Many of us who grew up in Glasgow and the surrounding area will have this phrase ingrained into our mind – ‘The biggest fun in a million years’
Hearing it will no doubt bring back memories of our fun-loving teenage years and countless spring and summer holidays spent at the famous Time Capsule.
So, tonight, we’ve decided to take you on a nostalgia trip back to those carefree times in Coatbridge – and we want to hear your stories of skating and splashing about at the much-loved leisure spot after its grand opening in 1991.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about yet then you never will, sorry – but to a generation of Glaswegians (and Glasgow overspill), this place holds some fond, if slightly odd, memories.
The Time Capsule has been a point of pride for anyone from the greater Lanarkshire area – even your pals in Edinburgh are likely to have ventured into the wild west once in a while for a skate and a swim.
(Image: Media Scotland)
If you were a kid in the 90s and 00s then you were guaranteed to host at least one birthday party among the prehistoric creatures – and by the time you reached those awkward teenage years, it became a regular haunt.
Nowadays, it’s all change at the ‘Timey’ – gone are the cavemen and the sea monsters, swapped out for space-age toys and, it has to be said, much faster flumes.
And you’d be surprised at how hard it is to track down photos of those ancient beasts – apparently no one documented their every move on Instagram back in the 90s.
You could ask if they can even call it the Time Capsule any more – but for now, we’ll take a trip back down memory lane, when dinosaurs roamed the ‘big pool’ and you couldn’t wait to have …
‘The biggest fun in a million years’
Words drummed into your brain forevermore. But, let’s face it – it really was at the time.
Here’s what we remember most from those heady days …
How disappointed you were when your mum took you to the ‘wee pool’ instead
Where were all the dinosaurs? What happened to the wave machine? It was cheaper, but it just wasn’t the same. Once you’ve enjoyed a prehistoric swim, there’s no going back to ordinary lane swimming.
The big ice v swim divide
Sure, the Time Capsule tried to market it as an opportunity to do both – but you were always a fan of one or the other. Especially on Friday nights, when …
The coolest kids brought their own skates
Rentals? You’re a nobody, mate. It wasn’t cool to be seen in someone else’s (The Time Capsule’s) skates – so you begged your mum for a pair to show off at the Friday night disco. And you put them to good use whipping round the woolly mammoth. You even had a go on the wee ramp. All the while praying you weren’t going to fall flat on your face in front of the boy/girl you fancied.
But alternative kids spent Friday night in the pool
Ice skating was, like, so overrated. Come disco night, you had the run of the big pool – and you were always first in line for the flumes. And you could still hear the tunes blaring anyway – who needs Ibiza when you’re bikini clubbing it in Coatbridge?
The words ‘will you nip ma pal?’
On the pool side, it was just plain unsanitary. On the ice, it was a feat of balance, dangerous even. If you winched Wee Tam while sliding about on ice skates then frankly, you deserve a medal in figure skating.
Queuing in the freezing cold for a shot of the flumes
Why was it so cold? Why did the entire car park get the chance to look up into the glass tower and see you in your smalls? Answer: to filter out the weak. The queues were big enough, thanks very much – if you wanted a shot on the flumes, you had to earn it.
(Image: Media Scotland)
How mangy the cavemen looked
If you took a trip on the dino slide, there was only one way out – under the watchful eyes of the threatening, ever-dusty cavemen. Bonus points if you ever tried to look up their cave-skirts.
Getting stuck in the middle of the rubber ring ride
Nowadays the rubber ring ride is a two or four man job, and it’s brilliant – but back then, it was a solo journey, punctuated by a stop-off in the middle of the slide for No. Damn. Reason. You had the choice of standing up and walking to get to the next bit of the ride, or bumming it along – either way, your dignity was unlikely to make it all the way to the bottom.
When the T-rex needed a facelift
The tyrannosaurus rex was the king of the Time Capsule dinos, roaring away as you braved the slide – but, let’s be honest, he grew a bit tired in later years. Eagle-eyed TC devotees may have noticed he developed a bit of blood lust too – after a few years of wear and tear, staff splashed red paint all over his mouth to cover up the cracks. If anything, it was an improvement. RIP, t-rex old friend.
(Image: Media Scotland)
Wondering when the volcano would open again
Remember the days when the top of the volcano boasted a jacuzzi, a sanctuary for parents hiding from their screaming weans? Us neither, but we’ve heard tell of such an oasis, closed to the public long before we were rocking up as surly teens and asking “will you nip ma pal?” We may have just answered our own question.
The top of the volcano was the stuff of legend for years…and we still don’t know what they were hiding.
Spending every day of the summer there
Thank you, Young Scot card – you made our teenage years bearable when you included the Time Capsule in that whole ‘free swimming all summer’ campaign. Our pals may have lived in the big city while we made do out in the sticks – but we had The Biggest Fun in a Million Years.
Originally Appeared Here