Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

British park figures pass away

Jimmy Jones and Jimmy Godden passed away on the same day, March 27, 2012.

Jimmy Jones, who managed England’s Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach for many years, was 73. Coming from a fairground background, having worked on his parent’s fun fair in Bristol from an early age. He took control of the park on the East coast of England in 1975 following the death of his father-in-law Albert Botton and had previously helped the Botton family at Olympia in London.

In October 1992 the various Botton Bros companies were brought together to form the Pleasure & Leisure Corporation and Jimmy Jones relinquished the role of Pleasure Beach managing director to his son Albert, who runs the park to this day.

A passionate football fan, Jimmy also served as a director and vice-chairman of Norwich City Football Club during its glory days in the 1980s. He died on March 27 at The Heart Hospital in London and leaves a widow Jane, son Albert, daughter Elizabeth and six grandchildren.

Jimmy Godden, meanwhile, was the former owner of Dreamland (Margate), Rotunda (Folkestone) and Ramsgate Pleasure Park> He died aged 66.

The entrepreneur, who established a wide portfolio of amusement arcades and other businesses in the Kent area, served as chairman of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) from 2000-2002 but closed his parks soon after. Since then fans of the Dreamland, which Godden acquired from Bembon Bros in the winter of 1995/6, have campaigned to reopen it as a smaller nostalgia-focused operation.

Diagnosed with cancer some years ago, he was receiving weekly treatments of chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London until his death. Jimmy is survived by his wife Rochelle and sons Jeremy and Jordan, as well eldest son James from a previous marriage.

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