The Knights have had their day
Camelot has called in the receivers..
This is sad.
It had its critics but i liked the park.
Page 6 on themagiceye link below (5 years back) foresaw this:
A park closing hurts.
Tis a sad day indeed. That's another UK park I'll never get to visit. I'm rather concerned about the fate of Knightmare...
Here's the story on the closure...
A sad day indeed, Camelot closing is like the boy who cried wolf, for years they'd claimed they were going to close then the unthinkable happened, the nearest competition Southport suddenly shut and this gave Camelot a second spurt
They seemed to have a fresh attitude we're back in the game we're here to stay and we’re importing this huge crazy coaster from Japan
Knightmare was a very brave investment, not only did the park have to relocate this ride from another continent, the manufacturer was long since defunct, the park had publicised issues obtaining planning permits in the past and this ride was a huge gamble and I guess in the end it just didn’t pay off
This will discourage the other regional parks to make such bold statements which is a shame, in the UK the regional parks copy closely what the competition is up to, they don't seem to get that by being bold and being unique they could create a competitive edge that could secure their future
In the 80s/90s, before the internet, I used to write to the theme parks. Granada used to send me info about American Adventure, Granada Studios and American Adventure. Now all three have disappeared.
If the slogan for the eighties and nineties was "Yes, we can!", the slogan for the noughties is "No, we can't".
I've always thought Camelot was slightly odd, as it was purely a local park. It's not really in a holiday hotspot, as Blackpool and even Southport are much further from Camelot than Pleasurewood Hills is to Great Yarmouth, for example.
Still, Manchester and Liverpool are two big cities well within driving distance (30-50 minutes away), same goes for the aforementioned Southport and Blackpool (although they're not big cities).
I dread to think what this says. Camelot got a big new coaster, but was this not enough to draw people from within the 2-hour catchment area?
I can only hope that the public could somehow tell this was an old coaster (eg. by the seating modifications and general "rusty steel" appearance). I should also say I've never really loved a Schwarzkopf myself.
I also hope the park wasn't that great to visit in general. Not because I want to criticise it, but purely because I hope there's some fairness to all this.
Wow, just when I thought you couldn't shock me Graeme, to hear you say you never really loved a Schwarzkopf. But I really do hope Knightmare can be saved...or at least retire in S. America with the others. lol
Graeme, which Schwarzkopf coaster have you ridden? Maybe you never experienced one in all its fairground majesty?!
If I remember correctly, the UK had a
Looping Star at Margate (great, but short and under developed ride)
A Jumbo Jet 3 and 2 at Alton (fantastic and dramatic fairground design, very good ride)
Thunderlooper (only bettered by the fly-wheel-launch)
Dreier Loop (one of my favourite coasters of all time, when it was run with lapbars and all trains on a crowded fair it was just awe inspiring. The first drop is sooo good)
Bullet (the most extreme thing Schwarkopf ever did. Totally nuts, bizarre and fun)
Did I miss any? And don´t get me started on his flats... Monster 3, Helios, BAYERNKURVE (almost a coaster).
So, in retrospect the UK never had a custom Schwarzkopf and some of his best creations were in a pretty knocked-up state when they operated at Flamingoland.
Now Graeme, tell us how you REALLY feel...
LOL, sorry for the shock, everyone! The ones I've ridden are:
Looping Star, Margate
Yup, this was a good ride, but it was only really a drop and loop, albeit big ones. Still, it was one of my first five "large" coasters, so it was a favourite of mine for a short while.
Silver Arrow, Margate
I'm very familiar with this one and rode it quite a lot. Yeah, it was good (in good shape too, smooth braking) but, sorry, just not my sort of thing! The positive Gs were very high, so it was an intense ride, but I didn't find it exhilarating.
Jet Star II, Alton
OK, this was a brilliant design. I didn't like the fact it was indoors, but that wasn't Schwarzkopf's fault.
(I never visited when they had Thunderlooper or the Jet Star III - I'd certainly love to have tried the latter.)
Jumbo V, Pleasurewood Hills
Sorry, it's pretty average. Just rolling around a track!
As for the Flamingo Land ones, I'm afraid I was too scared to ride Bullet (even back in 1996, sigh) and I never visited when Dreier Looping was there.
Anyway, total respect to Anton Schwarzkopf himself - a true genius and by all accounts a lovely man.
It's just that his rides aren't exactly my cup of tea. I quite enjoy them, but they just don't have that "love it" factor for me, which I did get from the Gerstlauer Bobsled "Cobra" and I get from quite a few woodies.
I'm not trying to slag off Knightmare, just desperately trying to think of reasons why the locals might not have taken to it... :S
Graeme, if it weren't for Schwarzkopf, I doubt Gerstlauer would exist today, as he worked with Anton until '82, and is now using the old Schwarzkopf factory. I know if I'm wrong, Tricky will correct me, seeing as its his fellow countryman. :)
Oh, and Graeme, go on YouTube and look up Alpinebahn POV, if you haven't already...there's some wicked air from the looks of it.
As posted on the ECC mailinglist, Camelot seems to open this year!