A Trip to Funderworld

We’re enjoying unusually warm weather for mid April here in south-west England, so yesterday I decided to make the most of it, and once again go roving with my digital camera. Where exactly? A place called Funderworld. Funderworld boastfully claims to be the UK’s largest (and only) mobile theme park.

I began my journey by taking a packed train, which typically arrived late, into Bristol. Once at the station, I then had to take a bus into Clifton (Bristol’s upper class and student populated suburb). Clifton is full of narrow roads, bustling streets, cafes/restaurants, and historical architecture/buildings.

That’s before I even mention Brunel’s famous suspension bridge, Leigh Woods, the Avon Gorge, or my destination, Clifton Downs. The Downs are a vast area of flat unused grassland, where people go to read, cycle, play football and get sunburnt. I got off the bus and walked up the short hill, but no Funderworld.

Well this didn’t make sense! I was sure I’d made my way onto Durdham Down, so I did the most sensible thing possible. I crossed the Down’s by walking roughly from the south-west corner to the north-east corner. It took about twenty – thirty minutes in sweltering weather. And I didn’t have any deodorant.

Finally, I saw Speed Buzz (a 40 metre high, double pendulum ride) come into view. This was closely followed by the sounds of screaming. Upon further (and closer) inspection, I realised that not only was this ride 40 metres high, it also performed a full 360 degree somersault at its peak. *See my ‘Halo’ photo.

My response was to inform a lady in the queue that ‘I think they’d have to pay me to go on that one!’ She agreed. After queuing for ages, a handy sign warned any potential queue jumpers that jumping queues would not be tolerated. It would have been amusing to see someone try, if only so I could take a picture.

Wait, I only have just over £11 cash on me, but it’s £11.99 to get in for any riders over 4 feet and six inches. What if I pretended to be a dwarf? No, that wouldn’t work. I paid the cheapest price to have a look round as, um, someone who spectates, but doesn’t get to go on anything. No Speed Buzz for me.

The only problem with a bright, sunny day and little shade or cover, is that for the photographer looking for great shots, you can’t properly frame your pictures. Or you can’t see properly. Or people keep walking past you. Or the colours come out dull and under-exposed. I’ve now cut 130 pictures down to less than 50.

I’ve kept the decent ones and am planning to put together a fairground attraction calendar in coming weeks. However, it made me realise that even under the best circumstances, my pictures don’t always appear the same way as when I took them. As for Funderworld, well, it wasn’t quite as big as I expected it to be.