This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 January and 30 June 2011.
For the latest news, click here.

John Lawson's Circus opens at Fairytale Farm
16 June 2011

The award-winning John Lawson's Circus has pulled  on to Southcombe Farm, site of the new Fairytale Farm attraction. The circus is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 17th to 19th June. More details on the Fairytale Farm news page, and photos of the pull-on are here. More photos will appear on the Fairytale Farm Facebook site tomorrow.

In other Fairytale Farm news, the brand new website launched today and can be viewed here.

Bye Bye Beaver Creek
30 May 2011

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. Phil Gould, writing for amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye, 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 article...

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Battersea Festival Gardens 1951
30 April 2011

On 10 May 1951 - exactly 60 years ago this month - The Battersea Festival Gardens opened to invited guests. The public were let in a day later. To celebrate the opening of this fondly remembered amusement park - which operated until 1974 as Battersea Fun Fair - Gary Radice's themagiceye features a brand new article which takes a look at this park in its year of opening. Read Article...

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Rare books from the Ken Wise Collection
29 April 2011

Following the auction of the Ken Wise Collection of circus memorabilia, Joyland Books is now making available a large selection books from his collection. Many of these books are now extremely rare, and some date from the early part of the last century. Of particular note is his large collection of books on the Bertram Mills Circus, such as The Bertram Mills Book of the Circus, Bertram Mills: Its Story and Bertram Mills: the Circus That Travelled By Train. There is also Billy Smarts Circus, Chipperfield's Circus: An Illustrated History (pictured right) and Chipperfields Circus. Click here for our secondhand circus books - those from the Ken Wise Collection are indicated as NEW.

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Fairytale Farm needs your help!
10 April 2011

Joyland Books is building the UK's first all-access tourist attraction, built entirely around the needs of children with disabilities.

Fairytale Farm has been entered into the Barclays 'Take One Small Step' competition. The winner from each region will get 50,000. We really need this to complete the project in time for opening next year, so please drop by the website and 'Like' us. And then spread the word!

Fairytale Farm will open in May/June 2012 and will feature animals, adventure play and sensory trails. You can also follow progress on a special Facebook page.


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The heart and soul of Whitley Bay in words and pictures
27 March 2011

Hot on the heels of Mick Sharp's stunning book on the history of the Spanish City, The Dome of Memories, comes another new book on the same subject. Packed full of colour and black and white photographs, The Spanish City: The Heart and Soul of Whitley Bay in Words and Pictures, compiled and edited by Keith Armstrong, vividly tells the story of Whitley Bay's iconic amusement park. The book features historical background and interviews, together with creative writing on the subject of the fairground and entertainment complex, all illustrated with photographs and artwork, past and present. Details...

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Dome of memories
27 March 2011

Mick Sharp, the author of the brand new book on the history of the Spanish City Fairground and Dome (The Dome of Memories - available here), has written an article especially for the Joyland Books amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye. Also called Dome of Memories, the article sets out how Mick got involved with the project to host an exhibition on the history of the famous amusement park and how that then snowballed into a major new book. Read article...

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More than just an amusement park
27 March 2011

A major new release for 2011 is a book telling the story of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Blackpool Pleasure Beach - More Than Just an Amusement Park by Professor Vanessa Toulmin of the National Fairground Archive has been carefully produced in close collaboration with Pleasure Beach and offers a unique insight into the history of the park. The 144 page book showcases many images from the park’s never before seen archives, plus a whole host of recent pictures detailing the various changes at Pleasure Beach. More...

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Memories of the Spanish City Fairground
26 March 2011

The story of the Spanish City Fairground and its famous entertainment complex is told in a brand new book. The Dome of Memories by Mick Sharp is a collection of nostalgic anecdotes and unseen photographs spanning the past century. The book, which was published by North Tyneside Council, also features popular fairground rides, financial records and architectural plans. The book is the most comprehensive record of the history of the world-famous Dome and Spanish City Fairground. Includes chapters on the Virginia Reel and the Corkscrew Roller Coaster. More... 

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Auction of the Ken Wise Collection of Circus Memorabilia
6 March 2011

Joyland Books has been instructed to sell the circus collection of the late Ken Wise. One of the most important collections of circus memorabilia in the country, it includes circus invitation cards, promotional literature, programmes, magazines, auction catalogues and booklets, mainly from the 1920s to the 1970s. The auction runs from today until 28 April 2011 and is exclusive to Joyland Books. Go to auction...

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A legend from Wales
2 March 2011

Bill Treen, who runs an electrical shop in Tewksbury, shares his passion for Tewkesbury's Mop Fair in a brand new book. Bill, who is a founder member of Tewkesbury Fair Society and an honorary life member of the Showmen's Guild, has teamed up with Cardiff-based showman Robert Deakin to write A Deakin & Sons Modern Amusements: A Legend From Wales. The book tells the story of the Deakin family's fairground business across 119 pages, with over 200 photographs, some in colour. More...

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Journey through Disneyland's whimsical land of Fantasy
21 February 2011

In July of 1955 the drawbridge of Sleeping Beauty's Castle lowered within Walt Disney's dream theme park, Disneyland. It is the entry way to a charming, whimsical land simply known as Fantasyland. The brand new DVD Fantasyland: From Past to Present explores the many changes in the attractions and entertainment that occurred within the Happiest Place on Earth with photos and video footage taken from various eras. Click here for details...

And don't forget that we also stock the DVDs Disneyland 1955-1959, Disneyland 1960-1969 and Disneyland 1970-1979.

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Rare amusement park books added to Secondhand Shop
19 February 2011

Lots for roller coaster and amusement park fans in our latest additions to the Secondhand Shop.

