Drayton Manor Park

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Final two from 2003

3TheCarousel_DraytonManor_2003Poster_4.jpg


More stuff here

Nice photos. Fun fact. I went to school with the boy in the bottom left of that photo, he was in my form. He also did a few photos for Golden Nuggets on the park promo material. Wow that is a blast from the past! I believe his mother worked within the Guest Services and HR departments.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Here is a few photos. Thought people might appreciate these. These first photos basically look very similar to this day. It is of the top entrance by the Tower Ball room. Pretty much all the buildings in the photos still exist in one form or another to this day. The building on the left is the Tower ball room today and the building to the right, with the red awning above the door is now the Grill inn. Notable exceptions include no Apocolypse, which now is to the left of the photo next to the chairlift which does not exist today. Not sure of a date but I am guessing the 1960s. Or there abouts.

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Another slight different angle. Pretty much everything in this photo still exists today. The undercover walkway between the buildings still exists and you will walk through this when entering the park from this entrance.

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This next one is from the same angle as this last photo. But taken from ground level. You can see the same cable car tower in all three photos. This is how it looks today but without the chairlift.

SWNS-DRAYTON-CLOSED-006.jpg


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The chairlift again, taken from over the lake. About the same time as first two photos. The photo is looking towards Storm Force 10 and Shockwave.

Chair-Lift.jpg


How that same view looks today.




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Next one I believe is a post card from the Jungle cruise. Again, the date is a guess, but I believe the late 1970's or early 1980's would be a good bet.

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Now this third one is the most interesting. It shows Drayton Manor when it was just a funfair in the 1960s back when Drayton was in its infancy. Now the fairground was partially run by the Shipley family at this time, while being owned by the Bryan's. The Shipleys have a long history at the park. In later years they just ran the amusements in the park known as Shipleys amusements. I believe they still run that to this day. They also to this day still have a large house on the Drayton Manor estate, not far from Wild West Shootout in terms of location actually, near the park stores. But totally inacessible to the public. They also still to this day operate an amusements in Tamworth town centre. It has been there years. The town center one, unlike the park amusements is adults 18+ only.

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You can see the houses of the Deer Park Road estate in the top left background. You can also see the train station on the bottom left of the photo, which still stands in the same location today as the Polperro Express. The photo would be taken from the cable cars nearing the station in the park. This photo is looking directly at where the massive show building for what was Pirate Adventure now sits. Looking towards the old Pirate Adventure entrance and The Burger Kitchen entrance. Thomas Land is in the top left of the photo roughly to the left of the green grass, the green grass mostly been taken up by the back of Pirate Adventure, the battle scene area of the ride. While the immediate front bit of the green grass area is where the Crypt used to be located but is now the indoor play area. With the Jungle Cruise lake behind the trees in the top right. That should hopefully give you an idea of where the picture is taken and just how much the park has changed.


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This next picture is of the same area but from a different angle taken from over the lake. Notice the bumper cars. Still in the same spot today. They look alot different with no Pirate Adventure building, which would take up the bulk of this photo. Even though the bumper cars are not part of the Pirate Adventue building, they are next to it and have an ajoining facade to make them appear to be the same building. Also the merry go round is in the same location. The small waterway that connects the main lake to the Excalibur lake can be seen. Then lastly, the right angle in the lake edge, towards the bottom left, is where the giant shark photo point is today.

Drayton-Manor-Theme-Park-13.jpg


Then a picture from the same view point, many years later

riding-cable-car-at-drayton.jpg



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This picture is of Drayton Manor house before it was demolished in the 1920's I believe. The clock tower can be seen on the right of the photo. The clock tower still stands to this day, next to the Grill Inn, just as you enter the park by car actually. The very first picture shown in this post, the clock tower is just out of frame to the right of that photo, to give you an idea of location.

