Sunday, April 27, 2014

Minigolf and Crazy Golf in Barnard Castle - Then and Now

Details of the 9-hole Mini Golf course at Scar Top in Barnard Castle, County Durham.

Last July we visited Barnard Castle in County Durham to launch the new Minigolf course in the redeveloped park at Scar Top.

Minigolf course in Barnard Castle, County Durham
The 2013 edition of Scar Top's Mini Golf course in Barnard Castle

The new Mini Golf course, designed and built by UrbanCrazy with 'A Journey Through Teesdale' theme, replaced an old Crazy Golf layout that had become tired.

Check out the photos of 'Then' and 'Now' below, with the old course photos provided by our friend in the north John 'Man of a Thousand Nicknames' Moore.

Hole 1 in May 2012 by John 'Thighs' Moore

Hole 1 in July 2013

Hole 2 in May 2012 by John 'YI' Moore

Hole 2 in July 2013

Hole 3 in May 2012 by John 'Big Al' Moore

Hole 3 in July 2013

Hole 4 in May 2012 by John 'Johnny Waffles' Moore

Hole 4 in July 2013

Hole 5 in May 2012 by John 'Wye Aye' Moore

Hole 5 in July 2013

Hole 6 in May 2012 by 'Alexander' John Moore

Hole 6 in July 2013

The Green on hole 6 in July 2013

Hole 7 in May 2012 by John 'The Legionnaire' Moore

Hole 7 in July 2013

Hole 8 in May 2012 by John 'Kepi' Moore

Hole 8 in July 2013

Hole 8 - middle and green - in July 2013

Hole 9 in May 2012 by John 'The Man of a Thousand Nicknames' Moore

The Green of hole 9 in May 2012

Hole 9 in July 2013

Missing Letters sign - Be Fre

It's no 'Broke' Ladbrokes...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #2

I live in Luton, but I can't eat Gluten.

Gluton Free not Gluten Free
Gluton (sic) Free menu at the Chicago Rib Shack in London (October 2010)

Gluton Free, not Gluten Free
Gluton (sic) Free sausages at the Arcade Butchers in Hastings (October 2010)

Not the funniest of puns, but the amount of times I've heard the line! If I had a pound...

- Funny things about being a Coeliac #1
- Coeliac-related blog posts
- Gluten Free-related blog posts
- Luton, Gluten and Gluton - 'typo' signs
- Gluten Free Finds in London (and beyond) - October 2010

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ghost Signs U.K.

Old and intriguing 'ghost signs' advertising long-gone shops, businesses, products and services.  

My friend and fellow Minigolfer Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd (retired) has been telling me to have a look at the Ghost Signs U.K. Facebook page and the intriguing and interesting collection of advertising signs from long-gone shops.

As the Ghost Signs U.K. Twitter page says the aim of the project is "nothing to do with the paranormal but everything to do with social history."

After attending the Celia Time event back in February 2013 we spotted a great ghost sign of a very old and long out-of-business Dispensing Chemist shop on Cloudesley Road in north London.

Ghost Signs U.K.
Toilet Requisites! Photo by Emily of me and Brad next to the old Ghost Sign advertising on a wall on Cloudesley Road in London

Ghost signs are another thing for me to keep an eye out for in addition to Minigolf & Crazy Golf courses, brown signs, milestones, Bar Billiards tables, plaques, abandoned shoes, funny signs and whatnot!


'Riedenburger Gluten Frei' beer

John Mittler, a friend of mine and fellow Minigolfer in Finland, kindly let me know about a gluten free beer he found in a supermarket with a 70% discount! What a bargain. 

Riedenburger Gluten Frei beer
The bottle of Riedenburger Gluten Frei beer - and the early stages of the BBQ. Photo by John Mittler

It's not a gluten free beer I'd heard of before!

He gave the 'Riedenburger Gluten Frei' beer a try, and while it wasn't too his taste he did enjoy the first sip! He commented that he was very glad he doesn't have to consume only gluten free beer.

