Monday, January 16, 2017

A trip to Reddish South railway station

Visiting Reddish South railway station.


Last year we watched the TV programme Paul Merton's Secret Stations and were interested to hear about the once a week 'parliamentary' rail service from Reddish South railway station in Greater Manchester.

Reddish South railway station
Reddish South railway station. A very quiet spot

When we moved to Cheadle Hulme last summer we noticed on a local map that Reddish South was one of our closest stations here in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport!

Timetable at Reddish South railway station
The station's timetable makes for grim viewing

Yesterday we went to explore the station. Unfortunately we didn't see any trains pass through Reddish South and we didn't fancy waiting for the next and only service - the 09:27 to Stalybridge. On Friday!

Reddish South railway station
Five days early, or two days late, for the next train from Reddish South

The station is one of the quietest in the UK, and the least used in Greater Manchester, with only 38 passengers using the station in 2015/16.

Reddish South railway station
A view of Reddish Station from down the line

Reddish South railway station
Ticking off another railway station visit on our travels

Reddish South railway station
The station has a Friends group that are campaigning for a regular service from Reddish South

Reddish South railway station
Practicing my hailing motion for when we actually catch a train from the request stop

Reddish South railway station
An old unused tunnel to the right

Reddish South railway station
A view of one of the old and unused platforms

The station has no facilities for passengers at all. At least Denton, another station on the Stockport-Stalybridge Line, has a bench.

Reddish South railway station
Distinctly lacking in facilities

You can find out more about the station and service from the Friends of Reddish South Station group.

Watch episode 3 of Paul Merton's Secret Stations to see Reddish South station.

Further information about the station can be found on the Northern Railway website.

A new bus shelter in Stockport

My mate and minigolf rival Steve 'Le Velle' Lovell recently tagged me in a Stockport bus stop-related post on the Angry People in Local Newspapers Facebook page and asked if there was "any chance you could do a Ham and Egger piece on this...".

Well, yes. Yes there is.

I recognised the spot where the bus stop shelter should be straight away. It's on Edgeley Road, near St Lesmo Road, and we play p├ętanque just up the road from it at Alexandra Park in Edgeley.

Bus stop sign on Edgeley Road in Stockport

On a recent drive up the road I noticed that JCDecaux have replaced the shelter.

The new bus shelter on Edgeley Road in Stockport
The new bus shelter on Edgeley Road in Stockport

All's well that ends well.

A while back I noticed a sign on a lamppost that said the area used to have a tram line running through it
A while back I noticed a sign on a lamppost that said the area used to have a tram line running through it

Related blog posts:
- Stockport
- Bus
- Steve Lovell

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sector 7 Laser Tag at Parrs Wood in Manchester

I'm a big fan of Laser Tag, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see that there's a Laser Tag game arena at the Parrs Wood entertainment complex in Manchester.

At the Sector 7 Laser Tag Adventure it's the Reds versus the Greens
At the Sector 7 Laser Tag Adventure it's the Reds versus the Greens

Parrs Wood is just down the road from us and the Sector 7 Laser Tag can be found within the Tenpin bowling centre. We can't wait to return for a game there.

In the seemingly everlasting Laser Tag war waged between the forces of the REDS, BLUES, GREENS, and YELLOWS, players in our Laser Tag Rankings have taken part in battles in 'laser-war-torn' places including Birmingham, Hemel Hempstead, Bristol, London, Peterborough, Crawley, New Brighton, Cannock, Whitstable, Skegness, Rayleigh and Milton Keynes.

Links:
- Tenpin Parrs Wood
- Parrs Wood Manchester

Related blog posts:
- Laser Tag
- Lazer Tag

Instascran in Stockport

We love funny signs and business names, so when we heard that there was a deli called 'Instascran' in the Heaviley bit of Stockport we had to go for a look.

Instascran deli in Stockport

Instagram is one of the few social networks I'm not on, so I don't know whether Instascran is actually on Instagram.

I'm now on Instagram. As is Instascran.

One of our favourite shop name puns is Singhbury's in Aylesbury.

Related blog posts:
- Stockport
- Funny sign

Links:
- Instascran on Twitter
- Instascran on Facebook

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A return to the Leopoldpark minigolf courses in Blankenberge

A revisit to the Mini Golf courses at the Leopoldpark in Blankenberge, Belgium.


