Showing posts with label monorail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monorail. Show all posts

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Monorail at Butlin's Minehead

A look at an old Butlins postcard from Minehead.


What a view of two monorails crossing above the swimming pool at Butlin's Minehead.

Butlin's Minehead - Monorail over Outdoor Swimming Pool by John Hinde Studios. Postally unused. Undated
Butlin's Minehead - Monorail over Outdoor Swimming Pool by John Hinde Studios. Postally unused. Undated

My holidays at Butlin's


My parents met at the Butlin's holiday camp in Clacton-on-Sea in the 1970's. My family often went on holiday to the Butlin's holiday camp in Minehead. We also had one stay at the Bognor Regis and Ayr camps. I spent many summers in the 80's and 90's at the Barry Island Holiday Camp, itself a former Butlin's camp.

We used to ride the monorail at Butlin's Minehead all the time.

Butlin's Somerwest World Monorail. From the Gottfried family photo archive 2019
Riding the monorail with my brother Jon at Butlin's Somerwest World in Minehead

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A Typical Butlin Monorail

A look at an old Butlins postcard from Skegness.


I'm always on the lookout for old minigolf postcards and when I'm sorting through them at fairs, car boot sales, or in charity or antique shops I always keep an eye out for holiday camp postcards too.


This is one of the wonderful Butlin's cards from the late 1960's and it ticks a number of my interest boxes.


Firstly it's got a prominent view of a miniature golf course being played.

Secondly it's a Butlin's holiday camp card.

And thirdly it's got a monorail on it!

A Typical Butlin Monorail. I have two other versions of this card, but with the caption of 'Butlin's Skegness Monorail' instead. One was postally used on 27th July 1971
A Typical Butlin Monorail. I have two other versions of this card, but with the caption of 'Butlin's Skegness Monorail' instead. One was postally used on 27th July 1971

Two firsts


Skegness was the first Butlin's holiday camp and it opened its doors on the 11th April 1936.

The camp at Butlin's Skegness was the location for the UK's first commercial monorail. It opened in 1965.

Since then a number of camps opened and closed, underwent facelifts and rebranding exercises and offered marvellous holidays to millions of people.

Holidaying at Butlin's


My parents met at the Butlin's holiday camp in Clacton-on-Sea in the 1970's. My family often went on holiday to the Butlin's holiday camp in Minehead. We also had one stay at the Bognor Regis and Ayr camps. I spent many summers in the 80's and 90's at the Barry Island Holiday Camp, itself a former Butlin's camp.

I have not yet visited the Skegness camp, but have had some brilliant holidays in Skeggy itself.

We also used to ride the monorail at Butlin's Minehead all the time.

Butlin's Somerwest World Monorail. From the Gottfried family photo archive 2019
My brother Christopher foudnd this snap of us riding the monorail at Butlin's Minehead back in the early 90's while looking through some old family photos

Friday, October 11, 2019

Coral Island amusement arcade in Blackpool

A look at the Coral Island amusement arcade in Blackpool.


Coral Island amusement arcade and a view of the Tower in Blackpool
A view of Coral Island and the Tower

I revisited the excellent Coral Island amusement arcade while in Blackpool yesterday.


Coral Island amusement arcade in Blackpool
The skull at the entrance recently suffered a fire. Luckily it didn't cause any real damage

Coral Island is one of my favourite amusement arcades. We've visited a LOT of arcades on our travels to over 200 seasides in the UK since 2006 and it's the only place we've found to have an Pirate Flyer Laser Gun Indoor Monorail!

The view from the Pirate Flyer Monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
The view from the Pirate Flyer Monorail

Visit the Coral Island website for more information.

Related blog posts:
- Pirate Flyer Laser Gun Monorail in Blackpool
- Amusement Arcades
- Blackpool

Friday, February 15, 2019

Butlin's Postcards - minigolf and monorails

A look at some superb old Butlin's postcards.


I love the British seaside with all its quirks, eccentricity and traditional entertainment. I grew up on holidays at Butlin's holiday camps in Minehead, Bognor Regis and Ayr - and spent many summers in the 80's and 90's at the Barry Island Holiday Camp which used to be a Butlin's camp.



I've got brilliant memories of the monorail, funfair, laser tag and arcades there. It's little wonder that even now I'm such a big fan of the British seaside, monorails, crazy golf and video-games.

Riding the monorail at Butlin's Somerwest World in Minehead
My brother Christopher was recently looking through some old family photos and spotted this snap of us riding the monorail at Butlin's Minehead back in the early 90's

It's probably in no small part because of our childhood stays at holiday camps - and all the fun they had to offer - that Emily and I have spent the last thirteen years travelling around the UK on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. We also visited Butlin's Minehead (formerly Somerwest World) on one of our first holidays together in 2004.

Butlin's Holidays postcard from Somerwest World Minehead. Postally unused
Butlin's Holidays postcard from Somerwest World Minehead. Postally unused. Undated

Over the years we've built up a great collection of miniature golf postcards, and we always keep an eye out for Butlin's cards. They're such colourful and fun cards, and seeing the monorail at Minehead brings back many happy memories.

