has always been interesting – even if a bit soul destroying – to
compare the contrasts between British fairs and continental fairs.
it comes to fairs, Germany in particular has always projected this sense
of big is better, while our green and pleasant land has always
maintained it isn’t how big it is, it’s how you use it.
answer to Eurostar is a 65ft tall Pinfari coaster
showmen like Oscar Bruch debuted the awesome Eurostar, a ride that in
its smallest form for the first year packed onto 100 articulated
lorries, we toured several Chance Toboggan coasters which toured on two
lorries each, offering a ride not dissimilar to sitting inside an
upright piano as it gets sucked into a tornado.
while we toured Miamis, the Germans toured the awesome 64-seater
Imperiator, possibly the largest-ever touring spin ride to grace this
the German punters turned green as they were thrown in directions they
never knew existed, bleary-eyed Brits turned green with envy. Rides like
the Schwarzkopf giant coasters hardly existed in our parks, let alone
fairs, and Nauta Bussink Pirate Ships the size of the QE2 offered
something of a pilgrimage to hard-done-by Brits.
Pirate Ships of varying sizes had been touring Germany for decades, in
1994, Robrhan presented the first Huss Frisbee, a ride that soon
cemented itself as an important block in the wall for German fairs.
years, Huss were the prestige spin ride manufacturer; the choice of the
discerning showman. With rides tailored to travel, well built and long
lasting, the German manufacturer was the first choice when it came to
travelling spin rides.
- expensive, and well built, machines that British showmen have
one of Huss’ most popular rides was the Breakdance – there are
nearly fifty Breakdances in Germany alone. The weapon of choice in
Germany is the most expensive – the 48-seater Breakdance 2.
Breakdance has been touring for twenty years now, and is Germany’s
answer for the Waltzer. If you can’t find a Breakdance at a German
fair, the chances are you’re not looking hard enough. Either that or
the ride is hidden in a cloud of dry ice.
fairs are often built around an iconic coaster, too. While Eurostar is
probably the best known currently touring, it has the reputation of the
infamous Bruch coaster, Thriller, to live up to.
is a good example that large-scale touring coasters have never been a
passing whim. Indeed, even in 2005, the Brits; the same country who
bought you the automobile, telephone and television, have not even come
close to building a coaster that was touring nearly 20 years ago.
is a complete sham, surely? We can move a lighthouse from the edge of a
collapsing cliff, but we don’t have the balls to buy a 100ft touring
roller coaster? Well, no – it isn’t quite as simple as that.
problem is down to the size of British plot sizes. They’re smaller
than in Germany, and really work against showmen against building bigger
and better. Continues...