Monday, April 20, 2015

Goodbye To The Barry Island Log Flume

I'm just looking through today's issue of the South Wales Echo and have just read an article about the famous Log Flume that was one of the iconic rides at the Barry Island Pleasure Park.

Bulldozers have moved in and taken down the ride. Thankfully, the machines haven't demolished a childhood memory.

Of the many recollections I have of visiting Barry Island as a child, the Log Flume story is one that I bring out now and again.

I've more than likely written about it on this blog. I know for certain I relayed the story to my five-year-old nephew a few days ago after he had returned from a trip to Barry Island.

One day - back in the very early 1980s - my mother gave me two options: did I want to go to nursery that day or did I want to head over to Barry Island with my cousins?

Duh! How simple? I chose the latter.

What kid wouldn't?

I particularly wanted to go on the Wacky Gold Mine ride that I had seen advertised on television. The premise of the ride was you would sit in mining carts and your journey would consist of seeing weird looking miners looking for gold. Finding it in the park was meant to be easy - the exterior looked like a rocky mountain.

As did the outside of the Log Flume.

You know where I'm going, right?

I saw what I thought was the Wacky Gold Mine and asked to go on it. My cousins obliged. We piled into our seats and we started travelling.

I can remember it as if it were yesterday. I looked down outside of where we were sitting and saw water. It didn't dawn on me at that moment. All I thought was it was peculiar to have water below us as we were moving. It didn't take much longer for the realisation to kick in.

As we were beginning our ascent up to the top of the flume, I remember looking back and with shear terror exclaiming one thing to one of the cousins sitting behind me.

"This isn't the ride I wanted to go on."

And in one fell swoop, my stomach was at the bottom of the ride. The rest of my body followed a split second later.

Somewhere in between came the water as it drenched us.

A mistake? Sure. A good one? Yes!

I even managed to find the Wacky Gold Mine.

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