Emily recently returned to Blankenberge in Belgium she noticed there was a large Christmas decoration still standing next to the miniature golf courses at the Leopoldpark.

Not a wacky waving inflatable, but a decent looking snowman Christmas decoration
Not a wacky waving inflatable, but a decent looking snowman Christmas decoration

Leopoldpark Snookergolf course in Blankenberge
You can see the snowman to the left of the snookergolf course

While there Emily also took a few more snaps of the colourful minigolf, crazy golf and snooker golf courses at the Leopoldpark. They do look marvellous and we can't wait to return and actually play them!

Leopoldpark minigolf course in Blankenberge
The Blankenberge Crazy Golf course

Leopoldpark minigolf course in Blankenberge
Hole 1 of the Mini Golf course at the Leopoldpark
 
Leopoldpark Snookergolf course in Blankenberge
The Snookergolf layout

The three 18-hole courses at Leopoldpark became the 710th, 711th and 712th visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Leopoldpark Snookergolf course in Blankenberge
Another view of the Snookergolf course. It looks like a brilliant game

On her last visit Emily spotted there was also a Petanque terrain at the Leopoldpark. This time she spotted there are some undercover pistes there too. Looks like a great spot to play some boules.

The uncovered Petanque pistes

The undercover Boulodrome

Visit the Leopoldpark website for more information about the courses, opening times and prices.

Related blog posts:
- Minigolf at Leopoldpark in Blankenberge
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. Please do sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Crazy Golf in London

Details of Crazy Golf, Minigolf and Adventure Golf courses in London.


Since our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour began in 2006 we've played a number of Crazy Golf courses in London. Up until a few years ago there was a real dearth of courses to play in the capital, but recently the London minigolf scene has changed quite dramatically with a number of late night, indoor Crazy Golf pop-ups and permanent venues opening.

Crazy Golf course in Chiswick, London
You can't get much more of a London-scene than this. Sadly this Crazy Golf course in Chiswick closed a few years ago

Where to play Crazy Golf in London
Acton - Putt in the Park at Acton Park
Arkley (near Elstree and Borehamwood) - Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf at the A1 Driving Range
Barnet Copthall/Hendon - Captain's Bay Adventure Golf at Metro Golf Centre
Battersea - Plonk Golf at the Four Thieves Pub
Battersea - Putt in the Park at Battersea Park
Beckenham - Championship Miniature Golf at Kelsey Park
Brentwood - Rascal Bay Adventure Golf at Brentwood Golf Centre
Brick Lane - Junkyard Golf Club at the Old Truman Brewery
Brixton - Plonk Golf at the Duke of Edinburgh pub
Camden - Crazy Golf at Clarence Way Housing Estate
Carshalton - Crazy Golf at The Grove Park
Chingford/Waltham Forest - Jurassic Falls Adventure Golf
City of London EC3A - Swingers Crazy Golf Club at Brown's Buildings
Croydon - Dragon Quest Adventure Golf at World of Golf
Dalston - Plonk Golf at Efes Snooker Hall
Edgware - Lost Jungle London Adventure Golf
Greenwich - CrazyPutt Adventure Golf at the Greenwich Peninsula Golf Range - under construction as at November 2017
Hackney - Plonk Golf at Victoria Park
Harrow - Mini Majors Adventure Golf at Northwick Park
Hyde Park - Grass Putting Green at Hyde Park Sports Centre
London Fields - Plonk Golf and Plonk Golf's Crazy Golf Puzzle Room
Merton/Motspur Park - Mini Golf at Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields
Mill Hill - Crazy Golf at Mill Hill Park
New Malden - Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf at World of Golf
Northolt - Dinosaur Adventure Golf at West London Golf Centre
Romford - Moby Adventure Golf at Golf Kingdon
Shepherd's Bush - Puttshack at Westfield London (opening March 2018)
Sidcup/Chiselhurst - Mr Mulligan's Dino Adventure Golf at Sidcup Family Golf Centre
Southgate - Adventure Golf at Broomfield Park
Southgate - Jungle Falls Adventure Golf at Trent Park Public Golf Course
Sparrows Den, West Wickham, Bromley - Enchanted Village Adventure Golf
Sparrows Den, West Wickham, Bromley - Pitch & Putt
Staines-on-Thames - Golden Putter Mini Golf at Lammas Park
Stratford - Birdies Crazy Golf Club is reopening at Roof East in May 2017
Upminster - Crazy Golf at Hall Lane Miniature Golf
Walthamstow - Plonk Golf at The Chequers
Wandsworth - Putt in the Park at Wandsworth Park
Wandsworth - Adventure Putting at the Central London Golf Centre
West Horndon, near Brentwood - Miniature Golf at Dunton Hills Golf Course
Wimbledon - Crazy Golf at Wimbledon Park

