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The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions

BALPPA History

BALPPA has been looking after the interests of the theme park, pier and visitor attraction sector since 1936.

The below timeline highlights the key historical developments. Or you can download our special 75th centenary publication for a more detailed overview.



A handful of leisure operating families, including the Thompsons, the Butlins and Isles families formed the Association of Amusement Park Proprietors (AAPP) to protect the interests of their predominantly seaside business.


During World War II, the Association’s meetings were suspended. Many seaside parks were used by the Government during this period and contributed to the war effort.


Meetings started again after the War and along with other associations in similar industries, the AAPP became a founder member of the The National Amusement Council (NAC). Together, they provided a united voice to government,


Maj. J Russell Pickering dies and his son, Ronald R Pickering, takes on the role of AAPP Secretary


The Members of the AAPP welcome to the UK The National Association of Amusement Parks, Pools and Beaches of America (later to become IAPPA)


The AAPP worked significantly on the Betting and Gambling Act, lobbying government to ensure the interests of their Members were protected as much as possible.


The AAPP conducted the first official survey amongst Members and started to become more heavily involved in benchmarking and shared learnings. At the same time, the Association introduced subscriptions based on the size of the Member.


Following increased co-operation with the Home Office on amusement ride safety bylaws, the AAPP insist that as a condition of Membership all rides of Members and their concessions shall be inspected by a competent engineer.


Chairman, Jimmy Jones leads a Committee of Members to work with the HSE on a new Code of Safe Practice at Fairs including the first safety guidance written by Members for specific rides such as the Waltzer and the Cyclone Twist.


Membership is opened up to Trade Suppliers


Stan Bollom becomes President


BALPPA starts their first ever subgroup and becomes an official supporter of Leisure Industry Week.


The Year of the Rollercoaster


The Year of the Pier is launched


HSG 175 is published and the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme (ADIPS) is launched

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