John L Broome CBE, the founder of Alton Towers Theme Park, marked the official opening of Fairytale Farm’s magical new play area, Fairy Dell, and the 10th anniversary of Fairytale Farm itself, by unveiling a plaque on Saturday.
John pulled the cord in Fairy Dell to unveil a commemorative plaque, which celebrates the official opening of this magical new play area, on Saturday 17th June – almost exactly 10 years to the day since Fairytale Farm was officially opened by then Prime Minister David Cameron on 21st June 2013.
Fairytale Farm owner, Nick Laister, said: “This was a double celebration for us. It was wonderful to have John Broome at Fairytale Farm as our guest of honour at such an important moment in the history of the Farm. John created the UK’s first modern theme park when he opened Alton Towers in 1980, and the other achievements in his long career make him most important figures in world tourism. It was fitting that he was to open our first completely themed play area, Fairy Dell, and to mark the 10th anniversary of Fairytale Farm itself.”
The opening ceremony was followed by a 10th anniversary celebration in a marquee at Fairytale Farm, attended by many of the people who helped to create Fairytale Farm 10 years ago, along with current and past members of staff, volunteers and contractors who have worked with Fairytale Farm over the last 10 years.
The more than 80 attendees included: Glen Pashley, a now retired builder, who built the Fairytale Farm Cafe and Wishing Well; Richard Ryan, former Blackpool Illuminations boss, who created the Farm’s spectacular illuminations; Ron Smith, Fairytale Farm’s first ever gardener; Edwina Fawcett, the Farm’s first manager; Andy Blake, the sculptor who created the Snow White Garden, the huge Beanstalk and more recently Dino Valley; Kaleb Cooper, who has provided agricultural contracting services to Fairytale Farm for more than 10 years (and is now a little more famous for starring in the hit Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm); and Alan Powell and Alex Urquhart from HPW Architects, who have designed Fairytale Farm’s forthcoming Theatre building.
John Broome said: “It was a great honour to open the new Fairy Dell adventure playground. I have seen Fairytale Farm go from strength to strength over the last 10 years and this new development will undoubtedly be a very successful enterprise.”
During the evening’s celebrations, Nick presented a slide show of some of Fairytale Farm’s more memorable moments over the last 10 years, including: Olivia Laister’s first ever ride on the ever-popular Wheelchair Swing; the opening day with David Cameron; the 2014 Valentine’s Day storm that destroyed the huge Mermaid Tiffany Lamp; the day the Daleks invaded the Farm; a look at the many celebrities that have visited Fairytale Farm over the first 10 years; and getting pulled over by the Police on the M6 towing several dinosaurs from Blackpool Pleasure Beach to Fairytale Farm (and finding ourselves all over social media!).
Nick also introduced guest of honour John Broome to the stage, who provided his thoughts about the success of Fairytale Farm and where it is likely to go in the future.
John Broome is one of the most prominent figures in the history of tourism in the UK. When he opened Alton Towers Theme Park in 1980, he brought the modern theme park to the United Kingdom and created the largest visitor attraction outside of London. John kick-started the redevelopment of London’s Battersea Power Station, developed the luxury golf resort Carden Park and more recently created Camel Creek Family Theme Park in Cornwall.
Nick concludes: “Fairytale Farm would like to thank all the people who have helped us through the last decade and we look forward to our next 10 years of fun at the farm.”