Monday, March 30, 2015

Chad Valley Miniature Golf

Playing a 1960's Miniature Golf set.

Chad Valley Miniature Golf

My fellow minigolf enthusiast Paul 'Johnson Paul Johnson' Johnson recently acquired a 1960's Miniature Golf set made by Chad Valley and he kindly donated it to The Crazy Golf Museum.

The 9-hole Chad Valley 'Miniature golf' course was designed for indoor and outdoor play and includes two putters, balls, flags and tin plate holes
The 9-hole Chad Valley 'Miniature golf' course was designed for indoor and outdoor play and includes two putters, balls, flags and tin plate holes

While at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge last weekend we had to give the game a go.

Chad Valley Miniature Golf
Paul Johnson lines up a putt on a plateau hole

Chad Valley Miniature Golf
Putting using the Chad Valley miniature golf putters was very tricky

Chad Valley was founded in 1860 and the range of toys and games is now exclusively available at Argos.

Links:
- The Crazy Golf Museum
- Miniature Golf and Crazy Golf toys and games at The Crazy Golf Museum

Related blog posts:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Novelty Automation arcade in London

A visit to London's Novelty Automation arcade.

Novelty Automation arcade in London

We recently visited the excellent Novelty Automation amusement arcade near Holborn in London.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
A nice relaxing break

We had great fun playing the mad arcade games. My favourite was definitely My Nuke - a personal nuclear reactor!

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Playing on my own personal nuclear reactor

Novelty Automation arcade in London
After 'successfully' playing the My Nuke game I received a piece of edible nuclear waster

The arcade is full of home-made games machines built by enthusiasts. And very well built they are too. Games include Test Your Nerve, Pet or Meat?, Chiropodist, Is it art?, The Expressive Photobooth, Divorce, Money Laundering, Cycle Pong, Alien Probe, Microbreak, Instant Eclipse and Autofrisk.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Getting an Autofrisk!

They have some great merchandise for sale too. I picked up some nice badges and a keyring.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Emily visited the Chiropodist

You can find Novelty Automation at 1a Princeton Street, London, WC1R 4AX and it's a five minute walk from Holborn Tube Station.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Cycle Pong was out of order. We'll give this two player game a play next time

It's open Wednesday to Saturday and admission is free. Each of the games costs between £1 and £3 to play - each is token operated.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
The Alien Probe is a game of precision. And surprise

And what marvelous tokens they are too.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Brilliant tokens

I'm looking forward to returning.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
A reason to return

If you're ever visiting the East Anglian coast then I suggest you also visit Southwold Pier as it's home to the original Under the Pier Show.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
I was far better at Test Your Nerve in London than in Southwold

There's also a FREE TOKEN offer running at the moment - check out the Novelty Automation website for more info!

Novelty Automation arcade in London
 I won at DIVORCE

Links:
Novelty Automation website
Novelty Automation on Twitter
The Under the Pier Show website

Related blog posts:
- Novelty Automation amusement arcade in London
Under the Pier Show - Southwold
Southwold
Amusement Arcades
Ephemera

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire

Playing minigolf in Tamworth's Castle Grounds.

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire

On our recent visit to Tamworth, Staffordshire we played the Crazy Golf course in the town's Castle Grounds.

Minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Minigolf adventurers at Tamworth's Crazy Golf course

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
The course has a great scorecard

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily on hole 1. This obstacle is often used as a last hole ball collector

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Playing hole 2

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Over the bridge on hole 4

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily on hole 5

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily plays hole 7

Tackling hole 7

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily about to ace hole 8

The Castle Grounds Crazy Golf course became the 590th visited and 356th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on Saturday 21 March 2015. In our match-up I managed to beat Emily by one-shot - 24 to 25.

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 1

Mini Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 2

Miniature Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 3

Adventure Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 4

Mini-Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 5

Minigolf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 6

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 7

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 8

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 9

The Crazy Golf putters and balls can be hired from Dave Owen Cycles.

