Gavin and Stacey fair could close

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Gavin and Stacey fair could close

Postby Bob » 29 Jul 2009, 17:30

A seaside funfair which has attracted visitors for nearly 90 years, may be forced to close its doors next year due to bad weather putting tourists off.

The Pleasure Park on Barry Island, which features in the BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey, nearly closed in
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Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 29 Jul 2009, 18:55

Well, it's good job that south east England has a far more temperate and less rainy climate than south Wales.

What brings you back here Bob?
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Postby EAS » 29 Jul 2009, 19:11

He's always such a ray of sunshine, is Bob!

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Postby Cheryl » 30 Jul 2009, 08:14

Yes, while we in the Midlands and anywhere, West and South West has been a damp squib, my parents are in Margate at the moment and I understand you are all basking in nice sunshine.

Have never really understood why people flock to Devon and Cornwall, unless you like rain of course. South East summers have nearly always been good, even the winter isn't too bad either.
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Postby DaveD » 30 Jul 2009, 14:48

You must spend hours scouring the internet Bob for stories of funfair doom - isn't it about time you hung up the old
Cloak and Scythe?

Why don't you retire from this gloomy caper and discover such things as the fairer sex? Your Mum must have had enough of you living at home by now while you carry this on. Let's face it, things have never been the same since she came home that night and caught you in her underwear.

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Postby Nick » 01 Aug 2009, 09:02

The Barry Island Pleasure Park closure is a complex story. It was purchased in 1996 by Ken Rogers, owner of the Hyper Value chain of discount stores, after it had suffered from years of decline. Hyper Value was a hugely successful South Wales brand, founded almost 30 years ago by Mr Rogers. Following a £5m investment programme, he had turned the park around, and it was a genuinely good seaside park and great family destination. Sadly, Mr Rogers died of cancer in 2000, aged 55. The Pleasure Park business and the Hyper Value retail chain, passed into the hands of his family.

In 2006, after being run by Mr Rogers's son for 5 years, the Hyper Value chain ran into financial trouble. The Company, which owned Barry Island Pleasure Park, closed several of its South Wales stores that year following a period of poor trading. Retail restructuring specialist Hilco acquired a 50% share in the company, following Hyper Value's inability to borrow any further funds. The future of the Pleasure Park was then in doubt.

As part of the transaction, it was later revealed that Hilco had agreed to fund a joint venture arrangement with Ian Rogers, son of the business's founder, to acquire and operate the Barry Island Pleasure Park including the Dolphin Bar and KR's nightclub.

At the time, it was clear that this was only going to b a short-term venture as the plan was to redevelop the site. The way the park was being run since the Hilco take-over was not, in my view, sustainable, being very similar to the way Dreamland was run between 2003 and 2006.

In 2007, all 20 rides at Barry Island Pleasure Park were being advertised for sale in World's Fair.

Then came the credit crunch and the collapse of the property development industry. There was no hope in the short to medium term of the Pleasure Park being redeveloped. It then languished, with the owners reopening it each year, but it was blighted as an amusement park by its ownership situation and its lack of a long-term future.

In my view, the park technically closed as a permanent amusement park in 2006, but was never the same after the death of Mr Rogers in 2000. But this was really a case of the collapse of a parent company (Hyper Value) bringing down a pefectly viable seaside amusement park, leaving it operating on a short-term basis with the remaining rides and whatever rides travelling showmen could bring to the site.

So the Barry Island closure, whilst still ultimately a property redevelopment closure, was complicated compared to other seaside park closures by its ownership connection to a large retail chain.

Those parks that closed permanently in the property boom pending redevelopment - such as Ocean Beach at Rhyl, Pleasureland at Southport and Marvels at Scarborough - still lie either closed or being operated under similar short-term arrangements because no developer is willing (yet) to make a start on development. But to say Barry Island Pleasure Park is about to close down now is like saying that Pleasurelnd is about to close down. Neither are/were meant to be permanent arrangements.
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Postby aweber1us » 01 Aug 2009, 20:09

As a kid i use to holiday in South Wales. In my opinion Barry changed in about 1997 when the former Butlins site was compulsury purchased by the local council and half demolished for houses. The other half was demolised in late 2005 and Barry has never been the same since. I was last in the fair there in 1998 on a sunny afternoon in August and my family was about the only people in the park.The Butlins camp was opered in 1966 and was the youngest in the Butlins Empire and should still be opened now. I guess the council thought that a housing estate would be better.
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