In 2000, Steve Taylor decided to make a website about one of his favourite places to go and have fun, Alton Towers. Back then the internet hadn't really taken off like it has today, so in creating the site, Steve had made a reference point for anybody wanting to know more about the theme park.
The site went live in May 2000.
Of course, he couldn't do such a mammoth task alone. Helping him were his friends Pitson and Mac, and together they created the Alton Towers Almanac.
The site went through several "versions" before they settled on the design that would last a number of years. As the site grew, so did the interest in ATA. The site won a number of awards and became the number 2 result on most search engines, behind the official website itself.
However, Steve had grown weary of the amount of work the site demanded, and decided he wanted to move on to new things. So he handed responsibility over to Chris Bennett, who at the time was a moderator on the discussion board for the site. The team was then down to four - Chris B (or "Crispy") running the website with Chris Keating, Jonathan Foster and Dan Ketteringham moderating the forums.
For the next few years, the site was too much for Chris to handle. With it being so large, it took an incredible amount of work just to update the simplest of things. The site went through several proposed redesigns, but none of them ever took off.
In 2004, Tom Cooksey was drafted in with the task of creating a new ATA, this time driven by a database to make updating and maintaining a lot easier. He worked on the new site for over 6 months, and it was finally launched at the end of May 2005.
At the start of July 2005, Rob G was brought on board as the site's official photograper.
May 2006 saw another design change for the site: a different layout, and going back to our roots in terms of colourscheme. The biggest changes were behind-the-scenes, making it a lot easier for the team to update the site's content.