Thursday, April 13, 2023
Labels: 2023, Crazy Golf, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Pier, Piers, Southend, Southend on Sea, Southend Pier
A look at the former Blockbuster Video Express store in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
We recently visited the old Blockbuster Video Express store in Westcliff-on-Sea. It was nice to see some of the signage was still in place, even though there was a lot of scaffolding up around it.
My friend and fellow blogger Mark Routh sent me photos of this particular Blockbuster Video Express store back in July 2020.
It's always fun to see ghost signs, remnants of old & dead brands and interesting signage while out and about on our travels. Since I found the remains of the Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester in October 2019 I've been intrigued to see the brand still has a lingering presence on the high street. The last Blockbuster Video shop ceased trading in the UK in December 2013!
Our travels have taken us to several former Blockbuster stores:
- 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
- Failsworth, Manchester
- Fallowfield, Manchester
- Felixstowe, Suffolk
- Filton, Bristol
- Great Moor, Stockport, Greater Manchester
- Hastings, East Sussex
- Leigh, Greater Manchester
- Luton, Bedfordshire
- Marple, Greater Manchester
- Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire
- Nuneaton, Warwickshire
- Oldham, Greater Manchester
- Prescot, Lancashire
- Shanklin, Isle of Wight
- Southampton, Hampshire
- Telford, Shropshire
- Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex
- Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
- Wythenshawe, Manchester
Labels: 2023, Blockbuster, Blockbuster Video, Blockbuster Video Express, Essex, nostalgia, retail, retro, Southend on Sea, video shop, Video Store, Westcliff-on-Sea
A look at the Urban Street Golf course at Gravity Social in Northampton.
We recently visited the Urban Street Golf course at Gravity Social at Sol Central in Northampton on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.
We didn't play the course, but in a first on our adventures we did win the pub quiz at the venue that evening!
Check out the Gravity Social website for more information.
Labels: 2023, Crazy Golf, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Gravity Social, Indoor Minigolf, Northampton, Northamptonshire, pub quiz, Quiz, Urban Street Golf
A visit to a Happy Shopper shop in Burton-on-Trent.
Last October we drove home via Burton upon Trent to take a look at a Happy Shopper shop. We're lucky we did as the shop was in the process of being gutted as it's now closed. The business was being moved to a new premises over the road, where some of the old branded shelving is now in use.
Shortly after arriving home we found out the town was home to another Happy Shopper shop! We made sure to visit that one - S & A Singh on Sydney Street - at the next opportunity.
That came about on our recent trip to East Anglia where we were able to stop off in Burton-on-Trent en route to Northampton.
It was nice to see the Happy Shopper branding on the shopfront and there was a lot of it on the shelving inside.
We had a chat to the shopkeeper who had run the Happy Shopper for over 30 years and let him know we appreciated the nostalgia his shop created.
Happy Shopper shops
We've felt very nostalgic during the pandemic and one of the old brands from our childhood we thought about was 'Happy Shopper' - the name alone conjures up images of the 1980's.
|A sign at the Pleasant News Happy Shopper in Wisbech (2021)|
The Happy Shopper branding was changed in the year 2000 and I think it lost a lot of its charm and individuality. Many of the former Happy Shopper stores were rebranded as Premier shops.
We didn't think there would be many - or any - of the original orange and yellow branded shops still around, but we were proven wrong when we saw one in Preston in September 2020.
Since then we've been lucky enough to spot and snap a few more.
Take a look at my posts about other Happy Shopper shops in:
Labels: 2023, Burton, Burton on Trent, Burton upon Trent, Ghost Signs, Happy Shopper, nostalgia, retail, retro, shop, shopfront, shopfronts, Shops, signage, storefront, urban exploration
Location: Burton upon Trent, Burton-on-Trent, UK
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
We've just returned from a road-trip and visited several miniature golf courses along the way.
|Southend Pier Crazy Golf|
First up was a Mini Golf course at Horton's in Northampton. This indoor venue was spotted by our friend and minigolf rival Marc 'The Roller' Bazeley. Unfortunately we didn't get to play it as it wasn't open during our time in the town.
|Mini Golf at Horton's in Northampton|
Next up was the Urban Street Golf course at Gravity Social at Sol Central in Northampton. We didn't play the course, but we did win the pub quiz at the venue that evening!
|Urban Street Golf at Gravity Social in Northampton|
Our next visits were in Southend-on-Sea, where we got to play the Red and Blue courses at Caddies Crazy Golf.
|Caddies Crazy Golf in Southend-on-Sea|
|Caddies Crazy Golf in Southend-on-Sea|
We also swung by the Arnold Palmer Mini Golf on the esplanade in Southend-on-Sea.
|Arnold Palmer Mini Golf in Southend-on-Sea|
As well as the Adventure Golf course at Adventure Island.
|Adventure Golf at Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea|
We also took a wander along Southend Pier to visit the new Crazy Golf course at the end of it.
|Southend Pier Crazy Golf|
The next part of our trip saw us revisit our most visited courses - the Adventure Golf course on Sea Road in Felixstowe.
|Adventure Golf course on Sea Road in Felixstowe|
And Magical Golf at Mannings Amusements in Felixstowe.
|Magical Golf at Mannings Amusements in Felixstowe|
Labels: 2023, Adventure Golf, Caddies, Crazy Golf, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Essex, Felixstowe, Mini Golf, Miniature Golf, Minigolf, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Southend, Southend Pier, Suffolk
Location: United Kingdom
Monday, April 10, 2023
Hastings Miniature Railway in Alexandra Park, Hastings, East Sussex has opened a new 9-hole mini-golf course.
