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Photo TR: Hollycombe Steam Fair


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Hollycombe is steam museum that is also home to the UK's largest collection of steam powered funfair rides. Among the collection is a 1912 set of Gallopers, the 1908 Razzle Dazzle that's regarded as the first white knuckle ride, 1911 Steam Yacht that is the precursor to the modern Pirate Ship, 1930 Juvenile ride that operate at Chessington World of Adventures till 1985 and the Dobby ride called Mr Field's Steam Circus that having been built in 1870 is the World's oldest mechanically driven fairground ride.

 

Hollycombe

 

Hollycombe is only open on selected dates throughout the year and I visited last weekend when it was open late at night. Anyone in the South of the UK really should pay this place a visit as 100 years on the rides are still great fun. The made thing about the Steam Yacht and Razzle Dazzle is they don't have any restraints and you just have to hang on.

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1911 Steam Yacht. Nearly goes to 90degrees and there's no lap bar.

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The Steam Yacht has a big sound system.

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It was a popular ride.

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The World's 1st White Knuckle Ride.

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I guess this is what rides like Hully Gully and the Trabant are based on. It sat dozens of people, if only modern rides had such high capacity.

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A traditional set of Gallopers that was built in 1912.

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Old school shooting gallery.

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Big Wheel

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1915 Haunted Walkthrough

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Even for it's age it had some good scares.

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Powering the Bioscope

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1901 Steam Swings. Not as intense as the Steam Yacht and the riders control how high they swing. A bit vom inducing after a while.

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Another sign for the sign enthusiasts.

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CWoA's old kiddie ride.

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The World's oldest mechanically driven ride.

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The 140 year old ride could still go at quite a speed.

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Powering Mr Field's Steam Circus

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Mr Field's Steam Circus thumping sound system

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Finally, the 140 year old horses.

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How very, very neat that these rides still exist. At first glance I thought this TR was going to be of a museum or something, so I was blown away to see these rides still operate (and some with no restraints!). Quite the "Never in America" attraction, for sure!

 

Thanks so much for sharing this!

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I go to this place fairly frequently (Me and My Dad own a Steam Engine that we run on their miniature railway!) and I never thought to post a trip report!

 

If I get a chance I'll take some daylight photos next time I am down there, if any one gets the chance it really is amazing seeing all these ancient rides in such good condition and still working and some, like the steam yacht, are actually quite thrilling, I highly recommend Hollycombe!

 

Matt

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