I'm looking forward to giving the Riedenburger Gluten Frei beer a try.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bompas & Parr - Building a National Treasure with the British Menu Archive

The latest project from Bompas & Parr - The British Menu Archive.

Crazy Food Architects, Culinary Maestros and Jelly Mongers Extraordinaire Bompas & Parr have launched their latest project and it's going to be massive!

The team are calling on people around the UK to contribute to help them build a National Treasure in the form of the British Menu Archive.

No menu is too old, too new, too small, or two large to be included and Bompas & Parr want to see any menus that people have spotted to help paint a picture of the changing landscape of British food and drink over the decades. Contributions can be physical or in the form of photos.

The archive will be launches at Andaz Liverpool Street on the 28th of May 2014 and one of the features will be a feast consisting of a selection of courses from the submitted menus!

There is a great prize up for grabs, with the very best menu submitted winning a table for six at the launch event! Everyone else will be rewarded with eternal glory and immortality with all menus held in the archive for the nation.

Find out more on the British Menu Archive website.

Menus can be sent to the address below, with everyone who submits one successfully getting fully credited.

British Menu Archive
Bompas & Parr
17 Rushworth Street
London SE1 0RB

Alternatively, scans of menus can be emailed to:

I'll be sure to keep an eye out for any gluten free menus on my travels to add to the archive.

Back in the summer of 2012 Bompas & Parr created a brilliant 'London Landmark in Cake Creations' Crazy Golf course on the roof of Selfridges on Oxford Street! The course harked back to the early 1930's when the department store had a Miniature Golf course as part of the rooftop garden.

The 2012 edition was a brilliant idea and a tricky, but fun 9-hole layout. We played a number of tournaments up there and I became the Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr Champion in August 2012.

The prizes - in addition to the MASSIVE minigolf trophy - I received for my June play-off win included two Bompas & Parr recipe books. One for Cocktails and one for Jelly! The cocktail book has a very good recipe for making your own pork crackling snacks.

Bompas & Parr Crazy Golf
With my winnings of a BIG minigolf trophy and two of the Bompas & Parr books for victory in the June Crazy Golf play-off at Selfridges London in 2012


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #1

As someone diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I find the labels you get on your gluten free prescriptions quite funny. Not only do they have instructions that you should eat the gluten free food "as directed by your doctor", but also that you should "Keep all medicines out of children's reach."

Gluten Free presecription
The pharmacy guidelines and doctor's orders stuck on my prescribed packet of medicine (Glutafin Mini Crackers)

Glutafin Savoury Shorts
The Savoury Shorts from a prescription with the big guidelines sticker from the pharmacy

On a more serious note you can check out the guidelines for Coeliacs to receive gluten free food on prescription on the Coeliac UK website. The only treatment coeliacs currently have is to adhere to a STRICT gluten free diet - this can be very restrictive indeed - so it's great that some staple products are available on prescription. However, in the dozens of prescription orders I've ever done, I've only had one be correctly prescribed!?

Luckily I followed the doctors orders and didn't overdose by eating too much long-life bread, or too many crackers and pizza bases.


"Minigolf, an international sport" - New WMF Video Now Online

The World Minigolf Sport Federation has published a new promotional video from the WMF World Minigolf Championships. The video shows the passion, concentration, intensity and skill on display in an elite Minigolf sport event.

Check it out on the WMF's YouTube Channel at "Minigolf, an international sport."


The World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) is the umbrella organisation of Minigolf sports association's worldwide and continental associations in Asia, Europe and America. Please visit the WMF website for more information about the sport of Minigolf.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Love Worthing Photo Competition #useitorloseit

While in sunny Worthing for the recent BMGA British Masters miniature golf tournament at Splash Point Mini Golf course I spotted an advert for a Worthing Photo Competition in the Worthing Herald.

The competition is being run by Worthing Borough Council for its #useitorloseit campaign to make Worthing even more attractive for local residents and visitors to the town.

Here's our entry.

