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Will's Adventures on the M5

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Will, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick one from me today as I’ve not done a long drive in a while and it’s finished me off! So, as I’m finally starting a new job next Monday, I wanted to do something fun but comparatively inexpensive and the usual check of coaster-count showed that a couple of new creds which had somehow slipped under my radar had made their home in Weston super Mare. This was typical, as I’ve now been there three years in a row, each time suspecting it would be a while until I was back. I also remember mocking Sue last year following her insistence that there was a cred in WSM; turns out she was actually early, not late!

    Conveniently for me, I realised that as my route involved what 2008_Will would probably have called ‘Excess M5age’, I’d also be passing by Sandwell Valley Amusements. This place has a very ‘kiddie’ look about it, so usually I wouldn’t have chanced doing it alone – but there’s a couple of youtube ‘vlogs’ from goons who’ve visited recently, showing it to be no problem.

    The slight detour also meant that I could at least some of the burdenous M5 roadworks. My satnav got a little confused somewhere around the outskirts of West Brom (who wouldn’t!) but the place is easy to find – simply follow signs to Sandwell Valley Park Farm and it’s a couple of hundred metres walk. Parking for an hour is the princely sum of £0.40 and I approved. I walked up to the gate to be greeted by a few greasy teenagers who informed me in their local dialect that the park wasn’t open until 12, so I wandered around for 10 minutes. The cred (a wacky worm) had a rather not open look about it, but I bought my tokens (2 x £0.70) and stood outside the station looking expectant. A more senior (read: older) staff member asked if I wanted a ride, I explained that I did and apologised for being a burden, but he laughed and said that was what he was there for. Long story short, I got the cred – only had to have three laps (with a bonus staff member for ballast!) and that it was time to get out of Sandwell!
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    The next stop was of course Weston Super Mare, but one of my friends from TS had been excited by Gloucester service station yesterday (bloody goons, eh ;) ) so I had to check it out. It’s a garden-centrey service station in the style of Tebay on the M6, but I preferred Tebay – it was also a bit pretentious (read: expensive) so although I looked at exciting meats, snacks and drinks, I ended up buying some sweets.
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    Yay. Further down the M5, I stopped in Worle to buy supplies for the evening (mainly alcohol).
    At length, I reached Weston super Mare, where the traffic wasn’t that bad – the parking was upsetting however – if you’re better organised than me, park NOT on the promenade and walk – otherwise you’re looking at £6 – and the machines don’t take card so you have to pay in the shop if you’ve not got enough coins. Onto the park itself (the man selling me tokens made a comment about their rent on the site and how they were considering moving, as inner-city is surprisingly cheaper than WSM) and there were two coasters to be had – a Wacky Worm and the new Wild Mouse. This came to another £6.
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    I grabbed the Wacky Worm first – the train had just been dispatched as I arrived, so I stood around looking like a goon (I deliberately wore ‘gooniform’ as if to signify WHY a lone 30-year-old male was riding a Wacky Worm over 100 miles from home) before ending up looking like even MORE of a goon as I got a train to myself. The operator asked if I’d been on the bigger one yet and I said I was going to – ‘Oh, you’re one of those rollercoaster buffs?’ I smiled and confessed – he said he knew that feeling and thus I felt suitably non-judged – he even asked about my count and preferences. For the record, this is one of the newer Wacky Worms and was quite smooth – even the final corner, and I told the man this. ‘Now try the other one!’ he implored, ‘Just been built by some Italian company!’ – I have little trust in Italian manufacturers, and again he made a joke about how they’d called their ride a ‘Wacky Worm’ although the train is clearly a Caterpillar and yet all the tourists call it The Big Apple.

    There was no queue for the Wild Mouse and I sat at the back of the car – the staff were smiley, but silent – I suspected their English was minimal. As with a lot of rides, it may have been the weather, or the fact that I was in a good mood due to a comparatively easy three new British creds (that takes me to 202 in the UK) but the ride was actually not at all bad – it looks looked after and recently painted and carries a surprisingly amount of speed through the layout – there was even the odd pop of airtime and the roughness was… negligible compared to similar models – all told, much better than a Pinfari Zyklon or similar, and despite only being there for 20 minutes or so, I left Weston with a smile.
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    The smile faded somewhat as I realised it was 85 miles to my next destination (en route home – I must do Flambards at some point, but this weekend was not the time, plus the cheapest Travelodge along the M5 was back toward the North) and the road was a bit dull, but no hold-ups etc. By the fact that I’m talking about the M5, I think that probably concludes my report. Christ on a bike, only I could turn those two places into 1,000 words. Fear not, there’ll be pics once I can be arsed to upload them. Ooh, there is motorsport on - and my hotel is next to an Indian takeaway...

    24 UK coasters to go now, apparently - and only ONE left in Western England!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  2. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    Huh, Serena and I were at Weston Super Mare getting creds today too!
     
  3. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    ^
    Sorry, wasn't deliberate! :)

    I did see someone who looked like you, but that was on a horsey-bikey... thing in Sandwell!
    Hope you both thought the Wild Mouse was [comparatively] fab and the staff were as friendly to you too :)
     
  4. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    Excessive restraints - but yes, we both went 'ooh' the same time at the random pop of airtime at the end!

    Also I suspect Wacky Worm man was excited about your goonery because he'd already had a similar chat with us about it earlier in the day.

    I also didn't realise until we left that the land it lives on was the site of the Dismaland Banksy thing, so that's cool.
     
  5. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    ^
    Ah, if you'd told the guy that explains it, though he did say 'I know the feeling...' when I said 'I'll ride any coaster, no matter how ridiculous I end up looking' or similar, perhaps that's how he knew of the existence of goons :) I only had the shoulder bar on the Wild Mouse, but agreed, there were a LOT of straps! Coaster-count tells me it's from the travelling circuit, so he wasn't entirely right, but I'm sure you'll agree it looks much newer and cleaner than most coastal coasters :)

    I also didn't know about Dismaland, so that's interesting - as I said, the guy who sold me the tokens said it was too expensive to be on that site and I suggested moving - he said they were looking into it, not that that necessarily means anything, of course.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  6. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Well-Known Member

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    There goes the rare points.

    I like the printed itinerary for a local cred run. A real sign of dedication.
     
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  7. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    That services on the M5 is owned by the same company as Tebay. They have just opened another one in Scotland too which I stopped at on the way back from M&Ds a few weeks back. But Tebay is best, as you say, if only because of the duck pond :)

    Oh and nice report btw, very elaborate for such a simple selection of coasters! ;)
     
  8. furie

    furie SBOPD Staff Member Administrator Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    I feel I may have to get the ban hammer out. It's nice people are making an effort to post, but when it comes to comparing duck ponds at service stations... :p
     
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  9. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    There is no comparison - I don't think they have one at the M5 services ;)
     
  10. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    I think the 'joke' started after somebody found out that Gloucester Services had a higher customer satisfaction rating than Chessington on tripadvisor :p

    I've also found a vlog of people reviewing Oxford services. I'm now reconsidering several of my life choices.
     
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