UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
verfum
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We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Fri May 20, 2011 12:27 am

On our last trip (16/05/11) we found things in the park we hadn't seen before. Can anyone shed some light?
Yaya.

There is an abandoned trail from Swiss Cottage that has all sorts of old park litter, an abandoned toilet block, and finally ends up at some strange rocks. Looking back at park maps to 1981 shows no signs of this area. Looking back further, my 1960 park map shows it as possibly being 'Cuckoo Rock / Cuckoo Arbour' ?
On our trip down this path (16th May '11) our group found some old non-bio degradable Henry Hound drinks cups, a 1980's SKOL beer can (use by 1990 on bottom), and a 19th century Cochrane Ginger Beer bottle!
Jim climbed the alternative 'stone henge' rocks and fell off - luckily the gound around was spongy with years of fallen foliage.

Does anyone know anymore about this area - it's only a few minutes walk from the cottage?
The rocks are impressive and so is the view further down the valley. I wonder why it's now an abandoned/unmanaged?
Here's a google maps link for where I think we were:
Click Me for where I think we were


Start off at the stairs by Swiss Cottage at the left as you look at the front of the house.
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Then this leads to a seemingly unmanaged path.
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First is the abandoned loos. These are really squeezed in and not much room around them. There is a slope immediately in front of them and no room for a path, unless it has badly eroded. Why are they here, when were they last in operation? There are various bits of rock and concrete about and abandoned steps.
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We then found the old litter, not cleaned up - you could find plenty of it.
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And some 19th century litter!
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This is a photo I found on the internet like the bottle found.
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Then further down the path we reach the rocks. We could see signs of wood planks at the edges marking the path - now mostly covered by dirt/foliage.
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Any more info on this area, and indeed confirmation that it is 'Cuckoo Rocks' would be useful.



There is a passage that runs between the Dark Forest entrance and the Gardens and runs behind the Dark Forest stalls. This is normally barred by locked gates, but for some reason park employees had left BOTH gates unlocked allowing guests to accidentally enter an area not normally accessible.
Click Here for Google streetview of one of the gates

Here were various UG Land relics, rusting ice-cream refrigerator and generally the area looked like the remains of an abandoned theme park - this all viewable on a normal in-season park day. I had no idea how dilapidated the park is only meters from where we normally walk in-park.

Any ideas what and where this was? I've looked at the google streetview photos of AT which were taken when UG Land still existed and I can't find it. Perhaps it's UG Land of quite a few years back?
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There is a building (just behind the conservatories) that may have been a cafe at one point? It has a board advertising what I think is Coffee and Confectionary
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I then by chance found the same board on altontowersmemories site, but more complete. Since when has any food in an amusement park cost as little 2p? I guess perhaps in the '70s? Before even the corkscrew landed?

Here is the building and a photo inside through the window.
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Here's Google streetview of the building

I hope you find this info interesting + can help me understand the history behind this stuff (particularly the rock walk not far from the Cottage) :P


Cheers, verfum.
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chip
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Fri May 20, 2011 12:35 am

Hey Verfum,

Glad to see someone else who loves to have a good ol' look at what's in the gardens. Nice find with the bottle!

I can half confirm that that is Cuckoo Arbor, I say half confirm as when I stumbled across it a few years back I enquired on here as to what it was, and thanks to some of the more experienced people on here came to the general conclusion that it was Cuckoo Arbor. Shame not alot seems to be known about it. Some of the views around the 'deeper' parts of the gardens are spectacular!

Brilliant pictures as well! Thanks for sharing!

Chip :D
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verfum
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Fri May 20, 2011 1:13 am

Thanks for your quick reply chip.
I am very intersted in abandoned and strange unexplained AT stuff!

I have a very detailed ordnance survey 'mastermap' of AT that shows in detail the route of every path in the gardens, which is why I deduced the rocks were at the Cuckoo Arbour. The Ordnance survey maps even mark "Cuckoo Rock" !
I'd like post a photo of these detailed park maps but they're copyrighted by OS and not freely available on-line.
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barryzola

Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Fri May 20, 2011 9:08 am

I can pretty much confirm that indeed you have stumbled across Cuckoo Arbour there (Cuckoo Rock is directly above). I've explored every inch of the park over the years and have produced a 64 page history book just on the gardens and grounds, featuring over 60 different features and their history, after a lot of research (features a large map also showing where every feature is). As were talking about Cuckoo Rock, there is a pic in the book of it all cleaned up with no foliage around. I've only got about 6 copies of the book at the moment as they're very good quality full colour and i have discovered that ink is not cheap!

