What's new

Wooden Coaster Figure 8.....The Grand Pier Weston Super Mare

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Oi misspink! Let your Uncle post - this is absolutely fantastic! If you don't, I'll make you spend a night with Mushroom :p
 

Swat

Member
I've not noticed this topic, Hmm. As I am from Weston and always have been and I if I remember correctly there was a ride classed as a rollercoaster on Burnbeck pier. It was simply a "W" shaped ride riders start at on end ride down get off and push up the otherside. It's in the Museum.

Roller Coaster: Blizzard
Amusement Park: Grand Pier (Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset UK)
Classification: Roller Coaster
Type: Steel - Sit Down
Status: Operated from ? to 1994
Make / Model: Cavazza Diego / Blizzard
Dimensions: 114' 10" x 52' 6"
Capacity: 850 riders per hour

Length: 721' 9"
Height: 24' 7"
Inversions: 0
Speed: 22.4 mph

History: The Blizzard was purchased new and sold to a park in the Philippines.

Sorry if any of this has been posted (Most likely has been)

It could still be in operation.

Heres the model that was through to be on the old old pier.

http://www.rcdb.com/ig2864.htm?picture=1

Thats not the one relocated but the same company and ride model.

Again i'm sorry if this has been posted and ill try and do research about the wooden one.
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
^ Yeah, I posted all of that on the first page :p
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Swat said:
Oh my bad. :oops: :lol:
Before you "research", I suggest that the first place to look is this topic - it probably contains the most information regarding coasters in the Weston collected together in one place ever! :)
 

NASHER

New Member
I'm afraid the museum is very unlikely to have any information on the coaster, as as far as I am aware the exhibition is more or less just a model of the pier.
I'll ask my gran though, who I know for a fact rode the watershoot on the birnbeck (old) pier, and may possibly know something. Unfortunatly though she lived in Wales until the seventies, and so visited Weston only for day trips in the late fourties. If she does know anything it is unlikely to include opening and closing dates.
Failing that I guess old posters and adverts could include some information. I know for a fact that there are several GWR (railway) posters from the era for Weston, I'll have a look.
Finally we have a book of pictures of Weston right through the twentieth century. It's a long shot but I'll have a look.
Please don't be afraided to post here. In my short time on the boards (most of which has been lurking) I have never read anything as interesting as this topic.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ok,if others are not of the same opinion as misspink, as I thought might be the case, then I`ll carry on updating. I`ll ignore her here (lol) and her mum (my sister ) when she phones.

The latest information is the historian for the Mercury has checked the back editions of the paper and found nothing for 1958. It is a slow process as you can probably imagine and she is now going to check the sixties.
She did find however a line in a song about the Grand Pier recorded in 1947 saying "we tried The Figure Of Eight" and also a brief mention of the ride in passing in another article.

So, we now know the name included "of", the ride existed and it was there in 1947.

Not a great deal further but we are slowly getting there.


And NASHER,your gran rode the waterchute? That`s amazing,I have seen several pictures of that ride recently and it was supposed to be world famous at the time too.
All those rides were gone on Birnbeck when I used to go in the sixties and all they had were old penny slots.
I would have loved to have gone on that and the Switchback too.


Update

I have emailed Chris Foote Wood who released a book last year on British piers when he visited all of them in 21 days.Walking over the Waves it is called or 66 piers in 21 days. Apparently he has over 250 old photos of piers including some of Birnbeck I havent seen before (there are some samples on his site) so who knows he might have one of the Figure of Eight.

Second update

He got back to me straight away (that`s quick for a change) and said no, but he has given me a name and address to write to in Weston who will know.
No email address unfortunately so it`s back to the pen and paper.

I get the feeling things are moving now though.


Update 04/02/09

I received a letter back today from the contact I was given in Weston and guess what?... He knows nothing!
As he is one of the Weston reps for the National Piers Society I expected more.
I would like to think that if I was the Salisbury rep for the whatever society and I was asked a question on the subject I would know the answer and if I didnt I would find out...Otherwise what the f**k am I doing in the job?

If I was more of a conspiratorial type of thinker too (I am a bit) then I would be suspecting someone or something is trying to stop me finding out about this ride.

Very very disappointing!

Second update

I have done one last post on the Mercury forum but am not holding my breath.
I`m on the verge of giving up and we shall just have to see what if anything the Mercury historian or NASHER turns up.


Update 05/02/09

Someone posted a funny reply on the Mercury forum which made me laugh and brightened my mood.
Maybe it might break the ice and attract more?
Serious or humorous I dont mind, as long as people respond, that`s the main thing.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Blizzard

What a great thread,

I have ridden the 1994 Steel coaster "Blizzard", it was perched on a platform behind the pavilion.

I moved to Bristol with my parents in 1988, W-S-M was a popular day out during the summer holidays. I remember the rollercoaster because it was about three times the price of all the other rides, and I had to persuade my mum to give me the money to ride it.

Whilst not in the same league as larger full size coasters, the ride was interesting because it felt you would end up in the sea. I remember the corners being very tight.

As for the earlier figure of eight coaster, I will contact a friend of my dad, he has an interest in fairgrounds, and would of been around Weston in the sixties. I'm sure he will be able to shed some light on this.

