Showing posts with label Derbyshire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derbyshire. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

An old video store inside a Happy Shopper shop

Striking old gold. Twice in one go.


I've spent a fair bit of 2020 reminiscing about 'the good old days' before the coronavirus pandemic. One of my areas of interest is in old retail brands - I am a marketer after all - and I have found remnants of a number of lost, dead and defunct brands. It's wonderful that these traces can still be found on the high street and at retail parks. If you know where to look.

I've found old Tandy and Toys R Us stores and signage - they are two brands I worked for in the 90s and the year 2000. I've also found old Woolworths, Big W, BHS, Kwik Save, Orange Mobile and RadioShack shops.

As I've been researching Blockbuster Video I've also noticed a number of old video shops. And last month we found a video shop still open and renting out VHS tapes!

One of the retro brands I remember clearly from growing up in the 80s and 90s was Happy Shopper. The colourful sign with the happy chappy face is a lovely throwback. Happy Shopper received a rebrand in 2000, but if you are lucky you can still find the original branding and signage on some shops.

The Wayfairer Discount Store in Ilkeston
The Wayfairer Discount Store in Ilkeston

While en route to an abandoned Toys R Us store in Preston I almost didn't believe my eyes as we drove past a closed Happy Shopper shop with the old signage still in place.

We actually found two Happy Shopper shops in Sheffield, one of which was still open. That store also had the original 1971 branding on the Covid-19 social distancing signage on the door! What a sight that was.

At the last Happy Shopper shop we found in Ilkeston, Derbyshire there was an extra bonus - it used to be a video shop too!

Video Box Office at The Wayfairer Discount Store in Ilkeston
You could hire videos from the Happy Shopper in the 1980's!

Video Box Office was the Business to Business part of ChoicesUK and launched in the UK in 1985 when the brand offered video rental services via third-party convenience stores. The following year ChoicesUK created a Business to Consumer operation with their own branded network of Choices Video stores.

While never as big as Blockbuster Video, Choices UK was a challenger to the market leader and the second largest chain of rental shops in the UK with 180 stores in the country. However, by 2007 the market for the rental of physical media was beginning to decline and other factors played a part in the brand going into administration. 59 ChoicesUK shops were taken over and rebranded as Blockbuster stores.

I wonder if there are any other remnants of Choices Video out there...?


Happy Shopper does still exist, as both convenience stores and own brand food & drink products. Many of the former Happy Shopper stores were rebranded as Premier shops. It has been part of the Booker Group since 1996. Booker itself is now owned by Tesco.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Buxton Miniature Railway

A visit to the Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton.


Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
This way to the Miniature Railway

On our recent trip to Buxton we had a nice wander around the Pavilion Gardens. We didn't have any luck in finding the Crazy Golf and Putting courses we had heard were there, but we did find a miniature railway.


Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
The platform

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
The line to the storage tunnel

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
Some carriages

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
The engine under cover

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
The miniature train

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
The lines out of the tunnel

Pavilion Gardens Miniature Railway in Buxton
The track runs over the bridge

We've found quite a few miniature railways on our travels. There are a lot up here in the north west, including three in Stockport borough.

Related blog posts:
Miniature Railways

Link:
- Miniature Train at Pavilion Gardens

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote

A visit to the Crazy Golf course at Eureka Park in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.


Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote

While en route to Leicester to compete in the final of the Caddyshackers Open tournament we made a stop in Swadlincote to have a look for the Crazy Golf course at Eureka Park.


Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote

The Crazy Golf course at Eureka Park in Swadlincote was the 910th course we've visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.


Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
The felt on the course looked relatively new

The colourful miniature golf course at Eureka Park looked really nice.

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
A nice spot to have a sit down

However we couldn't find the Park Keeper to hire a putter and balls from so it was an unplayed course visit this time.

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
The Putters were ever so close!

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 1

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 2

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 3

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 4

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 5

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 6
   
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 7

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 7

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 8

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 9

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 10

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 11
 
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 12
 
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 13
 
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 14

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 14
 
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 15

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 16

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 16
 
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 16

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 17

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 17

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 17

Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 17
 
Crazy Golf at Eureka Park in Swadlincote
Hole 18

Related blog posts:
- Derbyshire
- What a weekend of minigolf!
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

House of Holes indoor Crazy Golf opening in Derby this month

The new adults-only House of Holes indoor Crazy Golf course is opening in Derby this month.


