Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dinosaurs and diggers

Quick, measure your child, and if they are under 90cm hurry to Milton Keynes before they have a growth spurt, because those under that magic number get in free to Gulliver's dinosaur and eco farm park. Unfortunately HackneyChild is 95cm it seems, and no amount of slouching could get us in for free.

Gulliver's World, bless it, would probably be the first to admit that it is no EuroDisney, or even Alton Towers. But I love slightly eccentric British "theme parks", having magical memories of visiting Black Gang Chine as a five year old.  Gullivers (which also has a main park, which we didn't go to) is definitely of that ilk. There's something a bit homemade about it, a bit amateur, which is not to discredit it at all.

For example the staff were charming but hadn't quite got the hang of the "have a good day" schtick. One ride attendant confided in me, as I idled around in the drizzle with HackneyBaby waiting for Hackney_bloke and HackneyChild to come off a boat ride, that his partner had left him the night before, taking their child with her. "Enjoy your day with us," he added, sadly.

HackneyChild was in heaven as there were so many of his favourite things in one place - diggers, tractors, dinosaurs. He was particularly attracted to a motheaten cat that was part of a singing farmyard scene. I liked the way you were given a seed on entry which you could then plant in a potting shed, the fact that there was no queue for anything even during the summer holidays (although it was raining in the morning), and the way the dinosaurs peered over the foliage in the background of the farm.


Simon Clarke said...

When I was young (and my heart was an open book), my parents took me away on holiday somewhere in the British countryside (no idea where – though Wikipedia says Dorset) and we visited Tucktonia. I loved it – it had a miniature railway and, best of all, a model London, based it seems on Bekonscot, but much naffer and more early 70s.

Mind you, I saw photos of it the other month in a family album, and it looked total rubbish. Whcih shows that the warm glow of nostalgia must always be kept safe in the palace of dim memory...

Hackney Hackette said...

The model London is brilliant and completely random. It reminds me of The Book of Dave by Will Self (think it's called that) where they are trying to rebuild London based on folk memory up north somewhere after global warming/ flooding.