Sunday, October 31, 2021
Friday, October 29, 2021
A visit to the Putting Course at Northcliffe Park in Shipley, West Yorkshire.
We swung by Northcliffe Park in Shipley, West Yorkshire on our recent journey back from Leeds as we'd seen the park was home to a Putting Course.
|The entrance to the course|
The course looked like a nice layout and in good condition.
|A fine looking green|
|You get a lovely view of the area from the course|
|The course is played on a sloping layout|
|One of the long miniature golf holes|
|A view from the green of the last hole|
Unfortunately the Ticket Office was closed (and looked long since abandoned!) and there was nowhere else to hire clubs and balls from.
The Putting Course at Northcliffe Park in Shipley became the 975th course visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour since September 2006.
Labels: closed, Closed Course, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, Northcliffe Park, Not Played, Park, Putting, Putting Course, Putting Green, Shipley, West Yorkshire
New Toys R Us stores opening in the UK.
|Toys R Us in Northampton, June 2021|
While Toys R Us stores have been closed in the UK since 2018 the brand has lived on in one form or another in other parts of the world.
The new version of Toys R Us will be opening by Toys R Us ANZ who relaunched the business in Australia in 2019. They plan to rollout the brand with an online and physical retail presence in 2022 and 2023.
Toys R Us closed in the UK in April 2018. It's been very interesting to find that there are still remnants of the brand on some retail parks in the UK and we've visited a number of these closed, abandoned, derelict and demolished Toys R Us locations on our travels.
|Toys R Us in Stockton-on-Tees, April 2021|
Working at Toys R Us
My first job while at university in the year 2000 was as one of Geoffrey's helpers at the Luton store. I worked on the video game and electronics section.
|Toys R Us in Basingstoke, May 2021|
Visiting Toys R Us
With a keen interest in old and defunct brands we've visited a number of former Toys R Us sites over the last couple of years, the latest being in Norwich and Ipswich.
|Toys R Us in Milton Keynes, June 2021|
- Brighton Hill Retail Park in Basingstoke
- Central Retail Park in Manchester
- Cathedral Retail Park in Norwich
- Deepdale shopping centre in Preston
- Festival retail park in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
- Gemini Retail Park in Warrington
- Interchange Retail Park at Copdock Mill, Ipswich
- St James Retail Park in Northampton
- Teesside Retail Park in Stockton-on-Tees
- The Leisure Plaza in Milton Keynes
- Western Esplanade in Southampton
- Wolverhampton Road in Oldbury
- Wyvern Retail Park in Derby
|Toys R Us in Southampton, May 2021|
The future of Toys R Us
It'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Toys R Us and how the relaunch in the UK will go.
As can be seen, some of the former locations are still vacant, while others have been let to new shops. Some former Toys R Us stores have been pulled down, with others converted to retailtainment centres featuring trampoline parks and minigolf courses.
|It'll be interesting to shop at Toys R Us again in the future|
Labels: branding, history, nostalgia, retail, retro, shop, shopfront, shopfronts, Shopping, Shops, storefront, Toys, Toys R Us, UK, urban exploration
Location: United Kingdom
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
A new mini golf course and tenpin bowling centre is planned to open in Coventry city centre.
The former Debenhams shop unit at the West Orchards Shopping Centre in Coventry is set to become a tenpin bowling and adventure golf venue.
The retail entertainment and minigolf boom.
Minigolf is a big part of the retailtainment boom, with courses opening as standalone entertainment activities, or as part of large shoppingtainment leisure offerings in malls, high streets and retail parks.
Crazy Golfing in Coventry
We've played minigolf at Allesley Park and Teezers Retro Golf in Coventry before. There's also a new Galaxy Quest Mini Golf at Laser Quest that we need to play and plans for a Boom: Battle Bar in the city too.
Labels: Adventure Golf, Coventry, Crazy Golf, Debenhams, Mini Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, retail, Retailtainment, Shoppertainment, shoppingtainment
Monday, October 25, 2021
Halloween in the City has returned to Manchester city centre.
We saw a few of the new Halloween monster inflatables that have popped up in Manchester during a wander round town on Saturday.
The full Halloween in the City event is taking place in Manchester on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October with a number of large-scale monsters adorning buildings around the city centre as well as other themed activities.
Check out the Halloween in the City website for more information.
Labels: Event, Fun, Greater Manchester, Halloween, Halloween in the City, Inflatable, Manchester, retail, Retailtainment, scary, Shoppertainment, Shopping, shoppingtainment
Location: Manchester, UK
A new indoor mini golf course is opening as part of the new Urban Playground at the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester.
A new competitive socialising venue is opening at the Arndale Centre in Manchester and one of the activities on offer will be mini golf.
The Urban Playground in Manchester is opening sometime this year and will be home to the indoor miniature golf course, The Cube Live and food & drinks.
Putters Mini-Golf at the Urban Playground will be a tech-based course. Visit the Urban Playground website for more information.
The Urban Playground will be another new local venue for us.
The Urban Playground entertainment centre is being created by the Mellors Group who own Skegness Pier and Fantasy Island in Ingoldmells. We've played minigolf at Fantasy Island before. The course there was underneath a rollercoaster! There's a new Lava Creek Adventure Golf course we haven't yet had a go on at Fantasy Island too.
Labels: Arndale, competitive socialising, Indoor Minigolf, Manchester, Mini-Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Retailtainment, Urban Playground
I saw an Ecto-1a car and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Urmston, Greater Manchester two years ago today!
It was a brilliant way to kick off the Halloween season.
Labels: Ecto-1, Ecto-1a, Ghostbusters, Greater Manchester, Halloween, Inflatable, Retailtainment, Shoppertainment, Shopping, Shopping Centre, shoppingtainment, Stay Puft, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Urmston
Location: Urmston, UK
Friday, October 22, 2021
The new Par-59 Crazy Golf venue is opening in Cardiff next year.
