Off Topic - Pleasureland Southport to close

The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched by Joyland Books in January 2003 and is now supported by several thousand people. This is the place to discuss all aspects of saving Margate's famous amusement park and its iconic , Grade II listed Scenic Railway, Britain's oldest roller coaster.

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Postby EAS » 01 Oct 2006, 09:25

Of course, if Cyclone is listed that will also mean some things on site (pre-1948) listed as 'curtilage' ... and the same applies if anything else is listed.

Donosaurs I think not 'fixtures' though!
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Postby Coaster Manta » 04 Oct 2006, 12:07

It may be that the best location for a museum may not be at an existing park. The Black Country Museum & Tram Museum were both started on derelict areas of land and exhibits moved and rebuilt.
It would be better if it was situated at a historical location but it seems that both PBB and the owners of Dreamland are hell bent on developing the sites for housing and shops, thus making maximum profits for themselves and the land unaffordable for anyone else.
Personnally I'd like to see Southport rebuilt and developed as a classic/ modern amusement park and Dreamland to be a museum park. It looks like any new owners are going to have to start with pretty much a blank canvas.
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Postby furie » 04 Oct 2006, 13:33

Sorry, don't want to seem like I'm always arguing, but... ;)

Southport has a lot of direct competition in the Amusement Park arena, not least Gullivers and Camelot. Th ebiggest competitor is Blackpool. Trying to run a profitable park there would be hard. It's not a bad place, as tourism in Southport is good in general and the front there is good. All in all, Southport isn't a bad place to go (unlike Blackpool).

For a museum, it's in a good location for a large amount of the country (but I'm a Northerner, so I'm biased ;) :lol: ).

Dreamland has no nearby competition and only the one historic ride. It's a smaller place and convenient for the beach (it's a superb beach too and actually has a tide that comes in ;) ).

A remodelled Dreamland would help regenerate the area and bring in more tourists. A "museum" down there would do little for the area, as it's not crying out for that kind of thing, but IS crying out for a seaside park.
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Postby Coaster Manta » 04 Oct 2006, 15:36

Whilst I would love to see a museum park at Southport I would be concerned that the recent developments along the seafront are aimed more at young people and families therefore it could be hard to get things off the ground.
We all know that the reason why Pleasureland is not profitable at the moment is because the management made it that way. When they installed Tramatizer attendence went up by 450% in one season which proves if you keep adding exciting new rides the park will be a success.
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Postby Neil » 04 Oct 2006, 16:45

Well it seems that Blackpool Pleasurebeach have just been given an award for 'best resort 2006' by Group Leisure. It's clearly not going to be possible for their award to be taken away, however I think it may be worth the Save Pleasureland Camapgin emailing Group Leisure with some interesting facts.

Also I've got an email from English Heritage which seems to be saying that the Council could have issued a 'Building Preservation Notice', but did not feel the rides at Pleasureland are important enough. I may have misunderstood, but if it's true it changes how I see Sefton Council. They had assured me that they would be doing everything they could.
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Postby EAS » 05 Oct 2006, 09:40

I'm interested in the fact that one of the council's officers indicated (on the telephone) to a person from SAVE that EH had already assessed the site in the past and found it not of interest.

That's not actually true as far as I can tell. However, I'm not always convinced by EH's expertise anyhow.

Unfortunately, a BPN can bring financial penalties, and so councils are reluctant to use them. So yes in theory - in reality it's cos EH messed this one up really, but they aren't admitting it.


http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/uplo ... 0Notice%22
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Postby Coaster Manta » 08 Oct 2006, 20:52

This weekend I spoke to a friend who works in the rides business and he said that Blackpool Pleasure Beach have sold their lease on the land at Southport to a property developer. The contract states that PBB must remover 40% of the permanent structures and all temporary rides by the end of the year. The contract and future plans for the site (nobody knows what they are) have been approved by a member of Sefton Council who will get the required planning permission. This happened about 4 months ago.
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Postby Bob » 08 Oct 2006, 21:11

Coaster Manta wrote:Whilst I would love to see a museum park at Southport I would be concerned that the recent developments along the seafront are aimed more at young people and families therefore it could be hard to get things off the ground.
We all know that the reason why Pleasureland is not profitable at the moment is because the management made it that way. When they installed Tramatizer attendence went up by 450% in one season which proves if you keep adding exciting new rides the park will be a success.



