B*ll*cks to Alton Towers


My usual morning surf around the web and I stumbled across this book. I think this is the hardback cover and I love all that the Morris Minor Traveller implies. It appears to be a best seller but I have have never heard of it and not because I have have been spending too much time at Alton Towers or our local version, Chessington World of Adventures or to the west of us, Thorpe Park and Legoland. When I was a child I was taken a few times to Chessington, when it was a zoo and when our eldest was about three we took him there to marvel at elephants and giraffes and other smaller curiosities. We usually steer clear of theme parks, especially on holiday which for the last million years we have taken in Cornwall.


There is however one exception. Just outside Liskeard, an area where my mother-in-law’s family originated from, is a village called Dobwalls.We dragged the children around churchyards and went looking for old family homes with only vague memories of a young child (my mother-in-law) to guide us. The children, all under ten were amazingly patient and when we saw that there was a place with a sit-on model railway we decided they needed a reward. Dobwalls has several different scaled-down steam railways and the remainder of the park (if you ignore the go-kart area) is given over to giant climbing frames and all-weather tepees in the pine forest. The climing frame area is like something out of a surreal nightmare for me. Tunnels and high-level walkways connect one area to the other and I have to admit we lost our youngest on several occasions as you would never be left behind by the boys and could climb with the best of them. Dobwalls has over the years become a bit more commercialised but we always tried to ignore those sides of the place and massaged our puritan sensibilities by suggesting that the place brought much-needed employment to the local population who after all were probably distantly related to the other half.


Over on Stuck-in-a-Book Simon asks us to think of a book that only a handful of people know about, their RMH volume. Back here I’m wondering what secret days out people are keeping to themselves, their very own BTAT (Bollocks to Alton Towers) place.







3 Responses to “B*ll*cks to Alton Towers”

  1. Simon Says:

    I have a sad story about our BTAT (love the acronym!) – I can’t actually remember where it was, but somewhere in the South (or possibly Lake District…) and was a garden filled with enormous wooden animals. Lying flat, you understand, and made of logs and such that children could climb through – youcould slide down a tortoise, hide in a rabbit etc. We went, after many years’ absence, a couple of years ago… and all had been removed for “health and safety” reasons. Bah.

  2. Simon Says:

    Oh, and how strange re:Ruth Mary Hills so nearly being your namesake! Funny how these things happen. It’s not you under a very unsubtle pen name, now, is it??

  3. dovegreyreader Says:

    Funnily enough it’s always known as Dogballs in our house which sort of ties in with that book title nicely!

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