Pensioner couple blows £60k on rollercoasters


Rollercoaster couple

Denis and Sylvia Bloor (aged 74 and 64), a couple from Tregurrian in Cornwall, have revealed that they have spent £60,000 visiting theme parks across Europe and the US, racking up 250 rollercoasters since 1994.

But why, and is this a ridiculous waste of money or money well-spent?


According to a report in the Daily Mail, the couple are the oldest member of the Rollercoaster Club of Great Britain. They first visited Alton Towers in 1994, and claim it was enough to get them hooked.

Among the strange statistics they have racked up is 4,000 rides on Nemesis at Alton Towers. They have also spent 1,000 days in over 40 theme parks. They travel to the US once a year for a three-week tour of the theme parks.

However, they're not keen on water rides.

Is it a waste?

It sounds like an extraordinary sum of money to spend on rollercoasters, but it's not so extreme when you consider that it's their main hobby, and their annual holiday, and it has been for almost 20 years.

Being a member of the club also means they can travel with an interesting group of people, and make new friends around the world. They put on special events, which makes visiting the same park several times seem more entertaining.

Assuming they can find a travel insurer who covers theme parks, and has no age limits, and assuming they both meet the health requirements for each ride, then they're not taking any particular risks, so why not?

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Better than golf?

Put into perspective, spending £1,500 each a year on something that brings them so much joy doesn't sound so bad. Sylvia claims it keeps them young, and that the endorphins ease her arthritis.

How does it compare to other retirement hobbies?

There are plenty of people who spend far more on a golf club membership and the associated kit. Given that the average membership fee for a man is £706, and the average joining fee is £746, in the first year the costs are roughly the same - even before you step onto the course. If you add in the clubs, kit, green fees, lessons and tournament fees, the costs quickly add up.

Alternatively, some couples opt for travel as their retirement luxury. Even travelling off-peak and using every trick in the book to bring the cost down, it's easy to spend this money seeing the world. With a certain amount of scrimping and saving, they could backpack around half the planet in 20 years on this budget. However, with a modicum of comfort, just one cruise each year would wipe this budget out.

Of course, there are cheaper options. If you joined a gym, even if you squandered a small fortune on kit, you'd struggle to spend more than £1,000 a year. Meanwhile cooking, socialising and gardening are virtually cost-neutral. And if you choose to keep your brain more active with some light part-time work, your retirement hobby could even be a money-spinner.

But what do you think? Have the Bloors found the best way to spend their cash in retirement, or are those rides over in seconds and the cost too much to make sense?

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