Yes if you add big new rides every couple of years attendences will stay up. The difficulty is that the big new rides cost very serious money and whilst attendencess will climb for a year or two they then fall. THe increase in attendence as well is know where near enough to cover the costs. Smaller amusement parks just cannot competete agains the big Theme Parks. Like it or not the demand is just not enough. There is no money to be made from them.
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Postby EAS » 08 Oct 2006, 22:11

Bob - you do talk absolute rubbish, don't you?

Pleasureland - I think there is a vast amount you do not understand about the way it has been mismanaged.

Of course - if you deliberately set out to close a site, with a fair bit of creative accountancy, so you can redevelop....


I think, that maybe we should now

NOT FEED THE TROLL.

Re the development - one such development was turned down by Sefton Council recently. David Cam of BPB says that the site is a prime one ripe for re-development, and the site is being cleared for that.

I have no doubt at all that many secretive meetings are being held. I think rather too many local authorities are rotten to the core.
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Postby uvegotmale2000 » 09 Oct 2006, 00:08

any news on any of the other old rides?
like the mine train,surely that should be saved also
wasnt that made in 1923?
i think thats the one moved from frontierland,
has anyone any news on the other old rides whether these rides will be saved?
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Postby furie » 09 Oct 2006, 11:09

Coaster Manta wrote:This weekend I spoke to a friend who works in the rides business and he said that Blackpool Pleasure Beach have sold their lease on the land at Southport to a property developer. The contract states that PBB must remover 40% of the permanent structures and all temporary rides by the end of the year. The contract and future plans for the site (nobody knows what they are) have been approved by a member of Sefton Council who will get the required planning permission. This happened about 4 months ago.


While it wouldn't surprise me, Blackpool cannot sell on the lease without the councils permission.

Of course, there's the lovely "rotten apple" scenario EAS has pointed out, but for members of the council to openly state that they have refused to allow BPB Ltd. to give back the lease to Sefton, and for Sefton council to say they have no developers looking at taking the lease just yet, it's a big lie, and not one that could easily be swept under the carpet.

However, I believe that even though the lease hasn't been handed over officially, you're probably spot on. The deal has been done completely and it's just waiting for the final bits to be sorted before all of a sudden, Sefton announce how clever they are at resolving the issue.

Lots of backroom dealing going on with large sums of money in briefcases ;)
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Postby EAS » 09 Oct 2006, 13:47

I understand destruction continues - which may not be legal, given the wildlife there.
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Postby uvegotmale2000 » 09 Oct 2006, 19:34

i know the traumatizer is all but down,what else has gone?
have they demolished any other rides???
pity nobody can see inside the entire park to see what has gone and whats still standing
the mine train should be saved,its been saved once from frontierland,it should be saved again

any news on other rides in southport veing demolished or removed and where they are going??
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Postby EAS » 09 Oct 2006, 19:44

I'm afraid you are as wise as I am! Some I think may be going to Blackpool, but I have no idea.

They belong to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and they can do what they want with them, sadly.
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Postby furie » 10 Oct 2006, 10:26

uvegotmale2000 wrote:any news on other rides in southport veing demolished or removed and where they are going??


Lightwater Valley have bought the Chaos, Flying Camels and two or three other "family" rides (maybe the Desert Cars and Log Flume?)

Another "party" has bought Space Shot (likely to be Camelot as they announced pretty quickly after Southport was closing that they had a new "thrill ride" for 2007).

I doubt anything will happen with King Solomon's Mines. The move from Morecambe cost Southport an absolute fortune as most of the rides structure had to be replaced. It's never really run reliably while at Southport either. It's also not all that old. It may be one of three remaining wooden Wild Mouse rides in the country, but they're all just 50 years old. It's not somethnig that can really be saved. As with a lot of things, you have to ask "why has nobody made a Wooden Wild Mouse coasater in the last 50 years?"

There are certainly fashions in the industry, but whereas Wooden coasters have have a resurgance as they are superb fun, Wooden Mice just haven't. The metal versions must, for some reason, be classed as a better option. If parks wanted Wooden Wild Mice coasters, there would be companies out there that would make them. Parks just don't seem to want them. So it's a difficult one really. It's really a type that was made, bettered pretty quickly and didn't have enough of an effect to influence the future that much. I like them, and think they're good rides, but historically (at the moment), they're not old enough or significant enough :(

Oddly, some coasters are making a comeback though. Knoebels in the US are making a "Flying Turns" coaster for 2007. It's a wooden bobsleigh type of ride like the Avalanche at Blackpool. They seem to understand that sometimes, the old designs were the best! :)
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