Garmendale have been designing, making and mending theme park rides and systems since 1980. Originally the business was established with a focus on specialist welding, aiming for and achieving standards that others couldn’t reach.
The business started in a single industrial unit but soon grew as new team members were added and then moved to Dale Works in 1990. As the business has grown the works have grown with them and we have slowly taken over all of the neighbouring units to allow space for design, manufacturing and increasingly, ongoing testing and development of ride systems.
Increasingly the demands for testing ride equipment meant further expansion into new adjoining units. These purpose-built units allowed the business to have two side by side rides being tested simultaneously. During the design and development phase of the Motion Master 30 Immersive Tunnel Ride system, this was absolutely invaluable as there were thousands of hours testing put in to ensure the ride system would deliver years of trouble-free operation and this was able to to be completed without any impact on the rest of the business and general testing requirements.
With the scale of the projects growing, the scale of the paint and prep requirements grew too. They became more and more regular, but also increasingly difficult to place as there were so few spray facilities available locally at the scale we required and even fewer who could work to our exacting standards or challenging timescales. So, as is the Garmendale way, our in-house design team set to work and we both designed and built the perfect spray booth for our requirements – right in the middle of the yard.
When Garmendale first opened their doors, one of the main reasons that customers came knocking was for the quality of the welding we offered. The original founder Roy Shelmerdine was a wizard with a welder and would succeed with projects where others feared to tread.
This has continued through his son David who took over the business in 2009 after Roy’s passing. Garmendale set the standards in ride safety when they were one of the first (if not the first) to manufacture their new QuadStar aerial roundabout for Alton Towers to the new standard for structural steel work, BS EN 1090 Part 2.
Some of the ride refurbishment work that the team carry out comes to Garmendale, purely because they are the only people qualified and experienced enough to do it. When a ride is refurbished now, it’s often built better than when it left the factory, however many years before.
Any ride, anywhere in the world, operating in any conditions, is only as good as its installation. This is another huge Garmendale strength. We are often asked to either install other manufacturers rides or more commonly, solve the issues that their poor installation has caused.
The London Eye may be the most high profile of these projects. We worked on site here for many years making gradual tweaks and alterations to improve operating efficiency and flow throughthe ride. It was only designed as a temporary installation for the millenium year and it’s now an iconic structure on the London Skyline in operation for many years to come.
The team now operate around the world installing rides and ensuring their smooth, reliable operation. Whilst our air miles are impressive, our portfoilo stretches across Europe, all over North America, throughout the Middle East and as far afield as Japan.