FB-IMG-1587346548230.jpg


Just for reference, here is a photo of the clock tower how it appears today. Note the location of the clock in both photos to give you a frame of reference for where the photos are taken from. The driveway is roughly where the driveway sits today. With the parts of the house on the left of the photo being where the coach park and hotel sits today. Notice the chair lift cables. The first three photos in this set were taken around this area.

drayton-manor-clock-tower-geograph.jpg



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A very empty park in this one. Looking up towards the top of of the park from the main car park entrance. Notice the bumper cars on the left. Again, in the same place they sit today. Also you can see the Polperro Express near the bottom of the picture. Exact same location as today. Then finally, notice the cable car station near the bottom middle of the photo. Anyone who knows the recent park knows how built up and developed that part of the park is today.

Drayton-Manor-Theme-Park-14.jpg


Then one taken from the same rough location today. Notice the triangle layout of paths above the lake. Visible in both photos. That should give you a good frame of reference.

drayton-manor-express.jpg


The eagle eyed among you will notice this final picture was taken before phase 2 of Thomas land was constructed.


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Fascinating pictures that I am sure you guys will appreciate.
 
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Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Here is a few photos. Thought people might appreciate these. These first photos basically look very similar to this day. It is of the top entrance by the Tower Ball room. Pretty much all the buildings in the photos still exist in one form or another to this day. The building on the left is the Tower ball room today and the building to the right, with the red awning above the door is now the Grill inn. Notable exceptions include no Apocolypse, which now is to the left of the photo next to the chairlift which does not exist today. Not sure of a date but I am guessing the 1960s. Or there abouts.

FB-IMG-1587344233517.jpg


Another slight different angle. Pretty much everything in this photo still exists today. The undercover walkway between the buildings still exists and you will walk through this when entering the park from this entrance.

15523435526-ec3815c5d8-b.jpg


This next one is from the same angle as this last photo. But taken from ground level. You can see the same cable car tower in all three photos. This is how it looks today but without the chairlift.

SWNS-DRAYTON-CLOSED-006.jpg


______

The chairlift again, taken from over the lake. About the same time as first two photos. The photo is looking towards Storm Force 10 and Shockwave.

Chair-Lift.jpg


How that same view looks today.




______

Next one I believe is a post card from the Jungle cruise. Again, the date is a guess, but I believe the late 1970's or early 1980's would be a good bet.

FB-IMG-1587344239892.jpg



_______

Now this third one is the most interesting. It shows Drayton Manor when it was just a funfair in the 1960s back when Drayton was in its infancy. Now the fairground was partially run by the Shipley family at this time, while being owned by the Bryan's. The Shipleys have a long history at the park. In later years they just ran the amusements in the park known as Shipleys amusements. I believe they still run that to this day. They also to this day still have a large house on the Drayton Manor estate, not far from Wild West Shootout in terms of location actually, near the park stores. But totally inacessible to the public. They also still to this day operate an amusements in Tamworth town centre. It has been there years. The town center one, unlike the park amusements is adults 18+ only.

FB-IMG-1587344823809.jpg


You can see the houses of the Deer Park Road estate in the top left background. You can also see the train station on the bottom left of the photo, which still stands in the same location today as the Polperro Express. The photo would be taken from the cable cars nearing the station in the park. This photo is looking directly at where the massive show building for what was Pirate Adventure now sits. Looking towards the old Pirate Adventure entrance and The Burger Kitchen entrance. Thomas Land is in the top left of the photo roughly to the left of the green grass, the green grass mostly been taken up by the back of Pirate Adventure, the battle scene area of the ride. While the immediate front bit of the green grass area is where the Crypt used to be located but is now the indoor play area. With the Jungle Cruise lake behind the trees in the top right. That should hopefully give you an idea of where the picture is taken and just how much the park has changed.


______

This next picture is of the same area but from a different angle taken from over the lake. Notice the bumper cars. Still in the same spot today. They look alot different with no Pirate Adventure building, which would take up the bulk of this photo. Even though the bumper cars are not part of the Pirate Adventue building, they are next to it and have an ajoining facade to make them appear to be the same building. Also the merry go round is in the same location. The small waterway that connects the main lake to the Excalibur lake can be seen. Then lastly, the right angle in the lake edge, towards the bottom left, is where the giant shark photo point is today.