Playing Moby Adventure Golf at Golf Kingdon, Romford in June 2014
Playing Moby Adventure Golf at Golf Kingdon, Romford in June 2014

Perhaps the strangest minigolf course we found in London is the excellent Putting Green tucked away in Hyde Park. It's well worth a visit. You can see a walk around the course on my YouTube Channel.
Other courses that have been - and gone - include the sporting themed pop-up course created by our friends at the London-based minigolf specialists UrbanCrazy for the JW3 Jewish Community Centre. This layout looked great, but unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to get along for a game. Hopefully a similar course will be created in the future.

Playing at the Brewmaster's Open Crazy Golf tournament at the Camden Town Brewery in 2012

You can view the original Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in and around London blog post to see further photos and details of the Adventure Golf, Crazy Golf, Minigolf and Golf Putting Green courses we've visited and played in and around London since July 2008. Some of the forty-plus courses we've visited have sadly closed down, or were temporary pop-up courses. But on the plus side there are lots of new, fun and wacky Crazy Golf courses still to play in London.

Putting on the green of a crashed plane at the Golf Apocalypse of 2012
Putting on the green of a crashed plane at the Golf Apocalypse of 2012

Related blog posts:

Monday, January 09, 2017

The first minigolf course visit of 2017

The first minigolf course visit of 2017 was made by Emily as she spotted a Putting Green on her spa break at Luton Hoo at the weekend.

The Golf Putting Practice Area at Luton Hoo
The Golf Practice Area at Luton Hoo on the 6th January

The course became the 721st visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour since September 2006.

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

Link:
- Luton Hoo

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. Please do sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter too.

The last minigolf course visit of 2016

The last minigolf course visit of 2016 was made by Emily on her shopping trip to the Trafford Centre in Manchester on New Year's Eve.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf courses at the Trafford Centre in Manchester
There's some great theming at Paradise Island Adventure Golf

The Paradise Island Adventure Golf courses were originally the 85th and 86th courses visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in April 2009.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf courses at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Now we live locally we'll hopefully get along for more rounds on the 36-hole indoor Adventure Golf layout.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf courses at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Paradise Island Adventure Golf have other jungle themed courses at Cheshire Oaks, Glasgow, Livingston and Sheffield. With a new course planned to open in Derby later this year.

We played the Glasgow courses a few years ago and the Sheffield centre was the first we visited in 2016.

Head to the Paradise Island Adventure Golf website for more information on the venues, opening times and prices.

Related blog posts:
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Manchester
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Links:
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf
- Trafford Centre

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. Please do sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter too.

The UK's first Roundabout

Driving around the UK's first Roundabout.

The UK's first Roundabout is in Letchworth Garden City
The UK's first Roundabout as it was in 2010

While back down south at the weekend we visited Letchworth Garden City. It's home to the UK's first roundabout and I can never resist having a drive round it.



Kevin Beresford, a fellow member of the Dull Men's Club, runs the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society. Check out his website for more info.

Related blog posts:
- Letchworth Garden City
- Dull Men's Club

Links:
- UK Roundabout Appreciation Society
- Dull Men's Club website

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Adventure Golf scorecards from the USA

Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf course scorecards from the USA now in the Crazy Golf Museum.


The Crazy Golf Museum recently received a kind donation from minigolfer Jon Angel. During a bit of a recent tidy up the former British Minigolf Champion discovered two scorecards from a visit to the Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf courses in New York State back in September 2007!

