Drones take flight at abandoned Lancashire theme park
Long-hidden areas of an abandoned Lancashire theme park have been uncovered in a three-minute documentary.
The team behind the Channel 4 shorts ‘Drones in Forbidden Zones’ flew their camera equipment into and around the former Camelot Theme Park at Charnock Richard, near Chorley, to discover what remained of the once-loved attraction.
Footage of broken mannequins strewn on the floor, the graffiti-ridden jousting arena and grimy white facade of King Arthur’s fire-damaged castle make for eerie yet fascinating viewing.
But Tom Hemsley, creative director of Little Dot Studios, which produced the three-minute film, said it was thanks to Camelot’s well-documented history online that caught their attention.
“We did a lot of research online to find the various locations that we cover in the series,” he said.
“When we searched for abandoned theme parks in the UK, there was already a lot of information on Camelot. A lot of that was just what had been discovered by urban explorers so when we flew the drones over, we managed to get some completely different angles and footage that had never been seen.”
As well as filming with the two drones – one large professional rig and one smaller one that was able to fly in between the metal frame of the now rusting Knightmare rollercoaster the team spoke to theme park enthusiasts and local residents about their Camelot memories.
“One guy told us a lot about the history of the rides,” Tom said. “In particular the fact that the Knightmare ride was one of few rides in the world that gave riders the chance to experience five Gs of force.
“And the urban explorers told us about how eerie it was to be somewhere so well known for its noise, be so silent.”
The theme park closed in 2012 after its owners said it was no longer financially viable. The once-popular rides have been sold to theme parks across the country but Knightmare remains at the site.
At its peak, more than 500,000 people would visit Camelot, which was based on Arthurian legend. However, the 140-acre park was bought by Story Homes after it went in to receivership in 2009.
The programme can be seen online on Channel 4’s on demand service, All Four, at www.channel4.com.