I'm looking into if i can get it printed at a reasonable price for a good quantity of them so that i can get them shared/sold at a price that's affordable. Alton Towers have been sent a copy and also the Alton Towers Heritage website have received one. Sent them very recently so will see if i get any feedback from them.

Great find on that bottle, very interesting.


P.S - If you look on my website below, you'll see that old advertising board with the ice cream on at an earlier time (on one of the pages), not so broken up : )
 
AstroDan

Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone the

Fri May 20, 2011 10:23 am

Henry Hound cups! And people say the magic hasn't gone!

Love walking around lost places at the theme park!

:)

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Rowe

Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Fri May 20, 2011 10:31 am

Wow, that is fantastic to see! I am yet to explore the Gardens and find what you have, so it's amazing to see what you can find from the past. Thanks on coming across these things!
 
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:55 am

Saw some near the side of the BH tent on my last Visit 18th June.

And, wasn't that pic the UG Family building? Just a wild guess?
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longy0151

Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:24 pm

Very interesting pictures. Those ug land shop fronts were from the early days of ug land i believe. While talking about ug land, work had started on the entrance of th13teen but they sneakily covered it up. See if you can spot it.[url=http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=52.985941,-1.89115&spn=0,0.006845&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=52.985892,-1.89101&panoid=JKFdKT56p_y-2Dg28TfjGg&cbp=12,167.1,,0,0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie= ... 167.1,,0,0[/url]
EDIT: Go to where TH13TEEN's entrance is now.
 
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joshc807
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:10 pm

"longy0151" wrote:
Very interesting pictures. Those ug land shop fronts were from the early days of ug land i believe. While talking about ug land, work had started on the entrance of th13teen but they sneakily covered it up. See if you can spot it.[url=http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=52.985941,-1.89115&spn=0,0.006845&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=52.985892,-1.89101&panoid=JKFdKT56p_y-2Dg28TfjGg&cbp=12,167.1,,0,0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie= ... 167.1,,0,0[/url]
EDIT: Go to where TH13TEEN's entrance is now.


Im confused, I can't see anything :?
 
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Thorpefandan
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:18 pm

Do you mean the benches?
It\'s Big Bob, it\'s Big Bob, it\'s Big Bobs radio show.

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WillPS
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:38 pm

The benches were just shoved in to compensate for the gap in the fence where Corkscrew's queue started.
 
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:50 pm

"Verfum" wrote:
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The Stage in the above photo was used during the short lived Ugland Live Show in 1999. The Ug Family also performed a show using the Ug Fire Engine the same year.
 
djtruefitt

Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:01 pm

I dont see why Alton still have this laying around at the back of the dark forest. Its no use to them what so ever now and its not been used for years. Just leaving it there is making it go all old and tatty and looks quite a mess when you see it from the skyride.
 
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:05 am

"djtruefitt" wrote:
I dont see why Alton still have this laying around at the back of the dark forest. Its no use to them what so ever now and its not been used for years. Just leaving it there is making it go all old and tatty and looks quite a mess when you see it from the skyride.


It has probabily been put there with the intent of moving it and it's just been forgotten and left.

Shame really it could be used somewhere else or even sold to another park.

:)
 
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mrbrightside
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:27 pm

To be honest, a tiny and heavily themed stage isn't much use to anyone. They just need to send it all to the tip - or at least move these things out of sight of guests - as you said Will, the SkyRide goes right over it!
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:46 pm

As much as my "I want the park to look professional" self wants that all to be cleared and moved out of sight so guests don't have to see it from the Skyride etc., I LOVE looking at that as we go over, it's one of those little historical tidbits which always makes me smile to see and reminds me of original UG Land.

However, Coaster Corner? That really needs a clean-up.
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Re: We couldn't quite explain it - we'd always just gone there?

Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:39 pm

^ So do I, UG Land was a real family place in AT, the place where many children's first coasters were the Corkscrew, or braved 'tame' Boneshaker, I remember as a child, memories of the the jumping fountains and watching soakasaurus. Ah, good times, good times...
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