Butlin's Minehead postcard M13. The Monorail. Postally unused
Butlin's Minehead postcard M13. The Monorail. Postally unused. Undated

Butlin's Minehead postcard M15. Monorail over a Main Avenue. Postally unused. Undated
Butlin's Minehead postcard M15. Monorail over a Main Avenue. Postally unused. Undated

Butlin's Minehead - Monorail over Outdoor Swimming Pool by John Hinde Studios. Postally unused. Undated
Butlin's Minehead - Monorail over Outdoor Swimming Pool by John Hinde Studios. Postally unused. Undated

A Typical Butlin Monorail. Postcard S25
A Typical Butlin Monorail. Postcard S25. I also have a variation of this postcard with the caption 'BUTLIN'S SKEGNESS Monorail'. That card was posted on 27 July 1971

It's brilliant collecting old postcards of minigolf courses, monorails and holiday camps as they are superb pieces of social history.

Butlin's Minehead postcard M 28. The Chair Lift. Postally unused. Undated
Butlin's Minehead postcard M 28. The Chair Lift. Postally unused. Undated

Back in the 1970's the minigolf courses at Butlin's holiday camps featured some very big golf balls and tees and make for a striking image.

Butlinland Skegness - Putting Green and Monorail by John Hinde Studios. Sent on 4 Aug 1980
Butlinland Skegness - Putting Green and Monorail by John Hinde Studios. Sent on 4 Aug 1980

Butlin's Bognor Regis postcard B39. Putting Green. Postally used 29 Sep 1975
Butlin's Bognor Regis postcard B39. Putting Green. Postally used 29 Sep 1975

Butlin's Bognor Regis postcard by Golden Shield. Postally used 2 Sep 1985
Butlin's Bognor Regis postcard by Golden Shield. Postally used on 2 Sep 1985

Butlin's Holiday Worlds - Southcoast World. Printed by E.T.W. Dennis & Sons Ltd. Posted. Date unknown
Butlin's Holiday Worlds - Southcoast World (Bognor Regis). Printed by E.T.W. Dennis & Sons Ltd. Posted. Date unknown

Visit the John Hinde Collection postcard website for more information on Butlin's postcards and their history and follow them on Twitter to see lots more examples of their brilliant postcards.

Check out the Butlin's website for more information on the holiday camps.

Links:
- John Hinde postcards
- Butlin's

Related blog posts:
- Butlin's
- Postcards
Happy Birthday Butlin's!
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Monorails and Minigolf at Butlin's Minehead
- Butlin's postcards in November's Picture Postcard Monthly magazine

Friday, February 08, 2019

Monorails and Minigolf at Butlin's Minehead

A look back at the Monorails and Minigolf course at Butlin's Somerwest World holiday camp in Minehead.


My brother Christopher was recently looking through some old family photos and spotted this snap of us riding the monorail at Butlin's Minehead back in the early 90's.


Riding the Tango branded Monorail at Butlin's Minehead in the early 1990's. Photo from the Gottfried family photo archive
Riding the Tango branded Monorail at Butlin's Minehead in the early 1990's

My family holidayed at the camp a number of times in the late 80's and early 90's and I've got brilliant memories of the monorail, funfair, laser tag and arcades there. It's little wonder that even now I'm such a big fan of the British seaside, monorails, crazy golf and video-games.

Emily and I also had one of our first holidays together at the camp in 2004 and we remember playing the Arnold Palmer Putting Course you can see in the postcard below. This card is from the time the camp was known as Butlin's Somerwest World from 1987 to 1999. Sadly we haven't got any photos of us from our pre-Crazy World of Minigolf Tour game on the course.

A Butlin's Holidays postcard of Somerwest World. Postally unused. Undated
A Butlin's Holidays postcard of Somerwest World. Postally unused. Undated

While looking at the history of Butlin's for a feature in Picture Postcard Monthly to mark the 80th birthday of Butlin's in 2016 I found that the UK's first commercial monorail was opened at Butlin's Skegness in 1965! The Skegness holiday resort is the one remaining camp I haven't been to.

It's brilliant collecting old postcards of minigolf courses, monorails and holiday camps as they are superb pieces of social history, as well as bringing back some great memories.

Related blog posts:
- Butlin's
- Postcards

Link:
- Butlin's

Monday, November 07, 2016

Pirate Flyer Laser Gun Monorail in Blackpool

Riding a monorail inside Blackpool's Coral Island amusement arcade.

The Pirate Flyer monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
The Pirate Flyer monorail in Blackpool

I'm a big fan of seaside Amusement Arcades, Monorails and Laser Tag. So when I first saw the Pirate Flyer Laser Gun Monorail ride at the Coral Island Amusements in Blackpool back in 2009 I was amazed.

The Pirate Flyer monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
Can you spot Emily in the crowd below the monorail?

On our recent return to the seaside resort I had to have another go on it.

