No one could accuse
John Broome of lacking vision. It was under his leadership that
Alton Towers began it's transition into the theme park it is
today, but his interests in the leisure world did not stop there.
Whilst at the Towers he invested in various side projects, but
perhaps the most interesting of these was his purchase of
Battersea Power Station in 1986 with the view to creating a theme
park experience in the heart of London.
featured both indoor and outdoor attractions as well as various
eating and shopping options all themed around a traditional
British theme. Several of the ideas for the new park drew on ideas
that had already been successfully included at Alton Towers, or
which seemed to be potential future attractions at the Towers as
the costs more then quadrupled from the initial £35million
estimate, the project stalled in 1989 but not before the roof of
the power station had been removed to remove the internal
The effects of the
issues at Battersea were also felt at Alton Towers itself, as it
is widely believed that the financial troubles caused by the
project are what led to John Broome putting Alton Towers up for
sale, resulting in it's transfer in ownership to Tussauds in the
The plans for the ground level,
including an ice skating rink and a set of dancing fountains as it's
central feature along with a range of other theatre based
Another feature of the ground floor was
to be a Dickensian themed retail street...
... and restaurants, all of which were
to be highly themed environments.
The Mezzine floors' main feature was to
be a balloon ride which would allow guests to glide over the
attractions on the floor below. Also featured on this level was a
British Empire themed dark ride.
The Basement featured a leisure complex
and spa, as well as a large play area, which seems to draw heavily
on the Kiddie Kingdom play area at Alton Towers.
Some concepts of various attractions
proposed for the park, from generic kiddies rides through to an
interesting Haunted Theatre proposal, a highly themed simulator and
a Dancing Waters attractions, similar to one that could be found at
Alton Towers at the time.
The outdoor area of
the park seems to draw heavily on John Broome's experiences at Alton
Towers. It features versions of both a rapids ride and leap frog
fountains, which had recently been installed at the Towers, as well
as a Jumbo Jet coaster, which would have been a custom designed
coaster by Schwarzkopf, who had designed the Blackhole and The Beast
at Alton Towers.
features include the proposal of a Flying Island, which would
eventually be built at The American Adventure, one of John Broome's
management projects after he left Alton Towers.
Also the inclusion of
a Runaway Train ride would seem to suggest a ride of this type may
have also been on the cards for Alton Towers even before Tussauds
At the same time as
he was developing The Battersea, John Broome was also overseeing
huge expansions at Alton Towers with large new attractions being
added year after year. To sustain this sort of expansion he also
oversaw various PR campaigns to spread the word of his park in
Here we have a
proposal for The Alton Experience, a pavement cafe to be built at
the Garden Festival in Gateshead in 1990 in order to advertise the
park. Various rides are represent here including the Corkscrew,
Rapids and 1001 Nights.
It is likely this
project never came to fruition due to the financial issues created
by the Battersea project and imminent park sale.