British amusement parks on film/television

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British amusement parks on film/television

Postby Nick » 18 Mar 2006, 16:56

There have been lots of threads on other forums about amusment parks and roller coasters on film, but most of these are dominated by US parks and rides.

I have just watched an excellent action movie film called 'Slayground', set at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Southport Pleasureland. It has great footage of the two parks in the early 1980s. It got me thinking: how many other British parks are featured in film or television? Please post them here on this thread.

I will start off with the above film, Slayground. It starts off in the USA, but the second half of the film is based in Pleasureland (Southport) and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which are supposed to be the same park. Pleasureland is used for most of the outdoor sequences, playing the role of a run-down amusement park owned by one of the main characters (which it did very well!). The final part of the film is an extended action sequence which uses many of the Pleasure Beach's most famous dark rides, including: the Gold Mine, River Caves, Alice's Wonderland, plus some great footage from inside the Derby Racer. This little known film is one of the best examples I have seen of a British park as the central focus of a film. You can buy or rent it from Amazon from here (please note that they have the date incorrectly shown as 1971, when it should be 1984):

Slayground

My other favourite is an episode of the Keith Barron/Nigel Havers drama series from the early 1990s called 'The Good Guys'. An hour-long episode was set at Margate's Dreamland, as a bomber was in the crowds threateneing to blow up one of the rides (which turned out to be the Water Chute) and there was a race against time to find the bomber and kill him. Definitely the best TV appearance of Dreamland to date that I have seen.
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amusement parks in films

Postby dave » 19 Mar 2006, 21:29

Hi I started a forum on this site about two years ago about this subject and ther was a good response then with people sending in their memories of clips they had seen i have an extensive list of films that have had clips so shall start with a few.
only on wenesday last week watched on sky movies saturday night sunday morning(1960) which had some good shots from nottingham goose fair which showed albert finney and rachel roberts riding on a autodrome and speedway (oval dodgem track) and showed other rides as well. Many films and tv series have shown blackpool pleasure beach over the years these being sing as we go (1930's) gracie fields having a day out at the park with fellow factory workers. coasting (1980's) t.v drame series which was about two brothers who had jobs on the pleasure beach a great series showing many rides on the park.
the parole officer (2000's) with a memorable on ride footage on the big one. bhaji on the beach (1990's) about a muslim family's day trip to blackpool visitingthe pleasure beach. the best to me being the six part documentry by the bbc pleasure beach about the day to day running of the park.
shall post agian with more from my list at a later date...
regards dave.

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Postby Gary » 23 Mar 2006, 19:56

Slayground: I remember this film..I'm sure Mel Smith had something to do with it.

A Taste of Honey..1961 kitchen sink film..Blackpool and its Reel in all its grimy glory..

That'll be the day..Ringo Starr in charge of the dodgems..

"The energy of the fairground and rock 'n' roll are contrasted with restraint and conformity, promoted by religion (a religious service is heard on Mrs MacLaine's radio)."

But my type of favourite film?? Gotta love them home cine 8 films..

..Look towards the bottom of the page at Hopping's Big Wheel and All the fun of the fair from the following link..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nationonfilm/location/north-east-cumbria/tyneside.shtml

and then of course there is The Reel at PBB (6th from top)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nationonfilm/location/north-west/


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Postby Gary » 23 Mar 2006, 21:29

..and then there was the episode "the girl who was death" in the magnificent cult series of the sixties..


the prisoner


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Postby porterm » 24 Mar 2006, 14:11

What about Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's "Bedazzled". I thought it was a superb film and briefly featured Battersea Funfair and the Big Dipper amongst a few other smaller rides like the spacecraft spinner ride (whatever that's called).

Classic stuff, especially as I lived in Battersea in the seventies. The park was my local playground, however I never did ride the ill fated Big Dipper as I was only 11 when it crashed in 1972. I also never seem to remember going on their river caves either.

Also, I remember the park being featured in a few TV shows like The Fenn Street Gang (I don't think it was Please Sir!) and some sci-fi series, Journey Into The Unknown?? or something which featured the entrance by the dive bomber in a rather blurry arty image.

Martin


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amusement parks in films

Postby dave » 25 Mar 2006, 17:48

Other films which had battersea as a location are Mutations (1973) which starred tom baker as a disfiqured freak show owner and it showed many rides of the park all throughout the film some splendid shots.
day the earth caught fire (1962) which showed the main characters riding the roller coaster in this sci-fi classic.
gorgo(1962) about a prehistoric creature that tears down an amusement
park some shots of battersea in this one.

Clarence pier has featured in thatill be the day(1974) some good shots of
most of the rides in night time shots.