Splash Point Mini Golf course in Worthing,West Sussex
My favourite thing about Worthing is the excellent Splash Point Mini Golf course in Denton Gardens. Photo by Emily Gottfried

For further details of the competition check out the #useitorloseit page on Worthing Borough Council's website and the competition advert here.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton

Playing the game of Pit-Pat at Western Putting Miniature Golf in Littlehampton.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton

Back in March 2010 I visited the Askoe Wien Wasserpark in Vienna, Austria and while there I saw an intriguing game that was a hybrid of Miniature Golf and Billiards! That game was Pit-Pat.

Pit-Pat in Austria
The Hindernis Billard layout at the Askoe Wien Wasserpark in Vienna, Austria (March 2010)

In April 2012 I managed to visit the UK's only known table*, at the Western Putting Minigolf in Littlehampton, West Sussex. Unfortunately my visit was a little late in the day, and out-of-season, so I didn't manage to play.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker, Minigolf and Grass Putting Green Course in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
Western Putting (and Pit-Pat) in Littlehampton (April 2012)

That wasn't the case on our recent visit to the south coast as on Thursday 10th of April Emily and I made it to Western Putting on Banjo Road just before 4pm and were able to have a game of Pit-Pat, aka Crazy Snooker.

And it was brilliant!

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
Cue and carry-case in hand and ready to play Pit-Pat

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
A view of the Pit-Pat course in Littlehampton

The game is a version of the 'Eternit' style of Miniature Golf, most often found in continental Europe, but played on tables and with cues rather than putters.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
My favourite table on the layout sees you having to play down table from a tee-off point right next to the hole!

The obstacles are very similar to those found on Mini and Crazy Golf courses and the balls used are like specialist Minigolf-sport balls, rather than standard Golf, or low-bounce, balls.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily sets up the skittles on table 1!

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
And I knock them all down in one go

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily lines-up a shot on hole 2

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Hole / Table 2

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily plays up a ramp obstacle

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Western Putting on Banjo Road in Littlehampton is also home to a Swedish Felt type of Minigolf course and a grass Putting Green

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily shoots the green ball over a little ramp and onto a bigger one

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The Pipe hole - often my nemesis on Eternit Miniature Golf...

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
...and no different on Pit-Pat as it was my worst hole!

It's a real novelty to be able to play on a course/set-of tables like the Pit-Pat in Littlehampton. You are provided with a little carry case containing four different coloured Pit-Pat balls, with the table legs painted to correspond with the ball you should use for that particular table/hole/lane.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The specialist Pit-Pat balls in their little red carry-case

This is very handy to know as each of the balls has different properties, meaning that some are more bouncy, while others are harder and deader.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The green Pit-Pat ball is a bit of a dead ball

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The bouncy yellow Pit-Pat ball

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The slightly squidgy purple Pit-Pat ball

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The Red one

With our experience of playing tournament Minigolf in the British Minigolf Association (BMGA) and World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) since 2007 we were already thinking about how different shots could be played on different lanes by mixing the balls up a bit.

In our match-up on the crazy tables Emily and I drew on a score of 55 each. We can't wait for the rematch!

Videos from our visit:

Many of the Miniature Golf courses in Littlehampton are operated by Inspire Leisure. They also operate facilities in nearby Bognor Regis and all of those we've visited have been in great condition and had very friendly and helpful staff on duty.

There is an International Pit-Pat Association that consists of the Baden-W├╝rttembergischer Pit-Pat Association (in Germany), the Austrian Pit-Pat Sports Association and the Swiss Pit-Pat Association. The European Pit-Pat Championships taking place Fehring, Austria on the 31st of May and 1st of June this year. Check out the Pit-Pat TV YouTube Channel for videos of the sport.


Related blog posts:

- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 1 of 5 (intro)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 2 of 5 (hole-in-one)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 3 of 5 (hole-in-two)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 4 of 5 (two)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 5 of 5 (hoop)

* While in Skegness, Lincolnshire in May 2011 we saw a sign for 'Crazy Pool', however the 'tables' were long gone when we reached the (derelict) course.