The Pirate Flyer monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
Well worth a go if you're in Blackpool

Unfortunately the guns in our Monorail car didn't work and no scores were given. And there was a fairly long queue for the £2 ride. But it was still fun to ride the rail above the crowds of people enjoying the arcade games below.



The Pirate Flyer monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
A nice bit of ephemera

The Pirate Flyer monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
There's a blacklit tunnel section of the ride

Coral Island amusement arcade in Blackpool
Coral Island is one of my favourite amusement arcades - and we've visited a LOT of arcades on our travels to over 200 seasides in the UK

Related blog posts:
- Monorail
- Amusement Arcades
- Blackpool

Link:
- Coral Island, Blackpool

Video:
- Pirate Flyer laser monorail ride at Coral Island in Blackpool

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Blackpool Pleasure Beach Monorail

Spotting a disused monorail line in Blackpool.

The disused monorail line at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

In amongst the many many many different things I like to spot are monorails. On our recent trip to Blackpool I actually walked under one without realising. It was only when Emily mentioned that it looked like it wasn't used any more and pointed it out that I saw it.

The disused monorail line at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The disused monorail line at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The disused monorail line at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The Blackpool Pleasure Beach Monorail was decommissioned in 2012 by which time there was only one station left on the loop. The ride ended its time as a sightseeing tour of the Pleasure Beach rather than an actual transportation system as it was when it first opened in 1966.

There is a claim that the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Monorail was the UK's first commercial monorail system. A claim also held by Butlin's - whose own monorail opened at the Skegness Holiday Camp in 1965.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any photos of us on the Monorail - or the ride in action - in our archives from trips to Blackpool in 2008 and and 2009. But I did find some other great photos that I'd forgotten all about!

Luckily there is still a monorail to ride in Blackpool - the indoor Pirate Flyer at Coral Island.

In the meantime check out this blog post about the monorail we got to ride at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach this summer.

Related blog posts:
- Monorail
- Blackpool

Link:
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Monday, October 24, 2016

Butlin's postcards in November's Picture Postcard Monthly magazine

Check out the November issue of Picture Postcard Monthly magazine to read my article celebrating the 80th birthday of Butlin's.

The November issue of Picture Postcard Monthly magazine has an article celebrating the 80th birthday of Butlin's

I love the British seaside with all its quirks, eccentricity and traditional entertainment. My family often went on holiday to Butlin's holiday camps in Minehead, Bognor Regis and Ayr - and I spent many summers in the 80's and 90's at the Barry Island Holiday Camp, which was formerly a Butlin's camp.

The Chalets, Butlins Holiday Camp, Skegness - Valentine's G.7241. Postally unused and undated
The Chalets, Butlins Holiday Camp, Skegness - Valentine's G.7241. A postally unused and undated card from my collection

As an avid collector of miniature golf postcards I've picked up a fair few Butlin's cards along the way - the courses at the camps featured some very big golf balls and tees and make for quite a striking image.

Butlin's postcards
Holiday camps, miniature golf and monorails - three of my favourite subjects

As you can see, cards featuring monorails are a popular theme. In fact it was Butlin’s that introduced the UK’s first commercial monorail system, opening the loop at the Skegness holiday camp in 1965. The second monorail opened at Minehead in 1967 and that's the one I have great memories of.

Check out the Hi-di-Hi! feature in Picture Postcard Monthly magazine, available via the PPM website.

Links:
- Picture Postcard Monthly magazine
- Butlin's

Related blog posts:
- Postcards
- Butlin's
- Happy Birthday Butlin's

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Monorail, Monorail, Monorail

Riding the rail at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

The home straight of the monorail at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

On our recent trip to Great Yarmouth I had a very pleasure surprise and a real treat as I got to ride a monorail!



I'm a big fan of monorails and the one at the Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth is one of the few examples still operating in the UK.

At the Mono thingy

The pair of us on the monorail

The Pleasure Beach monorail crosses over the roller coaster track

And actually cuts through the middle of it

Into some sort of monorail wash!
 
The Pleasure Beach Monorail gets the thumbs up from me

I've got great memories of riding the monorail at Butlin's Minehead back in the 1980's and 90's. We also played the Pirate Flyer Laser Shooting Monorail ride at Coral Island in Blackpool a few years ago.

Links:
- Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach website

Video:
- Monorail in Great Yarmouth

Related blog posts:
- Monorail
- The Pirate Flyer - Laser game monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool
- Great Yarmouth

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Pirate Flyer - Laser game monorail at Coral Island in Blackpool

While competing in minigolf tournaments around the country, and visiting Mini and Crazy Golf courses on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, I do enjoy passing the time in Amusement Arcades playing games such as Hillbilly Shooting Shacks, Bowlingo, Arms Champs, the penny falls, and Crazy Air Squash.


However, of all these games the best 'Amusement Arcade Sport' I have found to date is The Pirate Flyer - a Laser game monorail ride at Coral Island in Blackpool!


It's great fun!




Link:
- Coral Island Amusement Arcade in Blackpool