Drayton-Manor-Theme-Park-13.jpg


Then a picture from the same view point, many years later

riding-cable-car-at-drayton.jpg



______

This picture is of Drayton Manor house before it was demolished in the 1920's I believe. The clock tower can be seen on the right of the photo. The clock tower still stands to this day, next to the Grill Inn, just as you enter the park by car actually. The very first picture shown in this post, the clock tower is just out of frame to the right of that photo, to give you an idea of location.

FB-IMG-1587346548230.jpg


Just for reference, here is a photo of the clock tower how it appears today. Note the location of the clock in both photos to give you a frame of reference for where the photos are taken from. The driveway is roughly where the driveway sits today. With the parts of the house on the left of the photo being where the coach park and hotel sits today. Notice the chair lift cables. The first three photos in this set were taken around this area.

drayton-manor-clock-tower-geograph.jpg



______

A very empty park in this one. Looking up towards the top of of the park from the main car park entrance. Notice the bumper cars on the left. Again, in the same place they sit today. Also you can see the Polperro Express near the bottom of the picture. Exact same location as today. Then finally, notice the cable car station near the bottom middle of the photo. Anyone who knows the recent park knows how built up and developed that part of the park is today.

Drayton-Manor-Theme-Park-14.jpg


Then one taken from the same rough location today. Notice the triangle layout of paths above the lake. Visible in both photos. That should give you a good frame of reference.

drayton-manor-express.jpg


The eagle eyed among you will notice this final picture was taken before phase 2 of Thomas land was constructed.


______

Fascinating pictures that I am sure you guys will appreciate.
Brilliant photos to see. I do miss the Chairlift a lot and I had a strong connection to the ride because I rode it when I was only 4 years old! I've noticed that the triangles still exist in the same format of Drayton and that there used to be a lot more trees where rides such as Accelerator, Apocalypse and Haunting are now!
 

Mr Pearse

TS Member
The park will always survive, as I said in a different thread Drayton if it goes bust it will have no problems finding a new owner compared to some parks. Easy location to get to with a decent sized hotel and a park ready to go with decent visitor numbers.
 
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Every time this thread gets bumped I fear I will be seeing the following:

Coming 2023: Housing estate.

:(
I hope not, it's my local park (I think you can guess by my previous post) and I'd be gutted to see it left as a grassland or worse, another Camelot Theme Park. The chances from the park rest on the Hotel, Shockwave, Apocalypse, Stormforce 10 and a few other rides.
 
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
So I can notice a lot of Drayton's classic rides here which are Paratower, Log Flume and of course, G-Force's predecessor, the Klondike Gold Mine which still operates today unlike the other attractions. Apparently, G-Force took up the space of Tea Cups and Pirate Ship as well which is surprising when you consider the ride had a small footprint.
 
So I can notice a lot of Drayton's classic rides here which are Paratower, Log Flume and of course, G-Force's predecessor, the Klondike Gold Mine which still operates today unlike the other attractions. Apparently, G-Force took up the space of Tea Cups and Pirate Ship as well which is surprising when you consider the ride had a small footprint.

The Pirate ship was original where the queue line for Shockwave is now and was moved by the car parks but was removed when the new entrance was built.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
So I can notice a lot of Drayton's classic rides here which are Paratower, Log Flume and of course, G-Force's predecessor, the Klondike Gold Mine which still operates today unlike the other attractions. Apparently, G-Force took up the space of Tea Cups and Pirate Ship as well which is surprising when you consider the ride had a small footprint.

Geforce took up the space of the Teacup and the Black Revolver.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Where does Klondike operate now?


Also quite a bit of the Klondike site though, too?

Yes sorry, all of Klondike Site too. I am sure the seaside park that operated Klondike closed it in 2015.

Awesome pics by the way. Rick! As always.
 
