The Flambards Experience

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Flambards Theme Park
Slogan "The Best Day of the Week, Come Rain or Shine"
Location Culdrose Manor, Helston, Cornwall, England
Coordinates 50°05′31″N 5°15′29″W / 50.092°N 5.258°W / 50.092; -5.258Coordinates: 50°05′31″N 5°15′29″W / 50.092°N 5.258°W / 50.092; -5.258
Owner Hale family (1976-2013)
Livingston Leisure Ltd (New owners)
Opened 1976
Previous names Cornwall Aircraft Park
Operating season April–October
Area 27
Rides
Total 19
Roller coasters 2
Water rides 1
Website www.flambards.co.uk

The Flambards Experience is an amusement park on the southern outskirts of the town of Helston in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1976 as the 'Cornwall Aircraft Park' by Douglas Kingsford Hale MBE.

Attractions[edit]

The Big Ride Zone[edit]

Attraction Age range Opening time Notes
The Hornet Rollercoaster Family 11:00 A Zierer Hornet style coaster.
Canyon River Log Flume Family 11:00 Made by Zamperla.
Balloon Race Family 11:00 Balloons spin around a centerpiece. Made by Zamperla.
Cyclocopters Children/Family 11:00 Pedal powered monorail with cars themed as helicopters.
Space Race Family 11:00 former fairground ride of the Super Bob style. Originally Chariot race, but is now located indoors with strobe lighting effects.
Thunderbolt Thrill 11:00 Superrides International made Super Star ride (SS6) previously owned by Scott Manning as "Wild Thing". This ride was used in the millennium celebration on the Mall in London.
Rocking Tug Family 11:00 Made by Zamperla; formerly owned by The American Adventure Theme Park
Carousel Family 11:00 Formerly owned by The American Adventure Theme Park
One2Eleven Indoor Play Children/Family 11:00 An indoor play centre with cafeteria.
Skyraker Family/Thrill 11:00 It is the tallest ride in the park with great views of Conrwall.
Flambards Formula Circuit Family 11:00 20 go karts (10 single and 10 double seaters) on a figure of 8 track. A pay for attraction.

Ferdi's Funland[edit]

Aside from the bigger rides, an area at Flambards is devoted just for families with young guests. There are 6 kiddie rides. There are also multiple play areas indoors and out nearby.

  • Human Cannonball – As you spin, control your height as you fly in 4 person capsules.
  • Pirate Ship – A miniature version of the swinging ship.
  • Tea Cups – A miniature version of a tea cups ride.
  • Animal Express – Travel through a gnome's garden in animal themed cars.
  • Space Shuttle – Control your capsule and you travel up and down the tower.
  • The Cornish Children's Eye – A miniature version of a classic ferris wheel.

Exhibitions[edit]

  • The Victorian Village Experience – The Victorian Village was created of just three rooms in 1979 by Mrs. Audrey Kingsford – Hale who wanted to portray a life size recreation of the fascinating Victorian period. Through the years the village has grown to complement some 50 shops, cottages and businesses together with all the attendant trades necessary for Victorian Village life including the butcher’s shop, the bakery, the blacksmiths and the sweet shop. The streets are cobbled with granite setts, salvaged from the old streets of Bath in the 1960s, while the wood-block floor of the school room had already felt the tread and scuffs of thousands of clogs and hob-nailed boots before being salvaged from the demolition of a Victorian school in the North of the United Kingdom and transported to Flambards.

The attention to detail is incredible • 277 cakes and buns were baked for the bakers shop which were then preserved in epoxy resin. • There are over 75 stuffed animals and birds in the village • All the linen on display in the Village is removed, hand-washed, starched and ironed every winter!

  • The Britain in the Blitz Experience – The Flambards Britain in the Blitz, was the first exhibition of its kind in the UK and was opened in 1984 by Dame Vera Lynn who was heard to say “Yes! This is exactly how it was,” whilst wandering through the blitzed street. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people who lived through those perilous years from 1939-1945 have echoed Dame Vera Lynn’s words. The sights, the sounds and the smells evoke so many memories. Younger people, seeing the devastation and deprivation for the first time, simply marvel that their parents or grandparents coped with the grim reality of war-time day to day living.

Despite the damage it’s business as usual in the shops and pub. It’s dusk and the streets are dark. Around you families are settling down for the night in the certain knowledge that within a few hours the air raid sirens will sound and the bombing will start. Look into the Anderson Shelter as a mother tucks up her children – her husband is away at the front line. Will her house survive the night? Experience the suspense of the Doodlebug bomb as its engine cuts out and it glides towards its target.

Everything possible has been done to match the realism of a World War 2 blitzed street but for the sake of safety and the fact that the presentation would be impossible in complete darkness, a little subdued lighting has been sanctioned. This genuine re-creation of the blitzed streets of WW2 is sure to give you a real insight into the real hardship and struggle in such tough and difficult times.

