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Report - Camelot Theme park, Chorley - (June 2015)

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by FreeLikeAMason, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    History

    The park opened in 1983, and was operating seasonally until late 2012. The park was based on the story of 'Camelot, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table'. The local area was once covered by the largest lake in England Martin Mere, which was first drained in 1692 by Thomas Fleetwood of Bank Hall in Bretherton. (The story is that Sir Lancelot's parents King Ban of Benwick and his queen Elaine escaped to Lancashire from their enemies in France. Elaine went to help King Ban who had fallen and put Lancelot down on the shore of the lake, by where he was abducted by nymph Vivian who vanished into the waters of the lake with him. Vivian brought up Lancelot and when he went to King Arthur's court he was knighted as 'Sir Lancelot of the Lake'.) Martin Mere has been locally known as the 'Lost Lake of Sir Lancelot' following the myth.
    In 1986, it was taken over by The Granada Group, and operated by them alongside its now defunct sister parks American Adventure and Granada studio tour's. In June 1998, the park was subject to a management buyout, in which the park went to Prime Resorts Ltd. Camelot had seen a downturn in attendance in later years, in 1995, Camelot's attendance was 500,000 visitors throughout the season.
    In 2005, Camelot's attendance was only 336,204 visitors. In August 2006, in an survey of healthy food available, at leading tourist attractions in the United Kingdom, Camelot came joint bottom scoring only one point.
    In February 2009, Prime Resorts announced that the park was in receivership, and would not reopen for the 2009 season.The hotel was bought by Lavender Hotels in March 2009, and in April 2009, it was announced that a buyer had been found for the park and that it would reopen in May 2009.
    The theme park was purchased by Story Group, a construction company based in Carlisle and leased to Knight's Leisure who ran the park. The site's future remains uncertain as the new owner is planning to redevelop the site. Current indications are that this will be a housing development.
    The closure of the park was announced by its operator, Knights Leisure, in November 2012, the managing director blaming poor summer weather and events such as London 2012 and the Queen's Jubilee for declining visitor numbers. Today, some rollercoasters were sold (for example Whirlwind bought by the German "Skyline Park"), others rust in the abandoned park.
    In August 2014, an application to build 420 houses on the site by owners Story Group was unanimously rejected by Chorley Council, as the development was not permissible within the Green belt. As of 2015, the park is still standing, albeit crumbling and having been attacked several times by arsonists. Rides that still stand on the site include the Nightmare rollercoaster.


    The explore

    Reminiscing in memories of times passed by, we headed to the destination that had once brought much excitement to our younger selves. Camelot.
    I'm aware this place has been explored to death however the mood of the day led us in this direction so off we went.
    Upon entering the park it is soon clear that time, the elements and them vandals have shown little mercy to this once busy theme park.
    Rusting roller coasters,a haunted house as well as a zoo were a few spots we stopped at along the tour.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I associate roller coasters with my childhood, in particular my summer holidays and days out with the family. There's something pictorial about them, cinematic even, the way they twist and turn forming rusty ribbons floating along a clear blue sky. With this thinking, we climbed upon some tracks in order to see how far the ribbon stretches across the park.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Reaching an old nemesis named Knightmare, we walked tentatively to the narrow steps which ran parallel alongside the carriage tracks. As we were ascending, I reminisced back to a physics class where the subject matter was Newton and his discussion of the universal law of gravity. There was something about the thought of that Apple falling from the tree which stopped me halfway up the remaining stairs. Our ascent up the stairway which led nowhere near heaven was taken to its underwhelming limit and we were soon brought back to earth. In other words, I'm scared of heights.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The state of the haunted house, to me, exposes the old ride and set up as cheap. A little paint on the wall to create monsters, a few ball and chains thrown around, screams of the damned howling through strategically placed speakers, the lights dimmed low as artificial smoke fills the air, no thank you, I'd rather see what's left when only time bought a ticket and took the ride. On this day, I too bought that ticket and went for one last ride. It was shit.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Upon climbing through non existent glass, in a frame which can only be described as a window, we were soon aware of our whereabouts, a playhouse. Coloured balls, a broken cash register and a climbing rope tunnel thing were the highlights of this low light.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Towards what seems the back of the park we found a small zoo/ animal area which had a population of 0. I'm not too sure but I believe the animals packed their bags and migrated in search of warmer climates and better prospects. Fair enough.

    [​IMG]

    A lone ranger in an illuminated vest roamed the grounds. In observation of our presence, he let it be known his presence. The screeching of tyres, revving engine and bellowing of horn accompanying him in pursuit, he darted thus forth but unfortunately for him the suspects darted thus the fuck out.

    [​IMG]

    Upon the drive home occurred contemplation of the days explore, it seems now the ex theme park has a purpose little more than merely occupying the area, dressed as an empty vessel, housing transient folk, their quarters to drink, roam and smoke, forgetting, in a place forgotten. Camelot, we won't be returning.

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 FreeLikeAMason, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
    girtrood, Maryjane, TVurbex and 2 others like this.

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  2. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    I enjoyed reading this. Good pics and write up mate.
     
  3. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    I appreciate your kind words mate, was in two minds about posting it as its been done so much.
     
  4. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Some decent shots there and write up:thumb
     
  5. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    It's f00king camelot m9

    All jokes aside though, I enjoyed reading that one; the bit about being scared of heights made me laugh :thumb
    Good job
     
  6. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    Thankyou, im glad I went when we did as I don't think there's much left now
     
  7. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    I thought it had already been flattened.
     
  8. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    Lol I was thinking the same thing prior to posting, everyone and his dog have been to Camelot but thought hey why not add to the pile of reports, Im glad you enjoyed reading it non the less :thumb
     
  9. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    Oh thats a shame, kind of, I guess.
     
  10. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Did you go to the consulate over the road. I heard that had been on fire.
     
  11. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    I'll probably get myself down there at some point hahah
     
  12. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    We didn't unfortunately, I've just searched for a report on it and it looks like the fire has written that location off for future visits.
     
  13. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    Lol leaving it a bit late ain't you?! You're not missing much anyway :p
     
  14. Snake Oil

    Snake Oil go in drains
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    ^^ nicely summed up there! :D
     
  15. FreeLikeAMason

    FreeLikeAMason 28DL Full Member
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    I think I was slightly over critical with my words when typing that, its not far from it though
     
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