southport and St Annes-on-Sea celebrates structures that are among the most exuberant and evocative of the Victorian age.  
In this meticulously researched account, Martin Easdown describes how these extraordinary buildings came to be constructed, how they were designed and financed, how they were used, and how hazards beset them – fire, storm, ship collision, war damage and ever-present threat of insolvency. His entertaining book reveals – and records – a neglected aspect of the history of Lancashire and the northwest. More...

Blackpool Tower to be sold?
3 December 2009

Property Week Magazine is reporting that Blackpool Tower, and its sister attractions the Winter Gardens, Golden Mile Centre and Louis Tussauds Waxworks, may be sold to Blackpool Council.

The sale is reportedly dependent on the Council receiving funding for the European Regional Development Fund. The benefits of the Tower and other historic Blackpool attractions being owned by the public sector instead of current owner Leisure Parcs would be the ability to tap into grant funding for their maintenance and upgrade. This is a similar principle to Dreamland Margate, with its historic Scenic Railway, Cinema and animal cages, where the Dreamland Trust and Margate Renewal Partnership have been able to secure grant funding for the refurbishment and reopening of the park that would not have been available to a private sector owner.

A new guide for roller coaster riders
2 December 2009

So what's it like to ride the best roller coaster in the USA? Roller coaster enthusiast Pete Trabucco, a pilot and freelance writer, has ridden hundreds of top roller coasters around the nation. In America's Top Roller Coasters & Amusement Parks Pete takes the reader behind the scenes and presents a free e-ticket ride to the best amusement parks and roller coasters on the planet. He also has included tips for those (like himself) who once feared these mega monsters of the midway. With over 300 top roller coasters ridden around the country, he has a story to tell. More...

Discover even more of Dorset's coast
30 November 2009

Customers who have enjoyed the DVD Discovering Dorset, a coastal tour from Lyme Regis to Swanage, will want to buy a copy of Volume 2, which has just been released. Anyone who has been captivated by Dorset will relish this latest visit to one of Britain’s most spectacular counties. Your journey begins at Studland, where we take the Chain Ferry across Poole Harbour, first visiting the millionaires’ playground of Sandbanks.

A stroll around Poole Quay reveals how the town developed, largely through its trade links with North America; Bournemouth, Boscombe and Christchurch are also visited in this coastal tour.

Click here for details...

UK Government awards 3.7m to Dreamland Margate
19 November 2009

In the most important landmark in the six-year campaign to save Dreamland Margate, the Government has announced that it has awarded 3.7m to the project. This is the largest grant in the 2009 Sea Change programme, funded by DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport), which is designed to invigorate England’s seaside towns through investment in culture and heritage.

It will allow the Grade II-listed Scenic Railway roller coaster, built in 1920 and the oldest roller coaster in the UK, to be restored to its former glory.

The Rt. Hon Margaret Hodge MBE is welcomed to Dreamland by Nick Laister, chair of the Dreamland Trust. Thanet District Council Leader Sandy Ezekiel looks on. Click on the image to view larger photograph.

As well as securing the long-term future of one of the best-loved seaside structures in the country, the funding will allow the creation of the world’s first amusement park exclusively comprised of thrilling historic rides.

Watch a roller coaster being built
15 November 2009

Watch a spinning wild mouse coaster under construction at Nottingham Goose Fair in the DVD Building Up the Wild Mouse! This Reverchon Wild Mouse ride is a principal attraction at many major UK fairs. The family attraction was built in 2002, and is featured here being built up and open at Nottingham Goose Fair in 2008. It is transported on five trailers and requires a ground space of 104ft by 60ft. 'On ride' footage is from Kirkcaldy in 2009.

The DVD also includes a bonus. John and Michael Molden are well known for their skills constructing working fairground models using the medium of Meccano. Making its first public appearance at Long Eaton in 2008 following over 3 years of development, John’s own version of the Wild Mouse is also seen being constructed and in operation just like the real thing! More information...

Grand Pier rebuild reaches milestone
7 November 2009

The rebuild of the historic Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare has reached a major milestone with work starting on the frame of the new pavilion. The original pavilion - a major indoor amusement park - was destroyed in a fire in 2008. A range of rides and other attractions will be installed in the pavilion once it is watertight, completing an investment of 9m.

The pier is owned by brother and sister Michelle and Kerry Michael and will reopen in July 2010.

Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare

North Wales amusement park nostalgia
30 October 2009

Amusement park website themagiceye goes all nostalgic this month, with a trip back in time to the amusement parks that were sprinkled along the North Wales coast.

In Welsh Wonders Part One, OK! Magazine's associate editor 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. This was one of the most popular articles on the original themagiceye website, and the one that resulted in the most email correspondence. Read on...

The North Wales parks and rides from the summer holidays of a childhood...