They are a fine pair of Adventure Golf scorecards and with the addition of the receipts and ink stamps make brilliant additions to the Crazy Golf Museum's archives of the game.

Blackbeard's Challenge course at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Lake George, NY. Donated by Jon Angel

Blackbeard's Challenge course at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Lake George, NY. Donated by Jon Angel

Blackbeard's Challenge course at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Lake George, NY. Donated by Jon Angel

The Legend Course at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Lake Placid, NY. Donated by Jon Angel

The Legend Course at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Lake Placid, NY. Donated by Jon Angel

The Legend Course at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Lake Placid, NY. Donated by Jon Angel

The Pirate's Cove Original Adventure Golf empire spans a large amount of courses in the USA. Check out the Pirate's Cove Original Adventure Golf website for details.

In 2015 fellow minigolfer Mark Swain sent over a selection of scorecards from his US holiday. One of these was from Pirate's Cove Original Adventure Golf in Wisconsin Dells where there are FIVE courses!

Over the years the museum has received a number of excellent minigolf scorecards from the USA via Pat Sheridan of the Putting Penguin website.

Visit the Crazy Golf Museum website and check out the museum's Twitter and Facebook pages for more snaps of scorecards, postcards and miniature golf ephemera.

Related blog posts:
- Crazy Golf Museum
- Jon Angel
- USA

Links:
- Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf
- Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Lake George, NY
- Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Lake Placid, NY
Crazy Golf Museum website
- UrbanCrazy

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The first blog post of the year

It's a new minigolf year, so we've put together a list of resources that you may find useful and interesting throughout 2017 and beyond.

Emily playing the 700th course we've visited - at Vickersway Park in Northwich
Emily playing the 700th minigolf course we've visited - at Vickersway Park in Northwich

Visiting 720 minigolf courses in ten years we've seen and done a lot and we hope our adventures might inspire you to get out and explore the marvelous world of miniature golf too.

The views from the Putting courses at Looe Bowling Club in Cornwall are some of the finest we've seen
The views from the Putting courses at Looe Bowling Club in Cornwall are some of the finest we've seen

Useful and interesting websites
The number one minigolf course review site in the world can be found at the Putting Penguin. The US-based team have written and posted reviews of 281 courses in 35 US States and ten countries.

Playing the Putt in the Park mini golf course in London as Pat Sheridan from the Putting Penguin looks on
Playing the Putt in the Park mini golf course in London as Pat Sheridan from the Putting Penguin looks on

Also over in the USA our friends Tom and Robin aka A Couple of Putts are on a similar mission to us - if they see a minigolf course they have to play and review it. They've certainly played some wonderful layouts - the hot dog hole they played in Minneapolis immediately springs to mind!

Matt 'Mattie 5' Bellner is a real minigolf character. The Putt Putt Pro built a miniature golf hole on his balcony for the Christmas season and his antics on social media and beyond are well worth following.

In 2016 Minigolfnews.com was relaunched and as well as carrying results and interviews from the competitive side of the sport, the site publishes articles from the quirky and fun side of the game too.

Minigolf 'Days'
There are two quasi-official annual 'days' when you can celebrate the game.

Emily playing the Putt in the Park mini golf course in Battersea Park, London on Miniature Golf Day 2015
Emily playing the Putt in the Park mini golf course in Battersea Park, London on Miniature Golf Day 2015

- National Miniature Golf Day falls on the second Saturday in May. In 2017 this will be on Saturday 13th May.

- Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st of September, which is on a Thursday in 2017.

#MiniGolfMonday
Every Monday is #MiniGolfMonday on Twitter. Do get involved by posting your tweets, pics and videos using the hashtag. Don't forget to add #minigolf to all of your minigolf-related tweets. It'd be great to get minigolf trending in 2017.

Trying to trend in 2011 - Minigolf Bloggers Seth 'Sethers' Thomas (l), 'Squire' Richard Gottfried (r) and Oliver 'The Machine' Florence (lurking in the background) at Dorridge
Trying to trend in 2011 - Minigolf Bloggers Seth 'Sethers' Thomas (l), 'Squire' Richard Gottfried (r) and Oliver 'The Machine' Florence (lurking in the background) at Dorridge

Minigolf turns 150 years old in 2017
2017 sees the 150th anniversary of the world's first Miniature Golf course. The Himalayas Putting Course at St Andrews in Scotland is still open today and we visited the Links Minigolf landmark in 2012. It's a brilliant course to play.

