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Blackpool Pleasure Beach


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I'm pretty sure Nemesis is the finest coaster in the UK, and if it was new this year it would still impress and wow people. 


Moving back on, this new ride has the potential to be something special, especially hearing how good Blue Fire & Helix are (riding both in the next few weeks). Inversions aren't everything but this could easily be the best ride at Blackpool (currently Valhalla for me).

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15 minutes ago, Matt Creek said:

I'm pretty sure Nemesis is the finest coaster in the UK, and if it was new this year it would still impress and wow people. 

It's subjective as to what each person enjoys in a coaster, with that said it was just a bit of light humour.

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Nice little article with a (very) brief overview of the park's history:


IT started with a single ride on the Blackpool sands in 1896 and became one of the most popular amusement parks in the world.

The Pleasure Beach was founded by local businessman William Bean and this year celebrates its 120th birthday.

Bean had an ambitious vision and, as he launched the Hotchkiss Bicycle Ride, he quickly bought up the 42-acre site where millions still flock for holiday thrills and spills.

Early rides such as Sir Hiram Maxim’s Flying Machines, built in 1904, and the River Caves, which came along two years later, remain popular today and sit alongside modern-day rollercoasters like The Big One.

Vanessa Toulmin says that’s part of the unique charm of the Pleasure Beach.

She’s visited the park every year and her family ran the fair in nearby Morecambe. She’s also a professor at the University of Sheffield and has written four books about Blackpool, including one on the Pleasure Beach.

“There’s an overlapping heritage of more than 100 years,” she said. “It’s a mixture of an exhibition and amusement park and of nostalgia and modernity.

“Bean wanted it to be a place of refinement and beauty.

“He and his son-in-law, Leonard Thompson, designed the park and brought in architects such as Joseph Emberton and Percy Metcalfe, who designed the St George’s Cross.”

As Blackpool became more popular, the Pleasure Beach continued to grow.

During the Second World War signs around the park were written in Polish, due to the number of Polish air force bases around the town at that time.

The Pleasure Beach became so renowned it even inspired the founder of the world’s most famous theme parks.

“Walt Disney came over to see it,” Vanessa explained. “He liked that it was a family park and was a higher class of resort.

“He even gave them permission to use Alice in Wonderland for a ride.”

That was in the early ’50s, when Disney came up with the idea of an amusement park based on his characters and he was invited over by Leonard Thompson.

By that point the park had a number of rides in place that are still among the most popular today.

Queues still line up outside the Big Dipper, built in 1923, and the 1935 twin-track Grand National.

The first rollercoaster, the Scenic Railway, was built in 1907, and today there are 10 that span the decades.

“There are five woodies and five steelies, which is unheard of,” Vanessa said.

“Even the name Ghost Train comes from the Pleasure Beach. It was called the Pretzel Ride in America but that meant nothing to the British when it was imported so they came up with the Ghost Train instead.”

Vanessa added: “The Pleasure Beach is a place for all ages, from grandparents to grandchildren.

“It’s also very special to have a park in one family over four generations.

“It’s an international park – I don’t think people in the UK realise how marvellous it is.

“Other places have come and gone, but the Pleasure Beach is still there.”

Link here - there are a few old photos which are worth a look! https://www.sundaypost.com/in10/chat/blackpool-pleasure-beach-120-years/ - 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Shocking that they were able to do that, they should not have been able to start the ride and it went unnoticed for half an hour?!


Makes me wonder if they actually have security on site. I remember last year when the fountain music was left on all night - surely security would have heard it and switched it off?

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4 hours ago, Benin said:

Depends if security have access to the music control box (probably not, plus if they turned it off wrong then could get in further trouble)...

Don't know that one but it would have been long enough to contact whoever does have access (which considering the park's nearby location to houses should have been a priority).


The blame lies with BPB in my opinion.  Obviously the idiots who did it are in the wrong, but this sort of incident should not be possible at all, the fact that they broke into the park unnoticed is bad enough, but actually operating a ride?!  If correct procedures were followed it wouldn't happen and as mentioned the fact it went on for half an hour undetected is awful.


On another note, I see the park have had a significant media backlash with articles on BBC & ITV news as well as several others.

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  • 4 weeks later...

BPB have reduced their opening hours for the rest of the year.  Basically, any days that were 8pm (summer holidays and October half term) are now 7pm, and a lot of 6pm days are now 5pm.  The website says that they may extend if there is demand, and calls the closing time the "earliest ride close time", however from what I've heard today was a busy day with nice weather yet they didn't extend.


Pleasure Beach has changed and it's only getting worse. :(

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11 minutes ago, Matt Creek said:

Obviously need the money for that Mack mega then. Sure it can't come cheap.


if this was a bigger park I'm sure there would be a lot more up in arms.

But with the park's location there is potential to make money way after 8pm - so closing as early as 7pm when it's busy is madness.

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