This Page is an Archive of all news items featured on the Joyland Books News Page between 1 July and 31 December 2011.
For the latest news, click here.

The rides of Orton & Spooner
18 December 2011

Orton & Spooner was one of Britain's greatest amusement ride manufacturers, formed following the amalgamation of two separate firms in 1925. Orton's produced numerous rides, from early switchbacks and bioscopes to ark/speedways, ghost trains, even roller coasters.

In a new photo gallery, The Rides of Orton & Spooner, amusement park and rides nostalgia website themagiceye takes visitors on a tour of some of the most popular rides produced by the company. Click here to view...

Dreamland Remembered reduced
23 November 2011

It was announced yesterday that Dreamland Margate has received a grant of 3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This completes the funding necessary to build the first phase of the proposed amusement park of historic rides at Dreamland, which will cost 10.4m in total. Work has already started on the Cinema building and work on the park itself should start next year.

To celebrate we have reduced the book Dreamland Remembered by Nick Evans to only 11.99, a saving of 4.00 off the recommended retail price. This edition of Dreamland Remembered, updated and expanded to celebrate the 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. Click here for more details.

Dreamland Remembered 90th Anniversary Edition

Tale of a haunted mansion
13 November 2011

Venture through one of Disneyland's most popular attractions, The Haunted Mansion, in a brand new DVD. The Haunted Mansion documents the beginning of the manor, telling the stories, the rumours and sharing the spectacular art work from the Disney team. Narrated by Bryan Simmons, and featuring interviews with Disney legend Bob Gurr and creator Jeff Baham.

This fantastic DVD also includes a bonus feature with up and coming voice over actor, Raymond Macias, who lends his vocals to introduce various characters within the Haunted Mansion.

You don't want to miss this spooktacular disc. Details here...

The Historic Tale of Universal Studios Released
23 October 2011

Our friends at Theme Parkology have just released The Historic Tale of Universal Studios, a brand new DVD. Learn how an empty property became one of the world's most loved theme parks, featuring a rare interview with imagineer, Bob Gurr, as he talks about his work on the Conan and King Kong attraction.

Now you can relive the history of Universal Studios in this 60 minute DVD that shares photos and footages of many of the attractions and exhibits. See how the lot blossomed since its opening day in 1912, visit the first GlamorTram in 1962 and journey through the lot, visiting such legendary props and special effect exhibits as the Bates Mansion, the Flash Flood, the Parting of the Sea and the Runaway Train, to name a few. More...

Dark rides of the north west
2 October 2011

In the build-up to Halloween, amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye features a unique look back at the dark rides of the north west coastal resorts. The article, by Liverpool resident Tony O'Keeffe, looks at rides - many now long gone - in Blackpool, Morecambe, Southport, New Brighton and Rhyl. It covers ghost trains, river caves and all other forms of dark rides operating in parks such as the Tower Pleasure Grounds in New Brighton and Southport's Pleasureland. Click here to the read the article.

Former amusement park owner dies
30 September 2011

Harold Robinson, the former owner of the Ocean Beach amusement park in Rhyl has died at the age of 69. Mr Robinson arrived at Rhyl at the age of 10 with his parents' family rides at Ocean Beach Fun Fair in Rhyl. He would eventually take over from his parents, operating rides such as the Bumper Boats and Go-Karts. His big break came in 1997, when Ocean beach's owners, First Leisure (which also owned and operated Blackpool Tower at the time) decided to put the amusement park up for sale. Mr Robinson, alog with his brothers and a business partner, bought the park. They ran the park for 10 years, after which they sold it to a developer for redevelopment. Mr Robinson donated the remains of the Water Chute to the The Dreamland Trust in Margate.

The demise of the Rotunda Amusement Park, Folkestone
10 September 2011

**Please note that this limited edition book has now sold out - sorry for any disappointment**

The Rotunda Amusement Park, Folkestone, is one of a number of seaside amusement parks - see also Dreamland in Margate; Frontierland in Morecambe; Pleasureland in Southport and Spanish City in Whitley Bay - that have sadly closed in recent years.

When the local history writing partnership of Martin Easdown and Linda Sage - authors of Mr Warwick's Revolving Towers - began in 1996, the Rotunda was one of Folkestone's seaside attractions that they were particularly interested in and they took a number of photographs in 1998 and 2002. The site of the Rotunda has now been levelled in preparation for residential and leisure development. The authors hope that the new limited edition book of only 69 copies, The Demise of the Rotunda Amusement Park, will serve as a record of its final years.

The winds of change: Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the 1960s
1 September 2011

Amusement park nostalgia website themagiceye has dug deep into the archives this month for an atmospheric article on Blackpool's Pleasure Beach in the 1960s. The park was just entering a further period of major change and was a very different place to the Pleasure Beach of today.

The article, which first appeared on in January 2003, is available to view by clicking here.

The founding father of Pinder's Circus
27 August 2011

A limited edition book has been released on the subject of Thomas Ord, known as Scotland's greatest equestrian and the founding father of Pinder's Circus.

Thomas Ord: Circus Proprietor by Stuart McMillan is about the son of a minister who ran away and joined a circus. By around 1804 he had his own travelling circus. Although he built wooden circus buildings in Biggar, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Preston, Whitehaven, and Wick he was known by everyone in Scotland for his open-air shows. These shows he prepared by lifting the turfs of grass in a circle which were piled up around the diameter forming a circular bank of turfs. These were known as 'Ord's Rings' and could be seen all over Scotland in towns and villages.  More...

Back by popular demand!
24 August 2011

Out of print for a number of years, but now reprinted with new photographs, more pages and in hardback. Townsends: A Showman's Story by Kay Townsend is the fascinating story of the Townsend family.

Richard Townsend & Sons were West Country showmen and this book is about how their life evolved and how a young man called Richard met a young lady called Kate Forse, and their struggle to build a business through two World Wars and the depression.

It also includes details and images of their transport.

Click here for details.

Mr Warwick's Revolving Towers
20 August 2011

A brand new book detailing the histories of the Warwick Revolving Towers at Great Yarmouth, Morecambe, Scarborough, Southend-on-Sea, Douglas and Cleethorpes has been released.

At 72 pages, Mr Warwick's Revolving Towers by Martin Easdown and Linda Sage includes many illustrations and is a limited edition of only 200.

The first tower at Great Yarmouth in 1897 was constructed by Jessop and Appleby of Leicester, which also built the one at Southend the following year. Thomas Walker built the towers at Scarborough and Morecambe in 1898, and at Douglas the following year. More...

Circus Posters
9 July 2011

The magic of the circus has for many years been captured in the bold, brilliant posters that were plastered all over a town to let everybody know the circus was coming to town.

Circus Posters is a brand new CD-ROM, imported from the USA. This magical collection of circus posters also covers the Wild West Shows, World Circus and over 250 high resolution graphics for the circus fan. Plus 376 pages of sideshow freaks and more. Click here for more details.

Arrow: Building a Dream
2 July 2011

In 2008, Joyland Books' exclusive amusment park nostalgia website themagiceye copied an obituary on amusement park pioneer Karl Bacon, co-founder of famous roller coaster builder Arrow, and posted it on a web forum. themagiceye wasn't expecting the reply it got from one reader - Carolyn Anderson Moyer - who quite rightly took umbrage with some of its accuracy. Carolyn just happens to be the daughter of Arrow co-founder Angus Anderson, and has now provided themagiceye with the real truth behind the birth of the most influential roller coaster company in history. Read on...

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