The Himalayas Putting Course at St Andrews in Scotland
Playing The Himalayas in 2012

Don't forget to check out The Crazy Golf Museum - home to a range of artifacts and memorabilia from the game.

The Original Crazy Golf course in Skegness turned 90 last year
The Original Crazy Golf course in Skegness turned 90 last year

Competitions

If you've got a competitive nature you may be interested in entering a serious minigolf tournament.

The World Minigolf Sport Federation is the umbrella organisation of 62 Minigolf sports associations worldwide. There are more than 38,000 competitive minigolf players registered with the WMF via the 62 member nations, with 900-plus clubs between them. Over 1,000 courses are approved for official competitions and over 1,500 minigolf tournaments are held each year.

We've competed in numerous domestic tournaments as well as representing Great Britain in competitions in Finland and Sweden
We've competed in numerous domestic tournaments as well as representing Great Britain in competitions in Finland and Sweden

The British Minigolf Association, the UK governing body for minigolf sport, organises a number of events throughout the year. In 2017 there will be minigolf competitions held in England and Wales.

Course suppliers
There are a number of minigolf course suppliers, designers and builders in the UK and around the world.

Putting on an UrbanCrazy layout. A Crazy Golf course in a London back garden!
Putting on an UrbanCrazy layout. A Crazy Golf course in a London back garden!

Check out the links below for more info on our friends in the business world of minigolf:
UrbanCrazy
Putterfingers.co.uk
Castle Golf (UK and Europe)
Castle Golf (USA)

Courses around the UK
After hitting our landmark 600th and 700th course visits we had a rough guesstimate that there were about 50 left for us to visit. But with new courses opening up all the time this figure is certainly a movable feast! We've always been fans of buffet minigolf so there's no problem there.

The 400th course we played was at Les Mielles in Jersey in 2016
The 400th course we played was at Les Mielles in Jersey in 2016

If you find a new (or old/abandoned) course do let us know as we'd love to get along for a game, or just some photos.

Wherever you play and whatever you get up to we wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

Related blog posts:
- The last blog post of the year
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. Please do sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter too.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The last blog post of the year

What a year 2016 has been!

This year has seen some BIG milestones in the world of Mini Golf including the 90th anniversary of England's first Crazy Golf course opening in Skegness. There's still a course on the same spot today.

Crazy Golf in Skegness
A lovely bit of minigolf history

2016 saw the tenth birthday of our Ham and Egger Files blog, ten years of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and ten years since we played our tenth course. We've now visited 720 courses in total.

We had great fun playing the Southend Pier Crazy Golf course in the summer. The layout is 1.3 miles out to sea!
We had great fun playing the Southend Pier Crazy Golf course in the summer. The layout is 1.3 miles out to sea!

We also made a HUGE change in our lives, moving from Luton to live in Cheadle Hulme. We also found that we now live less than a mile away from a miniature golf Putting course, although it's one we're likely to never play.

There's a miniature golf course at the Park Square office complex in Cheadle Heath
There's a miniature golf course at the Park Square office complex in Cheadle Heath

On the very bright side moving north has opened up a large number of courses to visit (and old ones to revisit) on our tour. The latest course played in Greater Manchester was the wonderful Lost Valley Adventure Golf at Amazonia in Bolton.

The Lost Valley Adventure Golf course is well worth a play
The Lost Valley Adventure Golf course is well worth a play

The first course we played in 2016 was at Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Sheffield - that seems so long ago now!

Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Sheffield
We've played one of the two Adventure Golf courses in Sheffield

In 2016 we visited 47 courses, posted 204 blog posts (205 with this one - and 2394 in total since 2006) and went over the one million page views mark on the Ham & Egger Files.

2017 will see the 150th anniversary of the world's first Miniature Golf course. The Himalayas Putting Course at St Andrews in Scotland is still there today. We visited the Links Minigolf course in April 2012. It's a real pleasure to play.

Playing the world's first miniature golf course
The world's first miniature golf course

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us. We look forward to sharing more minigolf fun in 2017.

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. Please do sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter too.