Tag Archives: Fairground

Marconiphone Music Amplification

Charles Thurston’s Marconiphone Coach in the 1930’s

Marconi Tilling Stevens Coach (Mitcham 1932)
Marconi Tilling Stevens Coach (Mitcham 1932)


”OLD BUSES and COACHES on the Fairground – 1930’s to 1970’s” 

Well known British Showman Charles Thurston arranged and presented his own programmes of orchestral selections, organ solos, marches and songs on the fairground during the early 1930’s.  These concerts were broadcast from his Marconi Radio and Amplifying Tilling Stevens coach to patrons on the fairground. The Sunday concerts often lasted up to an hour-and-a-half, and played to thousands of people.  This all British amplification unit was supplied

with current from the petrol-electric engine.  A very powerful ”searchlight” speaker broadcast the music which gave a ”most pleasant and un-distorted output”. The range of the speaker was reported to be over four miles.

Image Courtesy Early Amusement Images Picture Library – All Rights Reserved

”Thrilling Modern Craze”

Bishton’s ”Ski Ride” – Adult Amusement Riding Machine

Is there anyone still alive after riding this brute?  The definition of BRUTE speaks for ”Stupid”, ”Cruel”, ”Beast-like”, and ”Unreasoning Force”.  This adult amusement riding machine was rumoured to be all of these things!  An accident waiting to happen!  Even the decorations to the ride depicts everybody falling over!

Are you a survivor after riding this machine?  Do you know of any survivors?  We want to hear about riders experiences on this unusual riding machine – PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT.

Bishton's 'Ski Ride' at Nottingham
Bishton’s ‘Ski Ride’ at Nottingham

Images Courtesy Early Amusement Images Picture Library – All Rights Reserved

Dreamland the Amazement Park

Dreamland, Margate – The Funshine Capital of the South-East

Media Image 042 - Girls on the Dodgems, Margate, Kent 1951 (RP)

(Includes Video Link)

Dreamland Amusement Park dates from 1863 when buildings opened as a restaurant and dance hall.  Known then as the ‘Hall by the Sea’, the business was sold in about 1870.  Circus Boss ‘Lord’ George Sanger eventually became the sole proprietor of the site together with further adjacent land to the rear.  A menagerie and circular riding machines were some of the early features of the Pleasure Gardens.  Following Sanger’s death in 1911, the site was subsequently acquired in 1919 by amusement entrepreneur John H. Illes.  He renamed the site ‘Dreamland’ after visiting the Dreamland Amusement Park at Coney Island, Brooklyn NY.  The Illes family already owned and operated amusement facilities both here and abroad.  The first new major adult riding machine was opened to the public in 1920.  The ‘Scenic Railway’ was a flanged wheel coaster withMedia Image 045 - On the Scenic Railway, Margate, Kent 1951 (RP) Continue reading Dreamland the Amazement Park

The Father of the Gravity Ride

La Marcus Adna Thompson 1848 to 1919

L.A. Thompson Switchback Gravity Railway - Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY USA
L.A. Thompson Switchback Gravity Railway – Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY USA

Born in Jersey, Ohio on 8th. March 1848, he was the eighth of ten children.  From an early age he had designed and built toys and invented farm equipment.  Even at the age of seventeen he was condsidered to be a master carpenter, building farms without help.  He went on to devise seemless hosiery, and by 1877 had formed a partnership in a mill making scarfs and mittens etc.  During the early 1880’s ill health forced Thompson to sell-up and follow another path.  Inventing amusement riding machines became his passion.  On 13th. June 1884 he opened his Switchback Gravity Railway at Coney Island, Brooklyn NY.  This really was the birth of the roller coaster that we recognise today.  This rather basic ‘out ‘n’ back’ amusement ride was however Continue reading The Father of the Gravity Ride

Old Lorries at Work (Previously Unseen)

Unique Imagery – 22 Makes of Lorry at Work (1930’s/40’s/50’s/60’s/70’s)

(Contains Link to Video Production)

A ”new” video featuring A.E.C.; Albion; Armstrong-Saurer; Atkinson; Bedford; Bristol; Crossley; Dennis; Diamond T; E.R.F.; Foden; F.W.D.; Guy; Leyland; Mack; Maudslay; Sentinel; Scammell; Thornycroft; Tilling-Stevens; Vulcan and White lorries on the fairgrounds between 1930 and 1970 has now been produced from Library images.

To view the video, ”FIFTY Commercial Vehicle Advertisements Click below :-

To view the video, ”Scammell Scrapbook – Over 100 Worldwide Images Covering Most Models” – click below :-


To View, ’22 Makes of Lorries at Work 1930’s to ’70’s’  –  Click Below :-

Pictures and Videos are the Copyright of the EAI Picture Library –    All Rights Reserved