4 Man Bob
The 4 Man Bob was a fast paced roller coaster on which bobsleighs containing four people swooped and dived around a compact track. It was located behind the Talbot Theatre in the area now commonly known as Coaster Corner.
It was unusual amongst the park's coasters as it operated with a manual braking system where the operator had to reduce the bobsleigh's speed from 35 mph to 0 within 11 seconds, making it a physically demanding ride to operate. The design of the ride also meant that the ride was unable to operate with less than three people per car, otherwise it couldn't make it round the circuit.
John Broome originally operated the 4 Man Bob in nearby Trentham Gardens, but when his plans for that second theme park fell through he moved the coaster, along with Trentham's other rides, to Alton Towers in 1985.
The ride continued to operate until 1990 when Tussauds took over Alton Towers. They soon decided to decommission the Coaster Corner area of the park and the 4 Man Bob was the first casualty of this decision. It came as little surprise; the 4 Man Bob was the very definition of an old school fairground coaster and was at odds with Tussauds' vision to create Britain's No. 1 theme park - the ride was reasonably unreliable and was one of the primary causes of noise complaints from the park's neighbours. For 1991 the ride was replaced by the Tri-Star.
But the story didn't end there... For the next 20 years the coaster moved from park to park around the UK, including spells at both Pleasure Island and Flamingo Land. When it moved to Grove Park in 2002, the ride received a complete overhaul with almost every element of the ride refreshed. Most significantly the bobsleigh cars were switched and the ride now operates using mine cars.
In 2010 the ride opened in Loudoun Castle as Gold Rush, where it operated for one season before the entire park closed. For several years it looked like the coaster may have come to the end of its life, however, after close to ten years out of action Gold Rush rode once again in 2020 after moving to Family Park in the centre of France.