Labels: 2023, Alexandra Park, East Sussex, Hastings, Mini Golf, Mini-Golf, Miniature Golf, Miniature Railway, Minigolf, New course
A new Volcano Falls Adventure Golf venue has opened in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
You can find the new Volcano Falls Adventure Golf at Xscape Milton Keynes.
Visit the Volcano Falls Adventure Golf website for more information.
Labels: 2023, Adventure Golf, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, MK, New course, Volcano Falls Adventure Golf, Xscape
There are plans for a new Golf Fang Crazy Golf venue to open in Nottingham.
The indoor Crazy Golf location would be created in a former industrial site between Sneinton and Colwick in Nottingham.
Visit the Golf Fang website for more information.
Location: Nottingham, UK
A new Lost City Adventure Golf venue is opening at the Odyssey Complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The new Lost City Adventure Golf course will be the brand's second location in Belfast.
Visit the Lost City Adventure Golf website for more information.
Location: Belfast, UK
A new venue with Crazy Golf is opening in the former Argos shop in Colchester, Essex.
Allstars Battle Bar in Colchester will be home to a Crazy Golf course among other indoor sports and games including axe throwing and shuffleboard.
Location: Colchester, UK
There's a free play minigolf course in Canary Wharf, London.
The pop-up course is in place for the summer.
Visit the Canary Wharf website for more information.
Location: Canary Wharf, London E14, UK
There are plans for a new Boom Battle Bar venue to open in the old Debenhams in Colchester, Essex.
The new Boom Battle Bar in Colchester would be home to a minigolf course.
Visit the Boom Battle Bar website for more information.
Labels: 2023, Boom: Battle Bar, Colchester, Crazy Golf, Debenhams, Essex, Minigolf, New course, Retailtainment
Location: Colchester, UK
We spotted this ghost sign on the old Woolworths store in Northampton on our recent visit to the town.
You can still see the outline of the lettering on the building on Abington Street.
Other former Woolworths shops
It's fun seeing old & lost brands, ghost signs and retail relics. I took a look at the ghost signs on a former Woolworths store on Blackpool promenade in September 2021.
We saw a Woolworths ghost sign in Nuneaton in May 2022 too. That was a nice surprise!
Like the Blackpool store, the Nuneaton shop site had also most recently been a Poundland and a TJ Hughes.
The last Woolworths shop in the UK closed in January 2009. Every so often remnants of the brand become visible again.
We visited the Woolworths in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent in September 2020. That store still had the signage in place and we'd originally spotted it while driving through the town the previous November.
We took a look at an old Woolworths store in Brunstane, Edinburgh in August 2011. That was a Big W Woolworths store at The Jewel retail park. It's long gone now.
You can however still see an old mosaic tile logo at the former Woolworths on Stamford Street Central in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.
Location: Northampton, UK
Saturday, April 01, 2023
There's a new fully accessible Adventure Golf course at Lappa Valley in Cornwall.
The new 12-hole Adventure Golf course at Lappa Valley in St Newlyn East, Newquay relaces an old Crazy Golf course and has been designed to be fully accessible for wheelchair users and visitors with limited mobility.
Visit the Lappa Valley website for more information.
Labels: 2023, Accessible, Adventure Golf, Cornwall, Crazy Golf, Lappa Valley, Mini Golf, Minigolf, New course, Newquay, St Newlyn East
Location: St Newlyn East, Newquay TR8 5LX, UK
Smugglers Pass Adventure Footgolf is opening at Stonham Barns in Suffolk this month.
The team at Stonham Barns Golf Park in Suffolk have created a new way to play 'golf' - Adventure Footgolf!
The game is a cross between Adventure Golf and Footgolf.
Footgolf is already a marrying up of elements of football and golf, and played on Pitch & Putt / Par-3 layouts.
It'll be interesting to see the new invention when we next swing by Stonham Barns.
|Stonham Barns offers a number of ways to play a round of golf|
We've played miniature golf at Stonham Barns on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour several times over the years. The first time was in August 2007 when the old Crazy Golf course became the 33rd place we played.
|Crazy Golf at Stonham Barns in 2007|
Labels: 2023, Adventure Footgolf, Crazy Golf, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Football, FootGolf, Golf, Stonham Barns, Suffolk
A look at Stopfordian Pubs.
Three years ago today we photographed The Kings Tap on Station Road in Cheadle Hulme. It became the first of 265 pubs, bars and clubs we visited in the borough between April and the 4th of July when the first lockdown ended.
|Pub number 1 - The Kings Tap on Station Road in Cheadle Hulme. A lovely Art Deco building. We'd never seen it shuttered before the lockdown|
We visited each of the pubs while on our daily outdoor exercise between Wednesday 1st April and before pubs were allowed to reopen with social distancing measures on Saturday 4th July.
It gave us something to do during the lockdowns and it was interesting to see the variety of architecture, different signage, parts of the town we haven't been to for a long time and other parts of the area we've never been to. I documented the pubs on Instagram using the #StopfordianPubs tag.
|At the 265th pub on our lockdown 'pub crawl'. Not a drop was drunk on our daily walks in April, May, June and July|
Labels: 2020, Architecture, Building, coronavirus, covid-19, Greater Manchester, lockdown, Pub, Pubs, Social distancing, Stockport, Stopfordian Pubs, tickable list, urban exploration, urbex
Location: Stockport, UK