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Alton Towers fairground

If you visited Alton Towers in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, we want to hear about your experiences.

In April, I revealed that I'm currently working on a book about the history of Alton Towers. I've now largely completed the required research, and am about 30 percent through writing the book itself. It promises to be a really fascinating tale about how a barren patch of land with a hunting lodge on it was transformed into one of Europe's most impressive estates, and subsequently into Britain's most popular theme park.

I don't want the book to be a simple reciting of facts - I want it to include real stories from visitors and staff - hence, it will be titled Tales from Alton Towers. Ironically, as I've been conducting my research, it has been easier to find first-hand accounts of visits to the park from the 1800s than it has been to track down folks who attended the park during the period after the Second World War when it was open to visitors, but had not yet become a theme park.

That's why I'm making a second appeal for those who visited the park during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to share their memories of those trips. Perhaps you visited the old-style fairground during the 1960/70s? Maybe you remember taking a donkey ride, or watching the sea lions frolic in their pool? Perhaps you were even there during the short period in the early 60s when the park had its own zoo!

Whatever the case, please share your memories in the comments section below. If your story is selected for inclusion in the book, I'll send you a £10 Amazon voucher (so remember to provide a valid e-mail address).

I'm particularly interested in any memories relating to the attractions below, but don't feel limited by this list. Please be as detailed as you like in your recollections.

  • Sea lions
  • Cable Cars (the original ones, not the Skyride)
  • Miniature Railway
  • Model Railway
  • Fairground
  • Zoo
  • Alpine Bobsleigh
  • Go-karts
  • Pony and donkey rides
  • Planetarium
  • Doom and Sons
  • Rupert Bear Magic Show
  • Mississippi Showboat
  • Mirror Days (special events in the 1970s)
  • The Black Hole (in its early days)
  • The Corkscrew (in its early days)

Thanks for your help!

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Comments

Used to go with my brother & parents in the sixties/seventies. The only things I remember were the miniature railway trip & riding back on the cable cars.Some times we just walked back through the gardens and up to the Towers to see the barns with the Traction Engines. Then into my favorite, the model railway in a cellar I think. Great big control panel at the end full of clicking relays & timers. One model train I remember was the Football Special with the coaches wreaked & supporters hanging out of the windows & roof!
Finally it was over to the boating pond to sail my latest Scalecraft electric motor powered boat or float plane kit.
Great times enjoying simple pleasures.

I used to work on the Towers Express in the 1970's, selling tickets in the small booth and also standing on the back ot the train.
I do have photos

i remember going to alton towers whenit was a caravan park . My two brothers had hours of fun playing in the woods n rolling down the hills . My last memory was rolling up to alton towers and being excited about our hols to be told it was shut due to a theme park being built .

I was born in Barlaston just outside Stoke on Trent and my parents took my sister and me to Alton Towers in the late 60s early 70s. I remember the sea lions and the donkey rides at the beginning. I have a photo of myself leaning over the rails looking at the sea lions. I remeber the large pagoda and the cable cars. Pick think there was an indoorarea with a very large slide.
It's much better there now.

The Black hole in the 80's was the first "big" ride I ever went on. I remember being so scared that it was an actual rocket and that we were going to take off! I still remember the whooshy space noises as you climbed round and round, higher and higher before the drop! Fantastic ride.

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