Robin
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks Robin,anything you get will be most welcome and you got one up on me too as I`ve never ridden the Blizzard.In fact I`ve never even seen it.There was a period in the late eighties and early nineties when I didnt go to Weston for a few years and that was when it was there.On that end piece of the pier behind the pavilion that used to be much longer for ships to dock but was soon dismantled again there used to be go-karts before the Blizzard and then kiddies rides afterwards.

But anyway the real point of this post is to say I have been in regular daily email contact for the last few days with a former maintenance worker on the pier who got in touch with me. (Full time all year, not seasonal worker)

I am certain he is genuine as he knows a couple of things I knew about the Figure of Eight but deliberately kept back from here and the Mercury forum for the purposes of verification. He knows a lot more too that I didnt know. A hell of a lot!

There is one frustrating aspect to him (as there always seems to be during this investigation), in that he left for his national service in 1958 and didnt return to Weston until 1965 after an extended period in the army above the statutory two years.
The ride was gone when he got back and as he didnt work on the pier again he doesnt know when the ride was taken down (damn). Employers I think were only obliged to keep a persons job open if they just did the two years.

Why cant some one contact me who helped build the ride, operated it and then helped dismantle it, has a great memory, took lots of photos and isn`t dead?... If only things were that simple!

That`s the other thing he told me, so many of his fellow workers are long passed away as he has tried to look them up when he first saw my letter in the Mercury.And that is the main difficulty in all of this....it was a long time ago.

I`ll wait a while yet until I have a full picture before reporting what I know, some of it I want to cross check as there are some contradictions to what others have told me, although they maybe just different interpretations from fading memories.

A photo of the ride would be nice too....I`ve asked him to search his attic!...That would be the holy grail!
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Excellent update again! The photo is the clincher really. I think we know (unless the world is full of newly released mental patients (I'll discuss you mental stability, Uncle, with Miss Pink at the weekend ;) :lol: )) that the coaster did exist. It's just anecdotal evidence though, nothing concrete.

It's so frustrating that all the pictures seem to be just before, and just after the build/demolition dates.

Good luck and keep up with it, we're all hanging on with baited breath :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
furie said:
(I'll discuss you mental stability, Uncle, with Miss Pink at the weekend ;) :lol: ))

Hmmmmmm DON'T EVEN GO THERE!!!!!!!!!!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Have a look at the Mercury forum.
Someone is saying several children were killed on the ride which is the second "death" story.
What is true I have no idea but my recent contacts doubts there were any deaths.
Take a look
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
The worst UK coaster incident was at Battersea in 1972. Five kids killed and more injured when the Big Dipper (a Scenic Railway) had the lift break and the roll backs failed. The train crashed back down into the station.

I think there is some truth as always to these rumours, it's just that the actual details get lost on people. This happened at Battersea, but in some telling somewhere, somebody says their best freind's cousin was at Weston when it happened. Then it suddenly become Weston where it happened.

I have heard decapitation tales from Blackpool from both the Wild Mouse and the Grand National. I'm sure there have been deaths (especially on the GN as it only got restraints in 1983), but I suspect that the grisly decapitation was on some coaster, somewhere, but has been attributed to most woodies since :)

http://www.london-today.net/web/events/ ... 61756.html for the truth :)

Oh, and final nail in the coffin... The Battersea tragedy led to most of the UK wooden coasters remaining to be torn down. Inspectors were sent to them all, and parks were told to fix them, or get rid. As the cost of getting them up to scratch was too much - most went.

There's a kind of Dinosaur extinction of wooden coasters happened in the early 70's, and it's this coaster accident which sealed it. After that, there were very few left in the country (Yarmouth, Southport, Margate, Morecambe and Blackpool I think). All the rest were gone by 1978 at the latest. That's just so you get an idea of how big a deal that crash was. Anything of a similar scale at Weston would have been of major interest and been well known.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks furie,I do remember that incident and watching it on the news at the time,but with your vast knowledge on this subject why dont you join the Mercury forum and add your weight to the debate?
We might be able to get to the bottom of it once and for all then.
I am fighting a lonely battle over there and with you there we might be able to get more people, especially anyone with good info but reluctant to get involved,to join in.

I dont mean any tricks or anything underhand just explain your thoughts like you just have here for example. It will be sure to generate more debate.
How about it?
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
^ Or you could point them all here...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ian said:
^ Or you could point them all here...
I could but I doubt any will come.

This is a massive forum and doesnt need members while the Mercury is a small local paper forum and the handful of people on there are not coaster enthusiasts. I doubt there would even be a coaster thread without me.

Update

Some one has put a very good post on the Mercury forum. So maybe help from here is not needed but is still welcome of course.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It shouldnt take long.Mine was very quick but because of the sensitivity of that thread now it might take longer.

And thanks
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Well, furie, I had a thought after reading your post. Five dead at Battersea.

Well, our very own accident page states:
The accident page said:
1986

June - Mind Bender, Galaxyland, Canada
The worst accident in roller coaster history. A wheel sheered off the last car on the train of this Schwarzkopf Triple Looper and the train smashed at high speed into a concrete pillar killing all the riders.
Further research proves three dead. Shouldn't the Battersea accident then be the worst that has been?

And Uncle, post whatever you find on the Mercury forums that can be of interest here. We would very much like to have the story on our own site.
 
Top