Blackpool Pleasure Beach: General Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by John, 13th Jun 2012.

  1. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    I’ve just been reading Coney Island the People’s Playground by Michael Immerso. Every night Lunar Park had a show with a cast of 1,000 who attempted to put out a set of a burning street. Dreamland topped it with their own version of the show, that had a cast of 2,000. It kind of puts Valhalla into perspective. :tearsofjoy:
     
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  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I just watched this very interesting video on PBE about whether Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s heritage is a help or a hindrance to them, and I’d personally be very intrigued to know your thoughts on this subject:


    In my opinion, I think there needs to be a bit of a compromise made between heritage and evolution, as I don’t think that relying entirely on one path would be a good idea for them.

    On one hand, I personally feel like the park’s heritage adds to it, and the combination of old and new really gives the park a unique charm, and I don’t think it would be quite the same without some of the older and more unique attractions. Even though I don’t necessarily enjoy all of them, attractions like Big Dipper & Grand National, amongst others, really give the park something that the likes of Alton Towers & Thorpe Park can’t offer. These attractions are worth celebrating, in my opinion; as much as I tend to prefer more modern coasters on the whole, I don’t think Pleasure Beach would be quite the same if it was filled to the brim with modern rides.

    However, on the other hand, I do think that there is a need to move on and progress. If the park had relied entirely on preserving its heritage, the Switchback Railway built in 1894 would still be operating and half the iconic attractions the park went on to build wouldn’t exist! The reality is that the park has to stay relevant and modern, to a degree, in order to survive as a business, and things sometimes have to be removed in order for that to occur.

    What are you guys’ thoughts?
     
  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Picnic area...

    [​IMG]

    (the image isn't loading for me in the thread, but when I edit the post it is?)
     
    Last edited: 31st May 2020
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  4. IDB

    IDB TowersStreet Member

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    The Pleasure Beach must have had an affinity with Huss Rides in the 1980’s.
     
  5. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    It's mixed because yes the Nash is rough especially towards the back row but it's a big part of Pleasure Beach their classic woodies, and like Scott mentions in the video, it will be like Corkscrew if they removed Nash for example. They will receive so much backlash either way. From what I've heard, the Switchback was operated by gypsies and although iconic, I think Alderman still wanted a more thrilling a modern at the time Woodie that would be better than the Scenic Railway at Dreamland Margate. They do need to move on and in my opinion we will probably see Ice Blast removed over the next decade along with Skyforce and a few other rides.
     
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  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    To repeat the same thing over and over...
    The Grand National is going nowhere.
    It is a listed structure.
     
  7. Mr Pearse

    Mr Pearse TowersStreet Member

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    As mentioned before unless something serious happens the woodies (apart from streak) will never be removed due to the listing status of the rides
     
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  8. siralgenon

    siralgenon TowersStreet Member

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    Not that I'd ever presume or want them to be removed. Could the Grand National not be re-tracked to solve the roughness or is this not allowed due to its status?
     
  9. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Strange echo in here.
    Repairs and replacements yes, substantial changes to the structure, no.
    The problem isnt so much the track, more crap trains, at least according to the (anonymous) King of the Woodies.
     
  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’d imagine they probably could, as isn’t Scenic Railway at Dreamland listed, and that had a huge refurbishment? Admittedly, that was after a fire, but it was a substantial refurbishment nonetheless!

    I personally think that with retracking and/or some new trains (maybe something from GCI, a bit like the custom trains they did for Roller Coaster at Lagoon?), Grand National would be one of my favourite coasters, as I do love the layout! As it stands, though, it’s my second least favourite coaster I’ve been on, and that’s almost entirely down to the overbearing roughness being way too much for me to personally enjoy.
     
  11. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Yes... if Blackpool Pleasure Beach burnt the ride down then they would be permitted to rebuild it as was.

    I'm not sure it's a credible suggestion though - apart from being a criminal offence it'd be far more expensive and troublesome than just maintaining the current structure (and new trains, one day).
     
  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’m not suggesting burning National down by any stretch; that would be terrible if it happened! I’m more suggesting that they would be allowed to do some sort of retracking if they wanted to.
     
  13. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    They wouldn't.
     
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  14. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Burning it down...
    Depends on your insurance policy.
     
  15. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Given their insurance company is themselves....
     
  16. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    No, they are brokers.
    Edit.
    And I'm pretty sure you can't insure yourself, it is against the insurance regulations...it has to be a third party arrangement.
    .
     
    Last edited: 31st May 2020
  17. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    Nashy isn't going anywhere like others have said. They will just continue to replace sections etc. It's badly in need of a huge TLC job right now. Unless you're in a certain row it's not even rideable anymore to me.

    Trouble is they just don't have the cash to fix Big One, do up Valhalla and fix everything else too. The park badly needs to turn a corner visitor number wise or it will just continue to go downhill.
     
  18. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Just dont sit over a wheel, its fine.
    Admittedly, that doesn't leave many good seats.
     
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  19. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    And you can't always choose your seat,
     
  20. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    It depends what you mean by re-tracking. Over time wood warps, gets worn, water gets into cracks and freezes etc. You can re-track in terms of replacing worn wood with new wood, otherwise after a few years the ride would be unsafe and would have to get mothballed. Holiday World seems to re-track sections of the Voyage most years and Wodan at Europa Park has already had sections re-tracked. Listed doesn’t stop you maintaining a structure, so they can re-track sections. In the case of a wooden roller coaster, the age of the wood isn’t what makes it special. It’s hardly like replacing all the boulders at Stone Henge.

    They might allow for minor deviations, for example the Scenic Railway at Dreamland wasn’t re-built from the same type of wood as the original. The world has gradually been deforested, and wood that was affordable in 1920 might be very hard and expensive to come by now. There is a recognition that it might be reasonable to make some minor changes to listed buildings, otherwise you’d reach a situation where lots of them couldn’t be used for anything and were very expensive and impractical to maintain. There are various minor changes to the rebuilt ScenicRailway compared to the original, for example it’s bolted together rather than nailed and the tops of the barriers around the ride are slightly angled to allow water to run off them to reduce weathering. Toe boards and grip pads have been added to improve safety. There are magnetic brakes in places.

    If by re-track, people mean changing to profile of the track or changing the type of track (e.g. an RMC conversion), then that’s something completely different. They’d need listed building consent for that. People saying that it’s a bit rough shouldn’t be enough to get approval, otherwise there’d be little point in it being listed. Applications for changes to listed buildings get reviewed on a case by case basis.

    I have a feeling that the trains can get changed. I think they’re counted in the same way that furniture is on a listed house. If a house is listed, you don’t need listed building consent to change the furniture inside it, and I think the trains could be technically treated in the same way.
     

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