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Yes sorry, all of Klondike Site too. I am sure the seaside park that operated Klondike closed it in 2015.
Hayling Fun Island operated the Klondike Gold Mine until 2015 and it was sold as a travelling ride.
Awesome pics by the way. Rick! As always.
Geforce took up the space of the Teacup and the Black Revolver.
Black Revolver was replaced by Air Race and it closed back in 2010, so it must have taken up most of the Klondike site and Teacups.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Maybe you are correct. My memory must be fading! No you are correct. When they built G force, they put the ride inside a new building with the entrance turned around 180 degrees from where it used to be. As the old entrance would be right on the G Force site. I'll see if I can find a picture in it's old configuration.

Edit: Here it is in it's old config. Teacups to the right under that creme tent, are roughly where G Force station stood. Klondike is to the left of the photo. Black revolver stayed in the same position when G Force got built. Just with a new building and the entrance on the opposite side of the building to what it is in this pic.

Here is the 2002 park map. To show you how it used to sit. With a picture below to match it up with.

2002.jpg


black-revolver.jpg
 
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CoasterMadMatt

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
I didn't think that Black Revolver was in a new building, just that the entrance was just turned around in 2004 for G Force in 2005. Might be wrong though, can't find any of my photos to prove it though, could just be me.

Similar to my American Adventure post, here are my old photos from the park. I've still got more to scan though, this is mainly from 2000 and need to put in the more recent changes, but is a good trip around memory lane https://www.flickr.com/photos/coastermadmatt/albums/72157622567883744
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Wow! Some great photos there. Brings back memories.

No it 100% did get a new building. You can even see in your photos that the building looks like it is made out of brand new wood when they turned it around. As you have a photo before it was painted blue. The gabel and roof shape is also massively different to the old building. The operators cab inside was also in a different location in the new building.

Hope you dont mind me posting this link Matt. But that photo specifically of yours. That is the original animatronic head they used in The Haunting (behind the painting) before it was switched out for the newer Vampire one in 2004. Never thought I would see that again. But yes they did use the old head as a static prop. Edit: Just noticed you have already put that in the pictures description. We were talking about this a while ago on here though. So nice to actually see a photo of it!


 
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CoasterMadMatt

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
No problem, the more people see them the better. I do need to really update my "Retrospective" albums though, I've got the odd photo of Pirate Adventure on my main album and various others that I need to shift over to it, let alone all the G Force stuff.

One thing that does surprise me about Halloween at Drayton, they never really did much. Those comedy gravestones were only there a few seasons and even though now they make more of Halloween, I do miss spotting them. Save with the original haunting head, I only ever saw it in 2004, from 2005 I was expecting to see it but never did, I always assumed it got damaged from the previous year or it was inside a building somewhere
 

Sauron97

TS Member
Here is the 2002 park map. To show you how it used to sit. With a picture below to match it up with.
Great pictures. I still have a couple of DMP maps from 2003 and a few from later on too which I’ll have to share.I don't know if I have the wristbands lying around somewhere but I used to collect them too, just before they were removed. My favorite years as a young kid going to Drayton were going on Excalibur when it was new. They had the dragon thrashing its tail in the bubbling water in the queue, and the owl just before you crossed the bridge in to the station. (shame most of it hardly never worked but still). King Arthur persecuting the Dragons and building houses on their land was also a cool spin on the legend instead of him being the classic hero.

The finale with Cantata and the father dragon was the best bit for most people I think, given it was where a chunk of the budget went, and it was great. All timed and synced carefully in to the ride system, with the dragon placed on an undulating rail that moved back and forth as each boat approached and passed. Where Excalibur didn't work was it's reliance on infrared sensors triggering audio scenes and the use of speakers only being on the boat. They were placed on each corner of the boat so there was a good surround sound effect, but I think the ride would of been more atmospheric if certain sections used speakers placed in and around the scenery playing looped ambient tracks (more like pirate adventure). More indoor sections would of been better against weathering too, I suppose.
Something I thought I'd share. Anyone who's been on Excalibur enough times will remember this:
96247086_3041505809206000_8383408310727999488_n.jpg

Interestingly, this helmet is not taken from the ride itself and has never existed or been owned by the theme park. It was actually a prototype design from when the ride was being planned back in its Project Neptune phase, which some of the knight animatronics ended up having for their helmets.
 
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