Landmark case on status of roller coasters
30 October 2009

The front page of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) is currently carrying news of a landmark appeal case on the planning status of amusement park rides. A recent planning appeal decision has clarified the status of amusement park rides in the UK. Crealy Great Adventure Park in Devon had been advised by East Devon District Council that they could erect a roller coaster and swinging pirate ship ride without the need for planning permission as the park benefitted from Permitted Development Rights. After the rides were constructed in 2000 and 2002, the Council decided that retrospective planning permission was needed.

Above: the El Loco Roller Coaster at Crealy Great Adventure Park in Devon. The ride is immune from enforcement because it was built more than four years ago.

BALPPA Member RPS advised Crealy that planning permission was no longer required as the rides in question had been erected more than four years ago, so an application was made instead for a Lawful Development Certificate. The Council refused both applications, stating that amusement park rides are a use of land, not operational development; therefore they need to have been operating for 10 years in order to be lawful. RPS appealed both refusals on behalf of Crealy, supported by BALPPA, arguing that both rides are substantial operational developments in their own right and are therefore immune from enforcement after four years. The Inspector accepted RPS’s case and allowed both of the appeals, stating that the Council could not take enforcement action against them.

RPS director Nick Laister said: "This is an important case and affects any amusement park ride that is physically attached to the ground (as opposed to travelling rides) that was built between four and ten years ago. Such rides are lawful after four years, not ten years, and if they are operating in an amusement park, adventure park or similar attraction, a Council is unable to take enforcement action against their use."

Record visitors for Adventure Island
24 October 2009

Southend's Adventure Island amusement park has revealed that 2009 has been its busiest ever year, with numbers up by 13% on 2008. Over two million people have so far visited the seafront park this year, despite the global recession. Owner Philip Miller has told the Southend Echo that the record breaking numbers are partly down to the cost of foreign holidays, and the the resort's good weather record. The park's Rage roller coaster (pictured right) was recently voted the scariest roller coaster in the country by the BBC's Blue Peter, and the park has several new attractions, including the 1m dark ride Over The Hill and a completely rebuilt American Whip.

Adventure Island opened in 1996 on the site of the former Peter Pan's Playground, when it was extended onto the site of the boating lake on the east side of the Pier.

For discount tickets to Adventure Island and other theme parks, visit our Discount Theme Park Tickets web page.

Paultons Park wins planning victory
20 October 2009

The New Forest National Park Authority Planning Committee today has voted unanimously to approve Paultons Park’s application to regularise the land on which the Park stands as an Amusement Park. This confirms the status of Paultons Park as a lawful Theme Park, securing its future.

There was also unanimous support for a new 9,000 sq ft building to house an indoor play area.

The Planning Application for retrospective planning permission for the Cobra and Edge rides was narrowly turned down by the Committee even though the application was recommended for approval by officers. The Directors of Paultons Park are currently reviewing their options as to the next course of action. Both the Cobra and Edge rides will be open for the October Half Term. Nick Laister of RPS is the park's planning adviser.

Dreamland Remembered 90th Anniversary Edition
12 October 2009

October 24th sees the release of an updated and expanded version of one of the most popular amusement park books of all time: Dreamland Remembered by Nick Evans. This edition of Dreamland Remembered, updated to celebrate the Margate amusement park’s 90th anniversary, contains a nostalgic collection of nearly 250 illustrations from its earliest days to the latest ideas to create a heritage theme park. It has substantially more pages and photographs than the previous editions. In fact, of those almost 250 photos, half of them were not included in the previous editions! The book also includes nearly 30 pages with colour photographs on them. On sale from 24 October, but pre-orders being taken now. More...

Rites of Pasaje: themagiceye prepares for Halloween!
1 October 2009

Amusement park nostaligia website themagiceye has dug deeper into its dungeons than ever before to bring you a terrifying article especially for the Halloween month of October.

In 2000, Ed Marzola 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. This led to a truly fascinating article: Rites of Pasaje. Enter 'Terror on Church Street' and 'Pasaje del Terror' with a director's cut of themagiceye's most popular article ever. Read on...

themagiceye presents, especially for halloween, a director's cut of its most popular article ever: Rites of Pasaje.

Story of rescued ride
20 September 2009

Rescued in 2003 by the Fairground Heritage Trust, the Rodeo Switchback was built up at the Fairground Heritage Centre in Devon in 2006, where it now once again gives rides to the public. The Rodeo Switchback by Kevin Scrivens and Stephen Smith tells the story of this glorious ride in words and pictures. More...

This is one of several books published by the Fairground Heritage Trust. Other titles include The Working Scammell Showtrac by Barry Brown. Click here for more books on fairground history.