Roller coaster enthusiasts will be interested in The Giant Dipper San Diego, California: A Pictorial History by Amusement Park Publications; Roller Coaster Giants by Frank JM Romijn; Roller Coaster by David Bennett; De Achtbaan by Karel Loeff; and The American Roller Coaster by Scott Rutherford.

Those interested in amusement parks will no doubt be fascinated by Linnanmaki 50 by Eva-Kaarina Holopainen and the magnificent hardback Blackpool Pleasure Beach: A Century of Fun by Peter Bennett.

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Illustrated guide to the Fairground Heritage Centre
19 February 2011

Without a doubt the artefacts assembled by the Fairground Heritage Trust represents the single most important collection of historic fairground items in this country. It portrays a period when gilded carved work and artistic competence saw the production of some of the most lavish shows and roundabouts ever seen.

The Fairground Heritage Centre: Illustrated Guide, with a Foreword by David Wallis, takes you on a tour of the artefacts and rides that are on display at the Fairground Heritage Centre, which opened in Devon in 2007. Click here for details...

Definitive history of landmark amusement park
15 February 2011

San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Early Years by James R Smith is the definitive history of this landmark amusement park. Vividly illustrated with over 300 rare photographs, the book traces the origins, construction, development and expansion of the park and presents a brilliant portrait of Playland during its glorious heyday from the 1920s through the 1940s.

Richly illustrated and painstakingly researched, this is a nostalgic time machine fun ride through an enchanting part of San Francisco's history. More...

Things to do in theme park queues
14 February 2011

Imagine how much fun a day at a theme park would be if the long lines were fun too! Things to Do In Theme Park Queues by Scott Wegener is an entertaining book that will make your visit to a busy theme park even more enjoyable.

Filled with tips, activity ideas and trivia, this book/and app helps remove the "downs" from your theme park visit.

Click here for more details.

This is one of many theme park related books now available at Joyland Books. Click here for our full range of theme park books. And to receive updates of new releases as they happen, follow us on Twitter.

New DVDs celebrate fairground history
13 February 2011

New to Joyland Books are three DVDs celebrating different aspects of Britain's fairground and steam heritage.

Bluebell Steam is a DVD of the Bluebell railway Steam Fair which features the Harris Brothers' Old Tyme Steam Fair in action.

Steam Power features steam giants at the Expo Manby Steam in 1991, including fairground rides.

Finally, Stamford Mid-Lent Fair 1996, previously only available on video has now been launched on DVD. For a limited period, we are also making the videos available for only 5. Click here for details.

Joyland Books on Facebook and Twitter
12 February 2011

Get updates on all new releases as they happen by following us on Twitter, and you can also now find us on Facebook. Don't forget, we also send out occasional email updates, which you can sign up to here.


Pleasurewood Hills sold
6 February 2011

Compagnie des Alpes, the owner of Pleasurewood Hills theme park near Lowestoft, has confirmed the sale of the park to private investment firm HIG Capital France, along with six other theme parks. The new owners have pledged to invest in new attractions.

Fairytale Farm launches Facebook page
6 February 2011

Fairytale Farm, the tourist attraction for disabled children being built by Joyland Books, has launched a new page on Facebook, where you can follow news of the project and see regularly updated photo albums showing progress at the site. Visit

One bright spot: Southend's Kursaal
30 January 2011

'One Bright Spot' and 'By the Dome it’s Known' were bywords for the Kursaal, certainly in Southend, in the East End of London and throughout much of southern England. The Kursaal was the largest amusement park in the south throughout much of the Twentieth Century and the destination for thousands of East Enders and others up to the 1960s. Amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye presents, for the first time since 2003, a photo gallery journey around the Kursaal through the years. Read 'One Bright Spot: Southend's Kursaal'.

Above: Tarring the Kursaal Water Chute in the War.

The story of Greens' Caterpillar roundabouts
29 January 2011

The new book Greens for Caterpillars by Tommy Green is the story of the involvement of the Green family of Lancashire in the introduction of travelling Caterpillar rides to the UK. The ride was introduced in 1923, and the Green family were involved with the operation of four of these rides from that date. The book gives details of the development of the ride, and also details of the fairs that they attended and the other rides that they opened with from the 1920s through to the 1970s. There is a detailed section on the transport used with the rides from the days of using the railways, through steam traction engines and early petrol lorries, through to more reliable diesel transport. Caterpillars are also featured at a number of amusement parks. The book features over 130 photographs. Click here for more details.

Three new DVDs on the Great Dorset Steam Fair
23 January 2011

A series of three new DVDs celebrate one of Europe's biggest and best loved events, the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Reputedly the largest outdoor show in the world, the Great Dorset Steam Fair is an extraordinary annual event attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Volume 1 focuses on the smaller exhibits that give the fair its unique and eclectic feel.

Volume 2 looks at working tractors and what are many visitors' favourite exhibits - the lovingly maintained showman engines.

Volume 3 follows the preparation and arrival of the main steam engine exhibits as they make their way slowly but surely to the fair site.

The story of Hull Fair
23 January 2011

Enjoy the thrills and spills, the frights and delights of one of the world's greatest travelling spectacles - The Hull Fair. From its ancient beginnings as a means of selling and promoting local goods to the adrenaline charged excitement of modern rides, the DVD The Story of Hull Fair gives a brief look at one of Europe's most exciting events. Click here for details.

We now stock lots of items on one of Europe's truly great fairs:
Hull Fair by Stephen Smith and Kevin Scrivens
Hull Fair: Fun For All by Vanessa Toulmin
Hull Fair 2000 DVD
Hull Fair 2002 DVD
Hull Fair 2004 DVD
Hull Fair 2007 DVD

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