Helter Skelter to return to Pier

by Nigel Brown Mar 04 2019 2     4,225
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March 4, 2019


The most iconic ride on Clacton Pier is set to return this weekend after a winter break in Scotland.

The Helter Skelter was bought by Billy and Elliot Ball soon after the brothers took over the attraction in 2009 to make a statement about their intentions for the future.

The ride had famously been used in national television advertising for Marks and Spencer prior to being installed at Clacton.

In recent years the Helter Skelter has wintered away to protect it from damage from strong winds and salt water that would adversely affect the paintwork.

It first went to Cardiff and this winter was part of the seasonal celebrations in Edinburgh and is due back in Clacton tomorrow (Tuesday).

The ride will be rebuilt and should be back in operation again this weekend.

The Pier’s communications manager Nigel Brown said that there have been a number of enquiries about what has happened to the Helter Skelter.

“We have been asked if it has been sold on by some while others have asked if and when it is coming back to Clacton,” he said. “No one needs to worry as this particular ride has great historical and emotional value to the Pier and is part of its fabric.

“It is good that it is used, rather than sitting idle during the winter, and at such a prestigious event in Edinburgh.”

It was carefully dismantled last November and transported to Scotland by lorry.

The Helter Skelter was originally built by English firm Supercar, a company that specialised in the attraction as well as other rides such as dodgem tracks.

It was owned by the Traylen family – who had family connections to the Balls – and who set it up around the London area and Home Counties. The Manning family, who are also related to the Balls, then took it to Felixstowe.

Jimmy Godden later bought it and operated it from Margate in Kent before he closed the business and put it up for sale.

Billy Ball’s best friend’s father bought it to go along with three or four other Helter Skelters he operated before the Pier agreed a deal to take it off him ten years ago.

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