Dave Owen Cycles in Tamworth's Castle Grounds provides cycle hire, tennis, crazy golf, cycling lessons, trampolines, bowls, skateboards and table tennis
Dave Owen Cycles offers a lot more than Crazy Golf

Dave Owen Cycles and Crazy Golf hire is based in the old Lido in Tamworth
Dave Owen Cycles and Crazy Golf hire is based in the old Lido

Tamworth Castle - flying the flag of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia
Tamworth Castle - flying the flag of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia

The Crazy Golf course in Tamworth's Castle Grounds is open seven days a week from 9am. The price is £2.50 for adults and £2.30 for children. For more information check out the links below.

We really enjoyed our trip to the town and would definitely visit again.

Links:
- Dave Owen Cycles on Facebook
- Castle Grounds on Tamworth Borough Council's website

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Humpty

Videos:
- A visit to the Crazy Golf course in Tamworth
- Crazy Golf in Tamworth - Hole 4
- Emily plays hole 6
- Richard plays hole 6
- Richard plays hole 8

Postcards from Abingdon in Picture Postcard Monthly

Article about postcards from my home town in the top magazine for postcard collectors.

Check out the latest issue of Picture Postcard Monthly (April 2015) to read an article, written by yours truly, entitled 'A postcard from Abingdon-on-Thames'.

I grew up in the town before leaving in 2000. Since then I've returned for several Bun Throwing events and kept an eye on news from the town. I've also built up a collection of postcards of the town dating from the early 1900's to the present day and these make up the feature in the magazine.

Outside the former County Hall in Abingdon-on-Thames. The building is now home to the town's museum, while the basement is a new cafe. The market place itself has not changed a great deal over the decades, illustrated by the postcards featured in my article
Outside the former County Hall in Abingdon-on-Thames. The building is now home to the town's museum, while the basement is a new cafe. The market place itself has not changed a great deal over the decades, illustrated by the postcards featured in my article

You can buy hard copy and PDF editions of Picture Postcard Monthly online. Check out the links below for more information.

Related blog posts:
- Postcard
- Postcards
- Picture Postcard Monthly
- A visit to Abingdon County Hall Museum

Links:
- Reflections of a Bygone Age (publishers of Picture Postcard Monthly up to issue no. 432 April 2015)
- Chimes Publishing & Postcards (publishers of Picture Postcard Monthly from issue no. 433 May 2015)
- World of Bun Throwing

Friday, March 27, 2015

Crazy Golf in Wardown Park Luton

The Crazy Golf and Minigolf courses in Luton's Wardown Park are no more!

Miniature Golf in Wardown Park, Luton
The sign for the Miniature Golf courses is still there

On Wednesday 25 March my friend and sometimes minigolf rival Simon 'Practice' Hall let me know that the minigolf and crazy golf courses in Luton's Wardown Park had been removed, so I had to head down for a look.

The Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Wardown Park, Luton on the 25 March 2015
The fibreglass holes of the Crazy Golf course have been dug out of their foundations and put in a pile. The muddy patch in the background is where the miniature golf grass putting course was

The Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Wardown Park, Luton on the 25 March 2015
The old Crazy Golf holes piled on top of hole 1

The Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Wardown Park, Luton on the 25 March 2015
A view of the Crazy Golf course area, with the 'grass' Minigolf layout on the left

The grass Miniature Golf course had been in Wardown Park since 19 June 1934 when it was opened by the town's Mayor. The fibreglass Crazy Golf course was a much later addition.

Hole 6 of the Crazy Golf course in Luton's Wardown Park in May 2007
Hole 6 of the Crazy Golf course in Luton's Wardown Park in May 2007

The Crazy Golf course was the 18th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on 5 May 2007, with the Grass Putting Miniature Golf layout the 19th played on 19 May.

Emily playing Crazy Golf in Luton's Wardown Park in July 2007. The very green grass putting layout is on the other side of the fence
Emily playing Crazy Golf in Luton's Wardown Park in July 2007. The very green grass putting layout is on the other side of the fence

I hadn't seen or heard anything in the local media about changes to the minigolf area of the park and the staff in Wardown Park Museum didn't have any further information on the removal of the courses.