  • The War Gallery – The War Gallery is closely linked with the Britain In The Blitz exhibition, and is a respectful tribute to all of the men and women of Great Britain and The Commonwealth who served in World Wars 1 and 2.

The War Gallery takes a look at the hardships that all of the men, women and children endured through the toughest of times when life had to go on. Meals had to be made from meagre ingredients, clothes had to be mended and made to last as long as possible and letters had to be written to loved ones far away with no guarantee that the letter would ever reach its intended destination.

  • Memory Lane – Charts a century of Wedding Gowns from Mid Victorian to the 1970s including a War Time dress made from a parachute. The stitch marks of the seams show that it was re-fitted and worn by several brides. The selection of photographs also charts weddings from the late Victorian period, giving a fascinating glimpse into what no doubt was ‘the happiest day of their life’
  • The Aviation Experience - A Century of Pioneering Flight is an inter-active exhibition of some remarkable highlights in aviation history throughout the last Century. It features three widely varying achievements, each of them momentous.

Richard Pearse, the inventive son of Cornish parents settled in New Zealand, is believed by many to have made the first sustained powered flight in 1902. A year ahead of the American Wright Brothers, who had the foresight to have their attempt officially recorded.

In 1929, Charles Kingsford Smith piloted the formidable earth-shrinking flight between Australia and England. News of his safe arrival at his destination was flashed across an anxious and waiting world and ecstatic supporters danced in the streets. This wonderful exhibition is a timely reminder that 2009 marked the 80th anniversary of that flight and pays tribute to Charles Kingsford Smith and his navigator Charles Ulm and to the ‘Southern Cross’, ‘Smithy’s’ beloved aeroplane that flew them safely half-way round the world.

The third accolade honours the iconic record- breaking Concorde. Built partly in England, partly in France, it was the focus of great pride to both nations and the envy of the rest of the world. Flambards is proud to present the full-scale flight deck of Concorde, built by BAC for defining and confirming the ultimate positioning of the highly complex instrumentation, plus flightcrew and passenger seating. It was transported from BAC, Bristol, direct to its permanent home at Flambards. It is ‘peopled’ and equipped with original artefacts and is a must see when visiting Flambards.

  • Hands on Science Laser Maze, Disorientation Tunnel, Bendy Mirrors and much more offering fun and fascination!
  • Operation Sealion – Operation Sealion is a fascinating insight into the German intelligence gathering in preparation for the invasion, in England. The name ‘sealion’ was the code name chosen by Hitler for his long-standing plans for Nazi invasion of England in World War 2.

This rare dossier which emerged in 2010 after 70 years of obscurity reveals Hitler’s plans to invade with 6 divisions moving through Kent via Folkestone and Ramsgate. Other units would invade Sussex and then push through Brighton and the Isle of Wight, and Dorset via Lynne Bay. It was undoubtedly to be the first phase of the total occupation and domination of the British Isles. Find out why this plan did not succeed!

  • William White’s Chemist Time Capsule The famous chemist’s shop alone, is worth a visit. See and listen to the story of apothecary William White’s lost time capsule. Discovered after being locked away and forgotten since 1909 in South Petherton, Somerset, the complete shop was purchased at auction by Flambards and re-assembled exactly as found some 70 years later, only without the poisons and more dangerous compounds confiscated by the Home Office.

Upon William White’s death the apothecary’s shop was sealed as his son Edward was not qualified to dispense medicines. The dispensary, complete with its chemicals and equipment can be seen in the condition in which it was discovered. With its old medicines, cures, jars and balances it gives a unique glimpse into the past…

The detail, research and settings are outstanding, deserving the nationally acclaimed awards and accolades gained over the years. Finding the words to adequately convey the atmosphere and total charm of Flambards Victorian Village is a challenge. It is unique and has to be experienced to be believed!

Every item in the shop was numbered and charted so that when it was re-assembled at Flambards – everything was exactly the same as the original shop.


History[edit]

Flambards first opened in 1976 under the name of 'Cornwall Aircraft Park'. Owned by Douglas Kingsford Hale MBE, the park slowly built up an array of aircraft models and exhibitions.

Over time, the park grew and soon had its fair share of rides along with the new name of 'The Flambards Experience'. Past ride included the Dragon Coaster, the Canyon River Log Flume, Paddle Boats and the hyperglide, all of which only one is still operating.

For the 2007 season, three rides were added: The Rocking Tug, The Carousel, and The Space Shuttle.

For the 2008 season the Cornish Mine Train ride was added in addition to the introduction of the War of the Worlds paintball game. 2009 saw no major additions to the park, however the field housing the helipad was sold late in the season. The museum exhibitions are open year-round, but the rides and play areas are open seasonally.

In 2010, the Skyraker 001 opened and claimed the title of the UK's first twisting drop tower. The ride gained much popularity and is a staple attraction in the park, being seen from all around.

On 6 December 2013 the park went into administration, it was sold on 9 December to Livingston Leisure Ltd.[citation needed]

External links[edit]