A family run company running for over 70 years, Global Events & Attractions (GEA) pride themselves on hard work and determination. Both Douglas Taylor Senior and son Douglas Taylor Junior have shaped the success that is Global Events & Attractions today.
With a reputation for providing outstanding service and delivering attractions of the highest quality. ‘Going the extra mile’ for clients is integral to the business ethos.
Global Events & Attractions has continued to grow over the years to become a fundamental part of many major events not just in the UK but worldwide. As one of the largest operators specialising in providing unique attractions to suit each individual client no matter size, location or venue.
Matthew Taylor Senior was the founder of the company, he originated from Cumbria and was initially known as Taylors of Cumbria. Starting off the family owned one funfair attraction named “The Swirl”. In the early 1950’s business within this industry was extremely poor therefore Matthew took the decision to move to Glasgow where his wife originated from.
Matthew, his wife along with their two sons named Matthew Junior and Douglas set up home in Bellshill during 1958. The land they occupied had ten cottages, to create more space for his family and growing business he knocked all the cottages down. The company name then changed to Taylors of Bellshill.
Business by then was still scarce and only seasonal therefore to survive, Matthew would buy, sell and repair trucks. As time progressed, Matthew purchased a new attraction known as “The Dive Bomber” and shortly after purchased another identical. Matthew then decided to join both attractions together to create the first ever articulated attraction in this industry called “The Double Dive Bomber”.
The first major event the attraction attended was Kirkcaldy Links market and then went onto travel around the country, attending different events. By this time, Matthew’s eldest son Matthew Junior had left school to work with his father within the business. A few years later, he was also joined by his youngest son Douglas with both being assigned specific roles; Matthew Junior being more mechanically minded began operating and repairing the attractions and Douglas being more financially minded became signatory on the bank account, taking charge of finances.
Working together created a strong team, always looking to progress and expand the business, the brothers took a trip to Hamburg and discovered an attraction called “The Lifting Paratrooper”. They took many different photos of themselves in numerous positions in front of the attraction to try and judge basic measurements. Upon returning home, they used their skills as a team to build their very own “Lifting Paratrooper”. This attraction is still operating today, making it the oldest to date.
After a successful plan to create and build their own attraction, Matthew Senior wanted this to be the new business outlook, but his wife and two sons had to disagree as they enjoyed their life as showman. Both sons continued to travel all around the country with the attractions, building strong relationships and friendships in many different locations.
Matthew Junior then went onto marry and as a wedding gift, his father offered to buy him a new caravan to become his home, but this was soon rejected and Matthew Junior and his wife bought a new caravan for his mum and dad and they themselves moved into the older caravan. Still having some money left over, Matthew Junior invested this into the company and purchased another small attraction.
Later, Douglas also married and again his father gave him the same offer which was also refused. Douglas and his wife purchased an old caravan from the Borders and invested the rest of the money into the company. This allowed them to buy another attraction called “The Mont Blanc”.
This attraction was known as one of the worst built of all time. The family began to rebuild it and renamed it “Noah’s Arc”. This attraction only operated within the springtime but was not beneficial throughout the rest of the year. The family continued to travel to many different locations with all other attractions. Both sons were beginning their own families. Matthew having two sons named Matthew and Mark and one daughter named Jensen while Douglas had one son named Douglas Junior and one daughter named Jolene.
In the early 1980’s, the company was registered as a shelf bought company named “Kifdo Limited”. An opportunity arised to operate a small fun fair within Strathclyde County Park on the perimeter of the loch known as “The Old Park” to many locals. This proved to be a major success and together, the family began to work hard to have this operational fifty two weeks of the year.
The family eventually negotiated a one hundred year lease and began a five year process to develop M&D’s Theme Park where it stands today. The build began at Easter in 1992. The original investment was from Royal Bank of Scotland to fund the projects and on the 18th August 1992, the bank took the decision to no longer fund leisure activities as such.
The development came to a halt, but keen to keep this moving the family discussed with all contractors and came to an agreement to continue to work on the development until another source of funding was found. A mere six weeks later, Natwest Bank invested to fund the development.
A new company name was then decided and “M&D Leisure” was registered on the 14th December 1994 with the theme park officially opening in 1996. The company then found an Italian manufacturer named “Fabbri”. The first attraction purchased was “The Street Dancer” and they then went to purchase various different attractions for the theme park.
By the late 90’s, the theme park was thriving and the company decided to build the inside arcade and then as an additional, “The Alona Hotel”. During this period, pop festivals were current within Scotland and the family decided to attend “T In The Park” with attractions, M&Ds Theme Park supported the organisers of the first “T In The Park” by holding the Public Entertainment Licence. This was the first attraction to be taken to an outdoor event, and unknown to them this was the start of the outdoor event industry.
As the event industry continued to grow, all earnings where invested into the theme park. Many other events started to take place and one well known which still continues is “The SECC”, the company had four large attractions at this event for five years. The outdoor events continued to be massively impacting on the business and they attended Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Party in 1999 with “The Big Wheel”. To date the wheel still covers most events within Edinburgh. In the past the company had the sole running of the ice rink within the Winter Wonderland event and also moved on to be the sole runner of Glasgow George Square hosting many different events there such as Glasgow loves Valentines.
Latterly in the business roles changed slightly with Douglas and nephew Matthew managing the theme park and Matthew and his nephew Douglas Junior managing all outdoor events. After many successful years of growing the business together, in 2014 the family came to the decision that they had took the company as far as they could. The new outlook would be that Douglas Senior and his son Douglas Junior would take control of the outdoor events and that Matthew and his family would take control of the theme park.
Douglas and his family took the original name Kifdo Limited which traded for many years as “M&D Events”. M&D Events continued to build reputation and great relationships, Douglas Senior and Douglas Junior’s hard work and determination meant that they would go on to attend many high-profile events, not just in the UK but worldwide.
In 2020 they decided to rebrand the company to GEA- Global Events and Attractions. Global Events and Attractions own all of their attractions and have a highly skilled in-house team of experts who install, maintain and manage the equipment. This allows the company to deliver the highest quality of service at any event in any location.
From 1950 to 2020, many different changes have occurred but two things have always remained and that is extremely hard work and determination.