Plans are still going ahead for the Par-59 Crazy Golf venue to open in Cardiff, Wales. The location was originally going to be at the Capitol Shopping Centre in Cardiff city centre, however plans have changed with the site now opening in a former nightclub on St Mary Street.
The Par-59 brand is being opened by footballer Gareth Bale and is set to open in Spring 2022.
Par-59 will feature three 9-hole indoor crazy golf courses along with a bar and restaurant.
Visit the Par-59 website for more information.
It'll be another new course for us to visit in Cardiff on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.
Labels: Cardiff, competitive socialising, Crazy Golf, Indoor Crazy Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Par 59, Retailtainment, Wales
Location: St Mary St, Cardiff CF10, UK
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Happy Back to the Future Day.
|We saw a Back to the Future DeLorean time machine at MediaCityUK in Salford a few days before the coronavirus pandemic lockdown was put in place|
Visit the Back to the Future car's website for more information.
Labels: Back to the Future, car, Day, DeLorean, DMC DeLorean, retro, Time Machine, Time Travel, vehicle
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
A look at the Mini Golf course at the UberBlast Family Entertainment Center in North Conway, New Hampshire, USA.
My brother Christopher recently swung by the the UberBlast Family Entertainment Center in North Conway, New Hampshire, USA and sent me these photos of the minigolf course there.
The course became the 1,006th visited on our overall Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.
Labels: Christopher Gottfried, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Mini Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New Hampshire, North Conway, Not Played, UberBlast, USA
There are plans for a new Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf course in Liverpool.
Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf are planning to open a new indoor minigolf centre at The Lyceum building in Liverpool.
Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf opened its first venue in Bristol and its second location was at Liverpool ONE. There are currently four Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf sites - in Bristol, Brighton, London and Glasgow.
Visit the Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf website for more information.
Labels: Adventure Golf, Indoor Adventure Golf, Jungle Rumble, Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf, Liverpool, Merseyside, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course
Location: The Lyceum, Liverpool L1 4DS, UK
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
A look at the Mini Golf course at Haven's Wild Duck Holiday Park in Belton, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
Our friends Sophia and Karl Moles sent over some photos of the Mini Golf course at Haven's Wild Duck Holiday Park in Belton, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk from their recent holiday there.
Sophia told us they enjoyed a couple of rounds on the course, with the best score from the group being a 25 by Karl. The course record is 24 on the 9-hole layout.
Check out the Haven website for more information on the Wild Duck Holiday Park.
Karl and Sophia have been to quite a few different holiday camps with their family and have sent over minigolf snaps from trips to Haven's Caister-on-Sea Holiday Park, Pontins Pakefield, Allhallows Leisure Holiday Park, Jungle Adventure Golf at Parkdean's Vauxhall Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth, as well as the Crazy Golf course at Suffolk Leisure Park in Ipswich, Minigolf Sport Club Sanremo in Arma, Italy and the miniature golf course on the MSC Opera cruise ship!
Labels: Crazy Golf, DK Fibreglass, Great Yarmouth, guest blog, guest blog post, guest blogs, Haven, Holiday Camp, Holiday Park, Karl Moles, Mini Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, Norfolk, Revisit, Sophia Moles
Location: Haven Wild Duck Holiday Park, Wild Duck Holiday Park Howard's Common, Belton, Great Yarmouth NR31 9NE, UK
Gone, but not forgotten.
The first Blockbuster Video store opened in Dallas, Texas, USA on this day in 1985.
At its peak in 2004 there were more than 9,000 stores around the world. 500+ of which were in the UK.
There is now just one Blockbuster Video store left open. It's in Bend, Oregon, USA.
Blockbuster in the UK
|Blockbuster Video Express in Billingham, Teesside|
Blockbuster ceased operations in the UK in December 2013. At the start of that year there were 528 Blockbuster locations in the UK. The number dwindled until October when only 264 shops remained. The remaining stores closed on the 16th December.
|The most recent former Blockbuster store we visited was in Clacton-on-Sea. It was nice to see it had a ghost sign|
There are still clearly visible remnants of the brand on the high street and on retail parks. And we've been to most of them!
Blockbuster Video stores we've visited
Check out the posts about other former Blockbuster Video stores we've been to in:
- Abingdon, Oxfordshire
- Ashton, Bristol
- Barnsley, South Yorkshire
- Basingstoke, Hampshire
- Billingham, Teesside
- Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester
- Chester, Cheshire
- Chorley, Lancashire
- Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
- Colne, Lancashire
- Fallowfield, Manchester
- Felixstowe, Suffolk
- Filton, Bristol
- Great Moor, Stockport, Greater Manchester
- Hastings, East Sussex
- Leigh, Greater Manchester
- Luton, Bedfordshire
- Marple, Greater Manchester
- Nuneaton, Warwickshire
- Oldham, Greater Manchester
- Prescot, Lancashire
- Shanklin, Isle of Wight
- Southampton, Hampshire
- Telford, Shropshire
- Wythenshawe, Manchester
|A ghost sign at the old Blockbuster Video Express store in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight|
I've spent a lot of the last two years reminiscing about 'the good old days' before the coronavirus pandemic hit the planet. One of my areas of interest is in old retail brands - I'm a marketer by profession and two of my first jobs in the 1990's and the year 2000 were at Tandy and Toys R Us. It's been fascinating to find remnants of a number of lost, dead and defunct brands on the high street and at retail parks.
Labels: Blockbuster, Blockbuster Video Express, nostalgia, retail, retro, shop, Shopping, Shops, Video, video shop, videos
Location: Dallas, TX, USA