The Switchback Diaries: The Wendy Glide
Possibly due to the fact that my ageing body isn't as roller coaster friendly as it once was I've decided to take stock of my roller coaster adventures thus far and reflect on those coasters that have meant much to me in my nine and forty years on this planet.
Hence this very indulgent and pretentious thread that I'm sharing (forcing) on all readers of URC :-)
First up my first ever coaster.
The YouTube cine film below should start some way into the clip at a point where it shows The Wendy Glide at Southport's Peter Pan's Fairground circa nineteen sixties. (Apologies if it doesn't but the whole film is worth watching from the start anyway)
I've been looking for images of this junior coaster for as long as I can remember and thankfully someone has posted their own memories from the past courtesy of this wonderful film. Whoever you are: Thank-You!
This was the first ever coaster I went on (4 yrs old) and it frightened me back then.
I'm sure it was called The Alpine Glide but a guy who used to operate the ride told themagiceye in an interview some years back that it was called The Wendy Glide:
"..Yes, there was a small roller coaster. I worked on it most of the last season I was there.
It was called 'The Wendy Glide.' Apparently in the 60s a young girl called Wendy got killed on it hence it got its name: 'The Wendy Glide.'
It was hard work working on it. The problem was when you had stopped it everyone got off then a new lot of people got on, then when you released the brake the cars didn’t move forward so two of you had to get behind it and push it!
Most of the faces on the waiting mums and dads had a slight look of concern as you grunted and slipped on the oily tracks as you pushed 3 cars and 12 kids until the chain grabbed the first car...clatter...clatter...clatter..." (Happiland article on themagiceye)
I prefer the idea that it was called The Wendy Glide at some stage in keeping with the Peter Pan Theme.
A wonderful piece of writing d_n_s_u. On the surface, dark and tragic. In actuality, a whimsical study of human nature.