Talbot Street Lock In

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Squiggs, 21st Mar 2020.

  1. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Talbot Street Lock In.jpg

    We might not be able to be on park today but that doesn't mean we can't start celebrating Alton Towers' 40th Birthday.

    Team TowersStreet have hunkered down in our bunker deep below Talbot Street, where we keep our park archives. And so, no matter how long the 2020 season is delayed, we're going to be bringing you some of the highlights from the last 40 years!

    Welcome to our Talbot Street Lock In...
     
    Jordan, zerogravity, Tim and 7 others like this.
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  2. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    To begin our Talbot Street Lock In, let's start at the very beginning and head all the way back to 1980.

    The 1980 Map does not look much like the map of an amusement park, but hidden within three magical red circles are the seeds of the park we know today - with the Corkscrew in the Talbot Centre and Pirate Ship in the Springfield Centre operating alongside the older attractions in the Ingestre Centre, which at that time still included Donkey and Pony Rides!

    Does anyone have any memories to share from that first season all those years ago?
    #AltonTowersMagic

    [​IMG]
     
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  3. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Were the massive fields at the North East of the map actually open at this point? I thought they might have been farm land or something still at that point.
     
    OilyWater likes this.
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  4. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Picnic fields, if I remember rightly.
    I was there that year, with my mum.
    Fair to say, three quarters of the people on the park were in the Corkscrew queue
    Sealions.
    Men in white coats feeding them.
    Parking where Towers Street is now.
     
    OilyWater likes this.
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  5. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    At that point they were still the Caravan Park, which had been operating in that area during the 1970s. I believe that 1980 was the last season the Caravan Park operated before the area reverted more or less to park land for the next few years.

    If you know where to look you can find some remains of the old Caravan Park around the current car parks.
     
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  6. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Was the caravan park not where Festival Park was built and it was cleared a couple years before Corkscrew? Maybe there were two caravan parks?
     
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  7. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    You might be thinking of the coach parking, which was in that area from the 50s through to the late 70s. In the late 70s the majority of Festival Park was taken up by an Adventure Playground which was eventually removed in 1984 when the Wave Swinger and Enterprise arrived.
     
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  8. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Think there were about five coach parks, dotted around all over.
    Coaster Corner, Springfield and by the bottom of Oblivion all had coach parks.
    I'm pretty sure you had to park close to the direction you arrived.
    My mums mum went in the fifties to a newspaper big day out in a charabang.
    Fruit and veg flat bed delivery truck, with coach seating bolted on the top.
    Big soft top pulled right over all the heads when it rained.
    Funfair, car show, brass bands and fireworks.
    And beer.
    Lots.
     
    Tim and Rick like this.
    Posted 21st Mar 2020
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  9. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    It's not only the park that turns 40 this year, The Blade was one of the amusement park's first attractions. Originally known as the Pirate Ship, it operated on the site more recently occupied by Submission but was moved to it's current home in Forbidden Valley in 1997.

    We were not expecting to see The Blade operating at the start of this season but let's keep our fingers crossed that the extra closed season gives the park enough time to get this ship swinging for her 40th birthday!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    John C, OilyWater, Joel3 and 2 others like this.
    Posted 22nd Mar 2020
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  10. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    What kind of remains would still be around now?
     
  11. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Concrete footings and kerbs.
     
  12. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    'Things that are no longer there but left some evidence" are always far more interesting than "old thing that is still there" if you ask me. An out of place stone, a bricked up doorway, an unusual paving pattern, a strangely curved road, even a hole in the ground can often have a story behind it stretching back centuries in this country.

    I demand pictures of this caravan kerbstone! :D
     
    jon81uk, BarryZola and John C like this.
  13. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I would love to show you a picture of a curb.... but alas I have none to give.

    When you walk from the car parks to the entrance you can see the remains of plumbing along the route. Think the sort of infrastructure you might find in a camp ground.
     
    DiogoJ42 likes this.
  14. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Golden Acres park west of Leeds diogo, you could spend a whole day loooking at concrete lumps and a dam!
    I did.
    Edit.
    Loooking.
    That is a long look.
     
  15. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The park saw significant expansion in 1981, with the arrival of the much-loved Log Flume in Ingestre Centre as well as the construction of Talbot Street - the Victorian Boulevard taking over the site of the park's old Fairground.

    The 1981 Map was a much more colourful affair, with drawings representing each of the park's attractions - some of which were more abstract then others.

    There was some real head-scratching going on down in the bunker when we first looked at the attraction images. Can you guess which image relates to which ride?
    [​IMG]
     
    rob666, Joel3, USLShadow and 5 others like this.
  16. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The first themed area opened at Alton Towers in 1981 when Talbot Street opened in the area where the park's Fairground had previously operated behind the Towers.

    So today, let's take a look at the Victorian boulevard after which brand our history updates here at TowersStreet.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    It's Rando Wednesday down in the bunker, so for today let's skip out of the 80s and take a look at the original advert for Rita from 2005.

    Oh, how this advert was mocked at the time but now I can't help but think that maybe the Queen of Speed's development team maybe knew something the rest of us didn't...

     
    Alastair, Matt N, jon81uk and 3 others like this.
  18. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Alton Towers has had many iconic map designs over the years. Visitors from the 80s will be familiar with this design that was used from 1982 to 1986.

    Today we have an interesting look at how the maps were updated in a time before photoshop. The first image shows the 1982 map covered with tracing paper onto which the updates were designed before being added onto the draft of the 1983 map as seen in the second image.

    Can you tell which rides were being added during this map update?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    jon81uk, Joel3, Rick and 4 others like this.
  19. BritishThemeParkArchive

    BritishThemeParkArchive TowersStreet Member

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    It's cool to see the difference between the 1980 map (huge amount of land to explore!) and a few years later, how much had been done to transform the grounds into a park. Some roads that disappeared from public access and some new ones built. Even then there'd be so much more change in the years after that too
     
    Rick likes this.
  20. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    In 1982 the park added Adventureland 4-11, the first area dedicated to kid's attractions.

    While most of the rides in the area were not new to the park, it did introduce the park's first coaster for kids. The Junior Apple Coaster was an standard off-the-shelf design but was popular with younger members of the family and operated for 15 years.
    [​IMG]
     
    AstroDan, Matt N and AT86 like this.

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