Go Coaster Crazy with rare video
20 September 2009

Just in at our Secondhand Shop is this very rare roller coaster video, Coaster Crazy. Presented by Andy Hine of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain, it features the Pepsi Max Big One, Grand National and Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Nemesis and Oblivion at Alton Towers, The Ultimate at Lightwater Valley, Shockwave at Drayton Manor, Traumatizer at Pleasureland Southport, Millennium Roller Coaster at Fantasy Island and Megafobia at Oakwood. The cover describes it as:

"...the foremost roller coaster video, featuring Britain's best roller coasters. Includes on-ride footage, rear facing footage, facts and figures. The World's longest, the World's tallest, the World's first vertical drop, Europe's first stand-up coaster, etc. Digitally mastered in coaster vision with original soundtrack. Filmed from every conceivable angle. Enjoy them all from the comfort of your living room." More...

Your opportunity to land a dream job!
12 September 2009

Following an award of 384,500 of funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Dreamland Trust - a not-for-profit company - is now recruiting three key people to take forward detailed proposals for a world's first tourist attraction in Margate. The Trust is looking for outstanding individuals to drive this exciting project forward.

The current vacancies are for a Project Director, an Audience Development Officer and a Project Archivist. Visit for more details.

Great Yarmouth Scenic Railway tours announced
3 September 2009

Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach is celebrating its 100 year anniversary and as part of the centenary celebrations the park is opening the Roller Coaster (a 1932 scenic railway) to the public for behind the scenes tours. Albert Jones, the Managing Director of the Pleasure Beach, will conduct the tours on 13 September, which will also include the Gallopers and a look a the centenary celebration photographic exhibition which includes some fantastic images of the town in the past. The Roller Coaster tours are one of the Heritage Open Days organised by English Heritage, which celebrates England’s architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to interesting properties that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee. More details...

The Great Yarmouth Roller Coaster is the only remaining ride of its kind operating in the UK, and one of only seven operating in the world. The 1920 Scenic Railway at Dreamland, Margate, is part of a plan for the world's first amusement park of historic rides.

Great Yarmouth's Scenic Railway

Stories from the South Park
29 August 2009

A vast majority - if not all - of Pleasure Beach Blackpool's millions of yearly visitors leave exhilarated, smiling and with many happy memories. But do those very same visitors leave a mark on the memories of those who work at the park? The answer to that question is of course a resounding 'Yes!'

At 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 biggest seaside amusement park in Stories from the South Park. Read On...

Alton Towers history updated
16 August 2009

Michael Fisher's book 'Alton Towers: A Gothic Wonderland' has become the definitive source of information about the history and development of the Alton Towers buildings and gardens and has always been a popular publication at Joyland Books. The book went out of print a couple of years ago, but has now been revamped, updated and rereleased by Landmark Publishing.

Alton Towers: Past & Present tells the history of the building of Alton Towers in Staffordshire from its beginnings in the 18th Century as Alveton Lodge to its rebuild and development as Alton Towers. It became one of the largest houses in the country. This is a carefully revised second edition and includes a new section on the on-going important restoration by the owners of the theme park. More...


Emmett Kelly - Storyteller
9 August 2009

Emmett Leo Kelly was an American circus performer who created the memorable clown figure 'Wearie Willie', based on the hobos of the Depression era. He began his career as a trapeze artist, performing with John Robinson's Circus. He was a tragic figure: a clown who could usually be seen sweeping up the circus rings after the other performers, trying and failing to sweep up the pool of light of a spotlight! He later performed with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where he was a major attraction. He died, aged 80, of a heart attack in 1979 at his home in Sarasota, Florida.

The DVD Emmett Kelly - Storyteller spends a day with the man himself behind the scenes of the circus. More details...

Dreamland project secures Heritage Lottery funding
3 August 2009

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the green light to The Dreamland Trust to work up plans to create the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides, it was announced last week. Development funding of 384,500 was awarded to help progress the ground-breaking plans. 

The HLF first-round pass means that The Dreamland Trust can now progress to the second stage of the HLF application process. The Trust has up to two years to submit more detailed plans and apply for the 2.65 million of HLF support that it is seeking for Phase One of the project, which totals over 12 million. Much more news on the Save Dreamland website.

Dreamland Forum>>>

Ride Op: The Will Tilston Interview
2 August 2009

Whatever the park, wherever the park, it goes without saying that the Ride Operator's job is not an easy one. Ride Op: The Will Tilston Interview is the result of an interview carried out by amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye back in December 2006. His account of a "Life in the Day of" a Ride Op along with the great 'behind the scenes' photos are a unique insight into life at Camelot Theme Park. Read On...

If you are interested in Camelot Theme Park you should also check out the history of the Park Hall/Camelot site: From a Saint to a King.

Big theme park ticket discounts
11 July 2009

The Joyland Books Discount Theme Park Tickets page constantly searches for discounts on theme park tickets. There are currently half price tickets to Alton Towers from, 2 for 1 vouchers with Persil washing powder, and big savings at Chessington with GMTV and the Daily Telegraph. Our Discount Theme Park Tickets page has links to all these deals and vouchers, along with discounts to many more parks, including Adventure Island, Lightwater Valley, Camelot and Drayton Manor. Click here for more discounts...

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