Brighton pier has featured in many film and tv series including the following killer net a cha 4 drama series showing a lot of nightime scenes of the rides, end of the affiar drama film, mona lisa crime thriiler, circus
crime film, and many appeareances in t.v shows such as eastenders,blue peter, surprise surprise, the big breakfast, coronation street.

dave..


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Postby Gary » 26 Mar 2006, 08:57

Coronation Street has been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach a few times.
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Postby Graeme » 28 Mar 2006, 22:30

I remember that epsiode of The Good Guys! It was about a year before I went to Dreamland, and I remember wondering what some of the weird rides were! Strangely, that was the only episode I ever saw... I've also seen Bedazzled.
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Postby porterm » 30 Mar 2006, 00:14

I've just remembered an old original series episode of ITV's The Tomorrow People (reshown on the Sci-Fi Channel about 6 years ago) where I believe they filmed on Clacton Pier. I'm quite sure the episode featured footage of the former Steel Stella roller coaster and a haunted type mirror maze (unless that was a studio filmed item). I did record it on an old VHS tape at the time; probably lost for good now amongst my boxes of old tapes that I'd love to just transfer to DVD some day and throw out the old tapes.

Martin

PS I'm sure there's a plethora of items out there; like the Carry On film they filmed on Brighton Pier years ago with the old Ghost Train I believe. Sadly with the demise of so many old parks they represent an untimely nostalgic reminder of those more distant times. I always find them fascinating anyway!
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Postby Nick » 30 Mar 2006, 19:44

The Weymouth Wild Mouse is featured on the classic early 1970s film Melody. This has fantastic footage of the ride with a great soundtrack.

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Postby porf » 26 Apr 2006, 20:24

The BBC series The Lost World of Friese-Greene showed a very small clip from early colour footage of Blackpool last night.

Probably of more interest is that the whole archive of this very early colour footage has been put on the BBC website, featuring about 6 minutes on Blackpool. There's a nice bit of footage of the Virginia Reel, longer than that shown on the television.

To view the archive footage click the following link and then "Launch the video player":
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/openroad/launch.shtml
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Postby porterm » 26 Apr 2006, 21:08

Paul,

Loved that shot of the infamous "Reel" on the film clip. I find it fascinating to watch that ride still; I can't believe how may cars appear to traverse the track at quite close proximities. I'll personally never forget my one off "virgin" ride back in July 1982, in its final season, little did I know at the time. As I've said before, I'll always regret not re-riding it again, but in those days one had to purchase ride category tickets (remember Class A-E, I seem to recall).

It seems rather nostalgically a near lifetime ago now; don't worry I'm not becoming Dennis Norden yet! - it really was such a classic ride masterpiece in my opinion, and it had the colour scheme I seem to hazily recall, unlike the colours depicted on the Magic Eye website I've viewed before. If only I had a time machine.....

Does anyone remember an old landscape/ history type show on BBC2, I believe, some years ago with Linda Lusinda? (or something like that) - she once featured The Reel and waxed lyrical about her loved attraction. I thought she used to appear rather scatterbrain perhaps but she had some real taste there I think. Quite a character as well.

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Postby Gary » 09 Jun 2006, 16:03

Doctor in the House (fifties) showed Battersea and I think an 80's film called Mr Love shot in Southport showed Pleasureland?

Keep 'em coming! :-)
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Postby Graeme » 23 Jul 2006, 13:19

porterm wrote:Does anyone remember an old landscape/ history type show on BBC2, I believe, some years ago with Linda Lusinda? (or something like that) - she once featured The Reel and waxed lyrical about her loved attraction. I thought she used to appear rather scatterbrain perhaps but she had some real taste there I think. Quite a character as well.


I haven't seen that episode but it sounds like One Foot in the Past, the show about interesting architecture (wish they'd bring it back). One of the presenters was Lucinda Lambton, so that's probably who it was (I'm not trying to correct you or anything).

EDIT - While I'm at it, BBC2's programme about the History of Light Entertainment last night featured Bernie Winters riding a water chute (guess: Battersea) and it also showed 1970s footage of the exterior of Britannia Pier and Joyland, Great Yarmouth.

Another thing: did anyone see a programme a week or two ago that featured footage of the Battersea Scenic? I just can't remember what it was.
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Postby porterm » 23 Jul 2006, 19:30

Hi Graeme,

That was the presenter's name I'm sure! (my interpretaion was somewhat reversed I reckon). I still can't recall the exact programme name but I think you could be correct as it seemed to mainly feature old buildings, apart from a few eccentric variations, like The Reel at Blackpool's Pleasure Beach.

Martin

PS Sadly I missed the show recently with footage of the old Big Dipper Scenic Railway at the former Battersea Funfair. Anyone catch that one?
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