Standing Room Only 3
19th October 2003
It doesn’t matter how many times I ride in the standing/tilted position Apocalypse is still absolutely awful, but in a good way. I don’t think the time will ever come when Apocalypse loses its stomach-in-mouth feeling.
Odd moment of the day had to be on “The Haunting” where the ride op got trapped in the spinning room. I assume a joke by his ride op buddies. He then “surfed” on the swinging cradle, chatting on his radio and utterly ruining any illusion!
The maintenance “tour” was out of this world. I had no idea what was planned, and what was planned for us far exceeded expectations. The word tour had to be used loosely, as when I arrived; I was told this was going to be hands on, which was an understatement. For those of you who do not know, Brian McCafferty and myself climbed to the top of Apocalypse.
Watching and experiencing the ride while inside and on the top of the tower is amazing, something I am extremely grateful for being able to do. So many thanks to those involved, it was very much appreciated. Also thanks to Drayton Manor, for allowing myself and Brian to do something that very few other parks would.
Our final in-season trip of 2003 was to Drayton Manor Park, and what a day they lined up for us! Arriving at the ridiculous hour of 07:00, Phil Ariss and Brian McCafferty were able to join the Park’s maintenance team as they performed the early morning checks on Apocalypse! Phil and Brian had donated £20.00 each to Give Kids the World in order to climb to the very top of the 180ft (55m) tower via the maintenance ladder! They also performed emergency stops and watched the operation of the ride from inside the tower. What a way to start!
The rest of the group were welcomed with tea, coffee and biscuits before scaring ourselves silly during an hour-long Apocalypse ERS. First time riders certainly discovered why this ride has been voted the scariest in the UK!
One of the day’s highlights was, without doubt, the three-course Sunday roast lunch served in the Hamilton Suite; we enjoyed a feast! Following lunch, a number of announcements were made before everyone was able to head back into the park.
Ride take-overs were arranged on Maelstrom, Rapids and Dodgems as well as some of the ‘kiddie’ rides! The day ended with a great hour-long Shockwave ERS! Thanks Drayton – we’ll see you next year!
This was our second trip of the year to Drayton, and it was during the earlier AGM that Colin Bryan suggested that when we came back, maybe some sort of maintenance tour might be a good idea. I think Brian and Phil would agree.
I enjoy this trip because Drayton put on a great day, with Sunday lunch being the icing on the cake. It was an excellent way to finish off the 2003 season.