The date has been set for the grand opening of Derby’s brand new adults-only indoor Crazy Golf course, with the House of Holes venue officially opening to the public on Saturday 16th March.


A sneak peak at hole 1 at the new House of Holes minigolf course
A sneak peak at hole 1 of the new House of Holes Crazy Golf course

House of Holes has been created in the former Grand Theatre on Babington Lane in Derby. As well as the intriguing Crazy Golf course the venue will serve street food and cocktails accompanied by music from a resident DJ.


The House of Holes course will consist of 18 individually themed holes decorated with memorabilia, shop mannequins and other odd and interesting obstacles including a full-size plane – a nod to Rolls-Royce and Derby’s aerospace industry – roller boots and a large neon-lit guitar, which was discovered in the building’s basement and is believed to be over 30 years old.

The venue has, over the years, been home to a number of nightclubs called Ritzy’s, McClusky’s and Confetti’s.

We're looking forward to seeing what the rest of the House of Holes Crazy Golf course looks like
We're looking forward to seeing what the rest of the House of Holes Crazy Golf course looks like

In addition to the work on the course itself, House of Holes has employed local graffiti artists to decorate the walls of the building, while old copies of Viz cover the interior of the men’s toilets!

The Gents toilets at House of Holes indoor Crazy Golf course in Derby
I'm a big fan Viz comic, although it's not as funny as it used to be

In the last couple of years indoor Crazy Golf has really taken off and is fast becoming a favourite choice for a fun night out, as well as a popular day time activity.

Bookings are now being taken via the House of Holes’ Facebook page, with an 18-hole round of Crazy Golf costing £10.

For more information check out the House of Holes websiteFacebook PageInstagram and Twitter.

We're looking forward to a return visit to Derby and playing the course on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Related blog posts:
- Derby
- Indoor Crazy Golf

Links:
- House of Holes website
- House of Holes on Facebook
- House of Holes on Instagram
- House of Holes on Twitter

Monday, February 18, 2019

Meeting the Dull Men of Great Britain – The Crazy Golfers

Check out the new Lossul feature 'Meeting the Dull Men of Great Britain – The Crazy Golfers'.

Lots of specialist minigolf balls
Lots of specialist minigolf balls - there's a lot more to the game than Clown's Mouths and Windmills

We met travel and adventure writer Elliot Windmill at the Dull Men's Club's Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening held in Preston last May and in July we met again for an afternoon of Crazy Golf at Manor Park in Glossop, Derbyshire.

Elliot Windmill lining up a shot on the Manor Park Crazy Golf course
Elliot lining up a shot on the Manor Park Crazy Golf course

You can read Elliot's article Meeting the Dull Men of Great Britain – The Crazy Golfers on the Lossul website.

Elliot and Richard in Glossop - with another copy of The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf by Mike Vago heading into The Crazy Golf Museum
Elliot presented me with a copy of The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf by Mike Vago. It's now in The Crazy Golf Museum

Links:

Lossul
Meeting The Dull Men of Great Britain – A True Story
Meeting The Dull Men of Great Britain – The Event (Part One)
Meeting The Dull Men of Great Britain – The Event (Part Two)
Meeting the Dull Men of Great Britain – The Crazy Golfers

Related blog posts:
- Lossul
Dull Men's Club

Thursday, February 14, 2019

New Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park in Derby

Work is underway on a new Crazy Golf course in Derby's Markeaton Park.


Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park in Derby
The old Crazy Golf course as it looked in 2014

The old course has been removed and it's hoped that the new minigolf course will be open this Easter
.

Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park in Derby

The old Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park was the 550th miniature golf course visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour back in March 2014.

Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park in Derby

Unfortunately the 17-hole Crazy Golf course at the park's Mundy Play Centre wasn't open as it was an 'out of season' Thursday. 
Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park in Derby

Crazy Golf course at Markeaton Park in Derby


Check out the Derby Parks Facebook Page for more information on the new Crazy Golf course.

Related blog posts:
- Derby
- Markeaton Park
- Crazy Golf at Mundy Play Centre in Markeaton Park, Derby