I asked Luton Borough Council why the Crazy Golf and Minigolf Putting courses in Wardown Park have been dug up?

They responded telling me it's a new meadow planting project with Sheffield University. There'll be nine plots, pathways and 'picnic zones'.

I then asked what was going to happen to the obstacles from the course and was told that the course will be reinstalled in another area of the park.

Mystery solved.

It'll be interesting to see what the area looks like when it's finished and where the Crazy Golf holes end up.

Playing hole 3 of the Wardown Park Crazy Golf course in Luton in 2007
Playing hole 3 in some golfing attire in 2007

An Autumn/Winter look to the Crazy Golf course Wardown Park, Luton in November 2011
An Autumn/Winter look to the course in November 2011

Hole 1 of the Crazy Golf course in Luton's Wardown Park as it used to look in May 2007
Hole 1 as it used to look

Playing the miniature golf grass putting in Wardown Park, Luton in May 2010
Playing the miniature golf grass putting in Wardown Park in May 2010

Check out the links below for photos and videos of the courses since we first visited them in 2007.

Related blog posts:
- Crazy Golf & Minigolf Courses in and around Luton, Bedfordshire
- Course Played #18 Luton (Wardown Park) - Crazy Golf
- Course Played #19 Luton (Wardown Park) - Miniature Golf
- Wardown Park in Luton - Changes to the Crazy Golf Course & Ducks Fighting
- Crazy Golf at Luton's Wardown Park - November 2010
- Minigolf and Crazy Golf at Luton's Wardown Park
- More Snow - Sledging & Crazy Golf
- Snow halts play
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Luton

Videos:
- View of the Crazy Golf Course at Wardown Park in Luton
Crazy Golf course changes at Wardown Park in Luton

Monday, March 23, 2015

Minigolf report from the Midlands Open 2015

Richard Gottfried third at the Midlands Open minigolf tournament

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried with the bronze medal from the 2015 Midlands Open
Minigolfer Richard Gottfried with the bronze medal from the 2015 Midlands Open

Leagrave minigolfer Richard Gottfried continued his good form with a podium finish in the Midlands Open competition held at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge, Solihull on Sunday 22 March.

Competing in a 24-player field on the 12-hole miniature golf course Richard shot rounds of 20, 22, 21 and 28 for a 48-hole score of 91.

Richard Gottfried playing hole 2 during the Hole in One Charity Challenge
Richard Gottfried playing hole 2 during the Hole in One Charity Challenge

Emily Gottfried was also in action and finished in 15th place after rounds of 26, 20, 27 and 30 for a total of 103.

Emily Gottfried playing hole 12 at Four Ashes Golf Centre
Emily Gottfried playing hole 12 at Four Ashes Golf Centre

The tournament was won by Oxford’s Michael Smith with a score of 76, with London’s Will Donnelly runner-up with a score of 89.

The Midlands Open podium, from l-r Will Donnelly, Michael Smith, Richard Gottfried
The Midlands Open podium, from l-r Will Donnelly, Michael Smith, Richard Gottfried

Richard said “It’s great to get another medal and I’m pleased with my performance. Dorridge is a great course and a pleasure to play. I didn’t drop a shot for 42-holes which was nice. But then I had three bad holes in the final round to knock me from second place. Well played to Michael Smith on his win and to Will Donnelly for beating me to the silver medal.”

The third-place result was Richard’s best ever in the Midlands Open tournament, with his previous highest finish of fourth-place coming at the 2010 event.

The Midlands Minigolf Club are the reigning BMGA British Club Champions, winning the title in Hastings earlier this month. For more information check out the MMGC Facebook page.

Next up for Richard is a trip to Hastings for the BMGA British Minigolf Championships in May.

Links:
- Midlands Minigolf Club on Facebook
- Four Ashes Golf Centre
- British Minigolf Association