Alton Towers Bookworm Restoration

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Thameslink Rail, 28th Apr 2020.

  1. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Apologies if this has already been posted (can't find any evidence of that), our friend Shaun Sanbrooke has been busy restoring the old bookworm, this really interests me how he got it, the history behind it, how much damage it had and how he is restoring it.
     
    Posted 28th Apr 2020
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  2. Burbs

    Burbs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I'm glad he's doing this. I'm also not surprised he's barely done anything to it yet (or at least up until last year, that video doesn't make it particularly clear) as he's never home, always travelling somewhere!

    Now seems like the ideal time. I hope he succeeds! :)
     
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    Posted 28th Apr 2020
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  3. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    Always remembered being rather wary of it when I first saw it on the leaflet for the '97 season and wondering what it was. Didn't realise it that tall, still it will be good to see it finished so goo luck to him. :)
     
    Posted 28th Apr 2020
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  4. Danny

    Danny Leicester Melvin Rong

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    The 'next time' clip is very dramatic.
     
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    Posted 28th Apr 2020
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  5. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I can't even put into the words the look my good lady gave me as she overheard some of that.

    Good luck to him.
     
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    Posted 28th Apr 2020
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  6. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Oh god, he's ruined the animatronic, there's a bit where he says the motors were already gone without realising it never had motors. All the main moving parts are actually still there until you see him remove them around the middle of the video.

    That's like getting a vintage car but removing the engine and just leaving the doors, because you didn't realise what the engine was. It might have needed some work to get it moving but could have worked, now it won't for sure!

    I know so many animatronic fans who'd loved to have get him moving again or at least bothered to find out how it worked
     
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    Posted 29th Apr 2020
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  7. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    If he did put a new motor in then in 10 years time he would have to restore it again. By leaving it stationary, it will last far longer.
     
    Posted 29th Apr 2020
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I'm very interested to see what it will be like once Shawn gets it working!

    Also, on an unrelated note; where was the other entrance portal to Storybook Land? Because I can only ever remember there being one.
     
    Posted 29th Apr 2020
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  9. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    There was about four or five paths leading into Storybook Land and two had the banners above. Can be clearly seen on streetview.
    This is the second portal https://goo.gl/maps/WBKoSV7tPNZgGRcJ8 which is the CBeebies "exit"
    Here is the first which is now the CBeebies entrance.https://goo.gl/maps/qhQBohv5HzMRcVA7A
     
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    Posted 29th Apr 2020
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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  11. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Completely untrue, unless he presses the button every 10 seconds every day like when it was in use at Alton Towers, and again there were no motors. The animatronic mechanism would have been fine but is now pretty much gone.


    He says in the video he isn't planning to get it working again, and now that he's removed all the mechanisms it will never move again
     
    Last edited: 1st May 2020
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  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah right. Thanks for the clarification @OilyWater!
     
  13. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    What did the apple say to the worm...?

    You're boring me
    :tearsofjoy:
     
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  14. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    I comentated in the video to let him know the Animation was actually in quite good repair. I've seen Festo cylinders of that age which are still running to this day.
    But I can also understand his reasoning for not wanting to run it. The steel frame would make it very heavy and the parts that did need repairing wouldn't be cheap. Also the rubber body which moved with the figure would have to be a custom fix and I can't imagine he'd have the resources for it. Alton Towers clearly didn't or it would have been kept in better condition.

    End of the day it's a shame to see the Animation stripped out but if he hadn't saved it the whole thing would have been scrapped so I'm glad to see it survived.
     
  15. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    I think there was an overhaul somewhere around 2005 where the audio was changed. But yeah, apart from that brief period I remember it always being in a pretty poor state of repair. I'm glad it didn't just end up as landfill.
     
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  16. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Foam, latex, and rubber do not age well. This is why so many props and puppets will soon be gone for good. You should see the state of the Gremlins these days, they all look like they've just looked in to The Ark.

    While it's great that it has been saved, the museum-geek in me is cringing at the further destruction of such a holy reclic. I sure hope all those internal bits have been saved.

    I'm reminded of a series of vids on YT about the Smithsonian museum's never ending mission to undo the damage done in the 80's by "restoration", on items such as the original studio model of the USS Enterprise, Niel Armstrong's moon suit, the Apollo 11 command capsule...

    Conservation, not restoration!



    Having said that... GOWANMYSON! :D
     
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  17. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    I think this is slightly unfair. Alton Towers ruined the animatronic from years of minimal maintenance. You can see clearly in the video how bad of a state it was in when still installed at Towers. Ripped skin, peeling paint, minimal movement.

    Then it has been lay down on the floor, with the bottom missing and all the external components exposed for years to the elements. Components that would be protected when it was installed. It was lay on the floor literally for scrap and literally never to be seen again. If he never got hold of it, it would have probably been scrapped!

    Yes he may have took the mechanics out so it never moves again. But if it was not for his intervention the thing would never have even been seen again. Let alone move.

    I'm sorry but I find your logic bewildering and flawed at best.

    This is a win win. Out of two choices. Let the thing go to scrap, or see it again in a non moving form. I know exactly which one I would prefer.

    You can't put someone down for saving something that would otherwise have never been seen by anyone again. Just because it is not getting restored to your own personal standard. Sure, lots of people might have liked to see it move again. But your other choice was literally to never see it again. Infact most people assumed they would not see it again full stop.
     
    Last edited: 29th Apr 2020
  18. jmc

    jmc TowersStreet Member

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    I remember in its last few years its head kept hanging off with the internals completely on show. When it was activated the head just wobbled about and I imagine was actually pretty terrifying for little children...

    It was baffling that they just left it, even by Altons standards.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Last edited: 30th Apr 2020
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  19. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I thought that was fixed in the TLC refresh? It was even re-voiced by one of the manager at Towers. I remember it being significantly better and I thought it lasted fairly well until CBeebies came about after that refresh.
     
  20. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    What? I never said he shouldnt have it. It's not a case of remove all the animatronic parts or scrap it.

    Why couldnt he have just kept it intact? And built a new base to hold it, he didn't even need to get it moving again if he didn't want to. Instead he destroyed all the animatronic engineering, half the point of an animatronic, especially a rare remaining one.

    The animatronic wasn't ruined, you can actually see from his video what good condition the animatronic parts were in. It was clearly built to last and such things can be easily repaired, or just replace the standard parts like springs.

    The only parts that were broken at Alton Towers were the costuming and silicone skin, which on most park animatronics get replaced every few years as part of normal maintenance.

    Let's be honest here, he removed the animatronic parts because he didn't realise how they worked and assumed that "the motors and wires" (which it never had) had already been removed.

    Imagine car enthusiasts praising someone for destroying a car engine because they didn't know what it was, just keeping the body. Then when someone points out what they've done, they get jumped on for daring to criticise the lord TPWW. I thought we were meant to be theme park enthusiasts?

    At the end of the day he could do whatever he wants with it, but I'm just pointing out the obvious in this supposed great "restoration".
     
    Last edited: 30th Apr 2020
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